Grape growing: Opportunities for better returns
It is believed that domestication of grape cultivation started with human civilization and documented evidence indicates earliest cultivation from 6500 BC. Presence of grape growing in many countries shows its wide adaptability under different climatic conditions, consumer demand, better returns, and ability to process in different forms, etc. In India, grape is commercially grown in tropical regions of Maharashtra and Karnataka states. Main factors contributing towards profitable grape production in these areas are varieties, rootstocks, adoption of micro-irrigation and fertigation techniques, staggered pruning, technological interventions, weather forecast based advisories, well established processing industry, awareness amongst grape growers, traceability system for export through Grapenet, supportive Govt. policies, etc. Temperate climate of North-West Himalayan regions are much suitable for production of quality table grapes and naturally dried raisins while other sub-tropical regions are able to produce table grapes. Identification of suitable varieties for particular areas, proper training and pruning of vines with desired canopy, growth stage wise application of water, nutrient application based on soil and petiole analysis, application of growth regulators, etc. are key factors to produce quality grapes with commercial yield. Improved know-how, technological interventions, support of processing industry and encouraging policies can lead to develop grape industry. Grape production under plastic cover will open unlimited opportunities for farmers to adopt grape growing round the year. With introduction of grape varieties Manjari Naveen for fresh grapes and Manjari Kishmish for raisin making along with adoption of Manjari Medika variety for zero waste processing can change the viticultural scenario. Technological interventions will help in producing quality grapes with reduced input cost and it will result in better returns than other established crops.
Grape, Varieties, Cultivation, Returns, Plastic covers.