Over the last couple of years, the cultivation of grapes in India has been increasing in importance. That is why the Crop Science team at Bayer India invited a Chilean grape expert to share his expertise with over 600 grape growers from the Nashik region of India.
Tropical, warm and dry: the climate in the Nashik region of Maharashtra, India, offers perfect conditions for grape growers. So it is no wonder that this state on the Western Peninsula is one of India’s leading grape-growing areas. In 2018 alone, grape farmers from the Nashik region exported more than 215,0000 tons of grapes – an increase of 11% over the previous season.
As a global comparison: Chile exported more than 730,000 tons, Peru 380,000 tons, and the United States 330,000 tons of grapes.
Sharing knowledge of sustainable grape cultivation
Despite record harvests in 2018, grape farmers in the Nashik region are still facing complex challenges like droughts and the high salt content in water and soil. Moreover, pests such as thrips and mealy bugs or diseases such as anthracnose and downy mildew endanger the harvest every year.
Field training sessions for 600 grape growers
To minimize these risks and share practical tips for grape cultivation, Bayer India’s Crop Science team invited Dragomir Ljubetic Meza, an agronomic expert from Chile, to spend a week with grape growers in the Nashik region. More than 600 local grape growers, consultants, and exporters had the opportunity to update their knowledge on sustainable grape production through individual discussions and field training sessions. The participants learned more about nutrition, irrigation systems, and the pruning of plants. They also had the opportunity to discuss important topics such as soil conditions, leaf and petiole analysis, high salinity management, and cane formation with the expert. “This initiative provided an excellent opportunity to present Bayer’s holistic approach to grape growers,” said Dragomir Ljubetic Meza. “The farmers appreciated the opportunity to learn more about the cultivation.”
More visits to come
Dragomir Ljubetic Meza will return to Nashik for a second visit to closely follow the progress of his last training sessions. Together with the local team in India, he will also offer insights into the process of grape cultivation to growers in other regions of India to ensure farmers there can also profit from the knowledge transfer and training sessions.