Indian table grapes are likely to have an increased presence on European retail shelves this season, following an influx in the number of growers registered under the Grapenet traceability system.
According to the Economic Times, Grapenet registrations have risen from 18,327 over the course of the 2015/16 season to 19,801 in 2016/17. Only growers registered under the Grapenet system are eligible to export their crops to Europe.
Ashok Sharma, president and chief executive of agribusiness at Mahindra & Mahindra, told the Economic Times the rise in registrations is indicative of a growing export mentality amongst India’s table grape industry.
“The exportable grapes production is expected to go up this year,” Sharma said. “Nashik, which supplies around 80 per cent grapes, has 55,000ha area under cultivation. Of this, area registered for exports this year is 33,000 hectares, compared with 27,000ha last year. We have also seen an increase in the number of farmers approaching us for farm advisory in cultivating exportable grapes.”
A solid monsoon season followed by ideal growing conditions over December has Indian growers optimistic about their chances for a bumper 2016/17 crop.
The industry has already shipped over 45 containers of grapes to Europe (as of 12 January), with Mahindra confident of eclipsing last year’s shipment volumes to the region. Opprotunities to increase trade into neighbouring China also appear plentiful.
“There will be an increase of around 20-25% in the number of containers from India to China," Sharma added.