Vijay Divse, a grower from Nashik, said, "The monsoon last year was not good. Hence, I watered my farm using water tankers. The scheduled supply of water and pruning helped me harvest the grapes early. Though my grapes are of good quality, it is easy to recover money by selling the produce in the domestic market and I can immediately repay my earlier debts. I had incurred a loss of Rs 5 lakh when the export consignment was rejected and I have managed to repay Rs 4 lakh so far. I need another good season to clear my debt."
Grape exports are lower than had been hoped and, according to the Maharashtra horticultural department, this is due to the growers' preference for the domestic market.
The department says that many growers prefer the domestic market as they can be assured of fast payments, even though prices can be lower. They are concerned about such things as their export produce being rejected, as it was a few years ago by the European Union, leading to a loss of income.
Currently, the domestic market price for grapes is Rs 50 per kg (just under $1.00 US) and Rs 60 to 65 per kg in the international marketplace. The export price is, if anything, expected to rise further. However, the lower domestic rate is seen as a safer bet and payment is far quicker.