Minister Sharad Pawar has exhorted the grape growers
to experiment with new grape varieties and address
the demands of the newly emerging retail markets and
competition from foreign produce in order to survive,
at the 47th convention of grape-growers in Pune on
August 18, Mr Pawar said the revenue from export of
fruits and horticulture products constituted only
around Rs 210 million ( $ 5million), while soybean
grown on far lesser tracts of land gave Rs 3,000 crore
($75 million) from exports alone.
He emphasised that presently, the
cooperative concept may not work for the grape industry
as it would be difficult to maintain and monitor standards
in terms of quality and taste.
All India Grape Growers' Association
president Sopan Kanchan said the industry is facing
tremendous challenges from the retail markets as they
are free to import anything, including foreign wines.
He overlooked to mention that
the imported wines are subjected to 150% import duty
and an additional 150% excise duty in Maharashtra
where the conference was being held. Wines produced
in Maharashtra are exempt from paying excise duty
at least till 2011.
Various types are being brought
into the market, therefore, a need for related products
apart from wine, like juices, and different flavours
in grapes are being researched.
Kanchan sought more concessions in
interest rates on loans for the grape industry.
Source: UNI through Keralanews.com