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Maharashtra contributes 98% to grape exports; in 18-19 worth Rs 2210 cr
Monday, 13 January, 2020, 08 : 00 AM [IST]
Kimberley Fernandes, Mumbai
Maharashtra contributes 98% to the total exports of grapes from India and it is the leading state in horticulture in the country, specifically with regards to area, production and export of mangoes, banana, pomegranates and few vegetables. The state is earning sizeable foreign exchange through large-scale exports of these commodities.

According to experts, Hortinet traceability systems like Grapenet, Mangonet, Anarnet and Vegnet have been successfully implemented in the state for registration of exportable items to fulfil requirements of importing countries.

Grape is an important crop grown in Maharashtra. The state contributes 98% share of total export of the fruit from India due to its quality and residue-free production. According to APEDA, in the year 2018-19, Maharashtra exported 230,203 metric tonne (MT) grapes, which was valued at Rs 2,210 crore and 95% share. Some 21,574 MT of mangoes were exported, which were valued at Rs 193 crore and 48% share. Some 65,559 MT of bananas were exported which were valued at Rs 230 crore and 55% share. Some 57,335 MT of pomegranate were exported which were valued at Rs 537 crore and 78% share. Some 20,345 MT of oranges were exported which were valued at Rs 120 crore and 48% share.

However, earlier in 2003-04, the EU rejected Indian grapes import on the ground of pesticide residue. Since then special initiatives were taken for the formation of the system of monitoring of pesticide residue issues under the guidance of Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) New Delhi, under Ministry of Commerce and Industries.

Govind Hande, Technical Advisor, Export, National Horticulture Mission Commissionerate of Agriculture, Pune, informed, “To fulfil the SPS (Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures) requirement of EU pertaining to pesticide residues in exportable grape, the state has taken a lead in formulation of pesticide residue monitoring system in consultation with APEDA, National Research Centre for Grapes and Maharashtra Rajya Draksh Bagayatdar Sangh.”

He added that long-term strategies for resolving the problem pertaining to pesticide residues and for assuring export of residue-free grapes to European Union, 'Farm to Fork', total traceability system entitled 'Residue Monitoring System for Export of Grapes to European Union (Grapenet) was formulated and implemented from 2006-07.

He elaborated that software was developed for online Pesticide Residue Monitoring and Advisory System. Advisory capsules were developed to disseminate location-specific residue advisories based on detection of residue MRL level. Among the registration and inspection of exportable grape garden and assuance of phytosanitary certification for export is carried out by state government online through Grapenet system very efficiently.

He explained that 2018-19 saw about 43,471 grape gardens registered for export to the EU under Grapenet through online systems. Registered grape gardens are inspected twice i.e., at the time of registration and before sampling for residue analysis and reports are updated on Grapenet software.

Registered grape growers receive training from experienced field staff regarding maintenance of plant protection record, use of registered and label claim pesticide.

“Traceability system was found to be highly cost-effective in terms of area coverage and production obtained. Effectiveness of the project has proved to help extend the project to other crops in the state. Since inception of project there have been no rejection of consignment on the ground of detection of pesticide residues under project. It has proved extremely useful to government to safeguard farmers’ interest by protecting the crop losses due to pest problems and minimise the pesticide residue resulted in the increase of residue-free export that will ultimately increase farmers’ incomes and aid to state economy and help in getting foreign exchange to the country,” he concluded.
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