Grape farmers finalised the rate of their produce for the export market at a minimum of ₹82 per kg in January, ₹71 in February, and ₹62 in March for this season.
The Maharashtra State Grape Grower Association (MSGGA), the apex body of grape farmers recently held a meeting in Nashik to decide the minimum price of their produce.
The Association members calculated the price based on 10 per cent profit on the production cost of grapes. The member resolved that the farmers must sell their produce above this basic price and finalise the higher rate based on the variety of the fruit, colour, shape and quality.
The members resolved that the grape farmer will not sell produce below the minimum rate finalised by the Association. Kailas Bhosale, Vice-President of the Association, said the farmers have decided to come together and fix the minimum price of grapes for export as farmers have suffered heavily in the last two seasons. He said that grape farmers are turning to private money lenders and farmers had to decide the minimum price as the government has not taken any steps to help grape farmers.
Vilas Shinde, Association Director and Chairman and MD of Sahyadri Farms, said the Nashik region took lead in exporting grapes in the European market but now it is high time that grape growers united and studied the market before selling the produce.
He added that grape farmers must plan the supply of grapes so that the produce is available across the year. “ Farmers must understand the demand and supply in the market and stay united to increase their bargain power,” said Shinde.
Grape farmers in Maharashtra have initiated this major market reform on their own and the Association plans to rope in all grape farmers in the initiative.