1.                  INTRODUCTION


Grape (Vitis sp.) belonging to Family Vitaceae is a commercially important fruit crop of India.  It is a temperate crop which has got adapted to sub-tropical climate of peninsular India. 


2.                  OBJECTIVE


The primary objective of this exercise is to support commercial cultivation of grapes by projecting a one acre bankable model project.  The high yield of grape is limited to a few vineyards and is not consistent throughout the life - span of the crop.  In order to get uniformly high yields with good quality fruit, the basic principles of viticulture needs to  percolate down to all the growers.


Peak production during March-April months leading to glut in the market and poor quality of grapes resulting in tremendous post-harvest losses are other problems which limit profits. Growers need to be educated on means of extending harvest over a longer period to get better price for their produce and to minimize market risk.


3.                  BACKGROUND

3.1              Origin

Grape cultivation is believed to have originated in Armenia near the Caspian Sea in Russia, from where it spread westward to Europe and eastward to Iran and Afghanistan. Grape was introduced in India in 1300 AD by invaders from Iran and Afghanistan.


3.2              Area & Production


India is among the first ten countries in the world in the production of grape. The major producers of grape are Italy, France, Spain, USA, Turkey, China and Argentina.  This crop occupies fifth position amongst fruit crops in India with a production of 1.21 million tonnes (around 2% of world’s production of 57.40 million tonnes) from an area of 0.05 million ha. in 2001-02. The area under grape is 1.2 % of the total area of fruit crops in the country.  Production is 2.8% of total fruits produced in the country. About 80% of the production comes from Maharashtra followed by Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.


The area and production trends of grape during the period 1997-98 to 2001-02 are depicted in Graphs-1 & 2.







State-wise area, production and productivity of grapes are given in Table-1 below.


Table-1: State-wise Area, Production & Productivity of Grapes during 2001-02.




(‘000 Ha.)


(‘000 MT)











Tamil Nadu








Andhra Pradesh








Madhya Pradesh








Jammu & Kashmir












                    Source: Database of National Horticulture Board, Ministry of Agriculture , Govt. of India.


Variety-wise break-up of the area is as below:


Sr. No.


Percent Area


Thompson Seedless



Bangalore Blue



Anab-e-Shahi & Dilkhush



Shared Seedless






Gulabi & Bhokri



3.3              Economic Importance


The fruit contains about 20% sugar in easily digestible form besides being rich in calcium and phosphorus.  World over it is grown mainly for wine making (82% production), raisin making (10% production) and rest for table purpose (8%). In India, however it is mostly consumed as fresh fruit and only a limited quantity is utilized for the production of liquor, dry fruits like raisins etc.



4.1              Demand and Supply Patterns

The contribution of India in foreign trade of grape and its processed products is meager, although, export of fresh grape from India is on the increase.  The share of Indian grape in the imports of the European countries (U.K., Germany, France, Netherlands) and Asian countries (Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong and China) needs to be increased.

Varieties in demand in international markets include Thompson Seedless, Emperor, Ruby Seedless, Red globe, Christmas rose, Crimson Seedless, Calmeria, Rouge Ribier, Exotic, Fantasy Seedless. Several varieties such as Thompson Seedless, Flame Seedless, Shared Seedless, Tas-A-Ganesh and Sonaka, that are currently in demand in the international markets, are produced and exported from India. However, seeded varieties that are demanded in USA and Italy markets are not produced in India. To tap this potential, there is a need to increase area under seeded varieties of grapes.
The wine trade has enormous potential. With the support of Govt. policies India can make a mark in wine industry at global level.
Mahagrapes’, a co-operative partnership firm established in 1991, with the support of Maharashtra State Agricultural & Marketing Board (Pune), NCDC (New Delhi), Govt. of India, National Horticulture Board (Gurgaon, Haryana) and APEDA has established itself as a major organization exporting quality grapes from India to European Union and Middle East markets.  It has succeeded in establishing its brand name in the highly competitive and quality conscious international markets.
4.2              Import / Export Trends

The major exporters are Italy, Chile, USA, S. Africa, Spain, Greece, Netherlands etc. The major importers of grapes are USA and Germany followed by France, U.K., Canada, Netherlands and Hong Kong.


Fresh grapes are being exported from India to about 30 countries including U.K., Netherlands, U.A.E., Bangladesh, Germany, Belgium, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Kuwait, Sri Lanka, and Bahrain.  The trend in export of fresh grapes during the period 1999-2000 to 2002-03 is given in Graph-3.  The export statistics of fresh grapes from India during 2001-02 is presented in Table-2.


Table-2: Country-wise export of fresh grapes from India during 2001-02.




(‘000 Tonnes)


(Rs.  in crores)










Saudi Arabia



Sri Lanka















 Source: APEDA, New Delhi



About 100 metric tonnes of grapes were imported during the period 1999 to 2002, at an average per kg. price of Rs.50.38. These were mainly imported from Afghanistan (37%), USA (15%), Australia (12%), Vietnam (11%), New Zealand (7%), Singapore (6%) and China (5%). Besides, small quantities were imported from South Africa, Iran, Syria, Turkey, Pakistan and Bangladesh.



4.3              Analysis and Future Strategy


Production currently is much higher than demand in the domestic market.  There is need to promote export of grape and its products to sustain present production trend.  Otherwise growers can incur heavy financial losses.  


Till recently export of grapes from India was mostly confined to neighbouring countries due to inadequate pre-cooling facilities and consciousness about quality as well as residues of pesticides by countries like U.K., USA, Germany, Canada & Switzerland.    


We have now taken adequate measures to ensure prescribed pesticide residual limits in the grapes produced in the country.  To boost exports regular guidance is being given to the farmers and their co-operative societies on different aspects e.g. pre-harvest, proper use of pesticides, post harvest, packaging, pre-cooling, cold storage and transportation. There is a need to increase the share of Indian grape in the imports of European countries like U.K., Germany, France and Netherlands where higher prices can be fetched.  There is also potential for increase in the export of Indian grape to Asian countries like Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong and China in which prices are very high.


5.                  PRODUCTION TECHNOLOGY

5.1              Agro-climatic Requirements

Grape is a versatile crop that can adjust to any type of climate. The ideal climate is in the Mediterranean region. In Europe, America, Australia and Russia, it is grown under temperate conditions, while in Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, China, Pakistan, Israel and North India it is grown under sub-tropical conditions. It is also cultivated under the tropical climatic conditions of Chile, Argentina, Venezuela, Kenya, South and West India.


Sandy to clayey and loamy soil with good drainage and irrigation facilities is suitable for the cultivation of Grapes. Soils having pH value from 6.5 to 7.5 are most suitable.


In its natural habitat, the crop bears fruit during the hot and dry period and undergoes dormancy during the period of severe cold. It tolerates frost during resting stage but is very susceptible during growing period. Temperature ranging from 15-350 C is ideal for shoot growth and normal physiological processes of the grapevine. Vines do not grow and fruit well when the temperature falls below 100 C.


Locations where the annual rainfall does not exceed 900 mm. are ideal for its cultivation.  More than the amount of rainfall received during a year, the number of rainy days in a year and the occurrence of rains in relation to the stage of growth of the vine is important.  Humidity associated with rains during flowering and fruit ripening is not favourable and invites the attack of fungal diseases.

5.2              Growing and Potential Belts

Maharashtra (Nasik, Sangli, Ahmednagar, Pune, Satara, Solapur and Osmanabad Districts) ranks first in the production of grape followed by Karnataka (Bangalore, Kolar, Bijapur), Tamil Nadu & Andhra Pradesh (Rangareddy, Medak, Ananthapur). In these States, grape orchards bear two crops in a year resulting in exceptionally high yield.  Fruit quality is however poor. 


In north India, grape is cultivated mainly in Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, and Uttar Pradesh.  Vegetative growth takes place only in the spring season; consequently the fruiting is only once in a year during the summer months.

5.3              Varieties Cultivated

Region-wise list of varieties cultivated is given in Table-3 below.


Table-3: Varieties cultivated in different region of India.




Varieties cultivated

Region - I. (Northern India)

Haryana, Punjab, Delhi, Western Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan

Thompson Seedless, Perlette, Beauty Seedless, Anab-e-Shahi, Black Hamburg, Black Prince, Dakh, Foster’s seedling, Kandhari, Khalili, Pandhari Sahebi, Watham Cross, Pusa Seedless, Hur, Black Muscat, Early Muscat, Banquiabyad, Cardinal, Kairon

Region – II (Peninsular India)

§      Telangana & Rayalseema regions of Andhra Pradesh

§       Nasik, Pune, Sholapur, Satara, Sangli, Bhir, Aurangabad and Ahmednagar districts of Maharashtra

§    Bijapur,Gulbarga,Raichur, Bellary districts of Karnataka

Anab-e-Shahi, Thompson Seedless, Cheema Sahebi, Pandari Sahebi, Gulabi, Bhokri, Kali Sahebi, Sonaka & Tas-A-Ganesh(clones of Thompson seedless).

Region – III (Peninsular India)

§      Madurai, Salem and Coimbatore districts of Tamil Nadu

§      Bangalore, Kolar, Mysore & Tumkur districts of Karnataka

Bhokri, Anab-e-Shahi, Gulabi, Bangalore Blue, Black Champa, Convent Large Black, Angur Kalan, Taifi Rosovi, Coarna Resia, Queen of vineyard, Kandhari, Black Prince, Muscat, Pachadraksha


List of commercial varieties utilized for specific purposes is given in the following:




Table grapes

Anab-e-Shahi, Bangalore Blue, Beauty Seedless, Bhokri (Pachadrakshi), Cheema Sahebi, Delight, Gulabi (Panneer Drakshi, Muscat Hamburg), Himrod, Kali Sahebi,Kandhari, Khalili, Pandari Sahebi, Perlette, Selection 94, Pusa Seedless and Thompson Seedless.

Raisin Grapes

Thompson Seedless, Arkavati

Wine Grapes

Bangalore Blue, Thompson Seedless and Arka Kanchan


Commercial varieties can be grouped under four categories based on colour and seeds:


Coloured seeded


Bangalore Blue, Gulabi (Muscat)

Coloured seedless


Beauty seedless and Shared Seedless

White seeded


Anab-e-Shahi, Dilkhush (clone of Anab-e-Shahi)

White seedless


Perlette, Pusa Seedless, Thompson Seedless and its clones (Tas-A-Ganesh, Sonaka & Manik Chaman).

5.4              Land Preparation
Land is leveled by a tractor or bulldozer as per the requirement, soil type and gradient.  In case of drip irrigation, leveling need not be perfect.  
The size of the plot will vary with the type of training system used. In case of bower and telephone or “T” trellis the ideal size could be 60 X 80 m. and 90 X 120 m. respectively. 
5.5              Planting

Grape is usually propagated by hard wood cuttings, though propagation by seed, soft wood cuttings, layering, grafting and budding is also used in some cases.

The grapevines are usually planted in pits. The size of the pit depends upon the spacing of the vines and also on the specific requirements of the variety. The depth may vary from 60 to 90 cm. depending upon the soil type.  Wider spacing (1.2 m. X 1.2 m.) is required in case of vigorous varieties like Anab-e-Shahi and Bangalore Blue. A little less than that (i.e. 90 X 90 cm.) is required in case of varieties viz. Thompson Seedless, Perlette and Beauty Seedless. In central Maharashtra and northern parts of Karnataka the spacing adopted for Thompson seedless and its mutants is 1.8m X 2.4 m. The pits need to be opened about a month before planting. 
Planting is usually avoided during the rainy season. The best time for planting is February-March in North India, November-January in the peninsular India. In Karnataka and Tamil Nadu it is usually planted during December-January, due to the fact that rainy season lasts upto end of November.

Growth of the plants starts 10-15 days after planting, depending upon the season of planting. Growth occurs earlier in case of those planted during warm season as compared to those planted in cold season.  After one month of planting, the young plants need staking and training.

5.6              Training Systems
In India systems like bower, kniffin, telephone, head and slanting trellis have been tried in the past, but the bower & telephone system are being followed on a large scale.  About 80% of the vineyard area in India is on bower system.  
The training system and intensity of pruning recommended for different varieties is given below:
Distance of planting
System of training
No. of canes to be left on each vine
No. of buds to be left per cane
Thompson Seedless
2 x 3
Beauty Seedless
2 x 2
Anab-e- Shahi
3 x 6
3 x 3
Head, Kniffin 
5.6.1        Bower
This system is most widely used in commercial cultivation of grapes and particularly for the vigorous varieties with high degree of apical dominance. As the shoots start growing from the newly –planted rooted cuttings in the main field, only the best shoot growing vertically is allowed to grow along the stake provided upto the bower height. 
5.6.2        Kniffin (also called Espalier System)
The system is less expensive than Bower, yet it is less commonly followed.  It is suitable for training moderately vigorous varieties having less degree of apical dominance. Close planting of vines within a row at spacing of 1.80 to 2.40 m. depending upon the vigour of the plant is followed keeping the row to row distance at 3 meters. As in the case of Bower, the vigorous and vertically growing shoot is trained along the vertical support.  
Advantages of Kniffin System over Bower System:
·         Less expensive
·         Disease incidence and spread is less.
·         Easy to carry out spraying and other cultural operations.
The main drawback is that yield is about half of what is obtained on bower system. Though the vine canopy is exposed to light, the lower laterals are less productive due to shading by the foliage on the upper laterals. Damage to the branches is more due to sunburn and birds.  
5.6.3        Telephone System
T-trellis is used in this system of training. It is a mini discontinuous bower with shoots hanging downwards with three topped wires and T-shaped support, the trellis looks like a telephone pole and wires. It is as expensive as kniffin system and is suitable for moderately vigorous varieties with slightly more apical dominance. 
Advantages of Telephone System over Bower System:
·         Better ventilation and light interception
·         More convenient to carry out cultural operations and spraying
·         Less expensive
Disadvantages of Telephone System over Bower System :
·         Less yield as there is no provision for developing as many number of canes per unit area as in Bower.
·         During summer months, sunburn of berries is observed in very hot and dry places.
5.6.4        Head System
This is the least expensive of all the training systems. It is suitable for less vigorous varieties with less degree of apical dominance and for those in which the basal buds in a cane are fruitful, such as Beauty Seedless, Delight and Perlette in North India and Gulabi in South India.  Plants are spaced very closely to accommodate about 4000 – 4500 plants per ha. with a spacing of 1.80 m. and 1.20 m to 1.50 m between the rows and within a row respectively. The vines are supported to vertical stakes of eucalyptus or bamboo poles of 1.50 m. length. These supports are fixed very close to the vine 30 cm. deep in the soil leaving 1.20 m above the ground.
The return on investment made is less as compared to the Bower system. Size of the berries produced on this system is larger as compared to that of other systems. Incidence of diseases is much less on this system.
5.7              Pruning
The prevailing pruning practices in India can be broadly grouped into the following categories:
(i)                 Single Pruning- Single cropping 
This system is prevalent in North India. Since only one growing season is available, grapevines are pruned with the onset of spring or during late winter (mostly January-February). Floral differentiation on the current shoots and the fruit set take place simultaneously. If all the bearing shoots are retained on the vine and pruned in the next winter for fruiting, the fruiting wood multiplies faster and the vine canopy becomes denser year after year, leading to barrenness within just 3 to 4 years. In order to regulate vine canopy and extend its productive life span, half of the mature shoots are pruned for fruiting and the other half are pruned for renewing the spurs to give rise to shoots that develop into fruiting canes for the next year. Alternatively, the fruiting canes are pruned back to renewal spurs and the mature shoots developed from the previous spurs are pruned to fruiting canes year after year.
(ii)               Double pruning – Single cropping 
This system is predominantly followed in Maharashtra, north interior Karnataka in case of Thompson Seedless, and Andhra Pradesh on Thompson Seedless and Anab-e- Shahi grapes. After harvest in summer, the vines are forced to undergo rest for about a month, during which period water is withheld to help concentrate the reserves in the mature parts of the vine. All the fruiting canes are pruned back to spurs retaining only one basal node. This is called as “back pruning “or “foundation pruning” or “summer pruning “. Buds on the shoots growing from these spurs differentiate into floral primordial and the shoots mature in about five months. These mature shoots are pruned for fruiting before the onset of winter (September- October). This pruning is called “forward pruning” or “fruit pruning” or winter pruning”. All the mature shoots are subjected to fruit pruning. Thus, in this system of pruning, a cycle of two prunings resulting in one crop is practiced.
(iii)             Double pruning – Double cropping 
This system is in vogue in Anab-e-shahi and Bangalore Blue grapes in the south interior Karnataka and in Anab-e- Shahi, Bhokri and Gulabi in Tamil Nadu. Barring Bangalore Blue, the pruning practices in other varieties are common. Mature shoots are pruned to canes of 7-8 buds after harvesting the crop in summer. The mature shoots arising from these 3-4 buds along spurs are pruned for fruiting canes in the next winter. In the Madurai region and other parts of Tamil Nadu, pruning is done during November-December for summer crop harvested during March-April, and during May-June for the second crop harvested during August-September. In the south interior Karnataka, the forward pruning is done during October-November for summer crop harvested during February-March and during April-May for the second crop harvested during July-August. In Bangalore Blue, the recently mature shoots are pruned to 3-4 nodes at every pruning. There is no alternative system of backward and forward pruning in this variety.   Only forward pruning is practised. Time of pruning could be any time of the year excepting December. In this variety, the crop is harvested about 5 months after pruning. As a result, three crops are harvested in two years, and the crop is harvested almost throughout the year.
5.8              Shoot Pinching
Shoot pinching is mainly done to regulate the growth, and provide better ventilation and light interception into the vine canopy. Shoot pinching is done during the growth as well as fruiting seasons in peninsular India but only during the fruiting season in North India and other temperate regions as there is only one growing season in these regions.
5.9              Irrigation

Irrigation practices vary considerably in different regions of India depending upon the rainfall pattern, time of pruning, different growth stages, water-holding capacity of soil, variety grown, training system followed and spacing of vines. Irrigation is provided once in every three days in newly planted vineyards by allowing water into a small circular basin of 50 cm. radius. With the increase in growth rate the size of the basin increases to a radius of 2m. In case of drip irrigation, only one emitter is placed at the base of the vine. The number of emitters gradually increases to two and then four which are shifted about 30 or 40cm. away from the stem depending upon the variety and spacing of the vines. Heavy irrigation is provided soon after pruning in order to wet the entire root zone thoroughly and induce active growth in the vine. Light irrigation of 50-75mm. (5.0-7.5 L./ha.) is given is given at an interval of 10-12 days during winter and 5-7 days in summers. In the event of rainfall during that interval, the next irrigation is either omitted or delayed. Irrigation frequency is reduced during anthesis, fruiting stage and also after berry softening to improve fruit quality.


5.10          Nutrition 


Recommended doses of nutrients for different varieties under different agro-climatic regions are given in table below:
Table-4: Recommended nutrient doses (kg./ha.) for different varieties of Grape
North India
South interior Karnataka
Beauty Seedless
North India
Cheema Sahebi
Gulabi, Himrod,
North India
Thompson Seedless
North India
South interior Karnataka

Source: The Grape Improvement, Production & Post-harvest management by K.L. Chadha, S.D. Shikhamany.

5.11          Improvement in fruit Quality
Pruning time, variations in climate during the growth period (temperature, humidity and frost), use of various chemicals to control diseases and pests are the main factors which determine the quality of the produce.  Good variety bunches of Grapes for eating should be from medium to big sized, seedless grains. Varieties like Perlette tend to bear very compact bunches and require considerable thinning of berries for proper development of berry and bunch. Removal of distal end of the bunch helps in uniform ripening of berries. 
Application of growth regulators also helps in improving the fruit quality.  Application of 20 ppm. of Gibberellic acid (GA) (2g./100 l. water) at full bloom followed by dipping of bunches in 75 ppm. of GA solution at fruit set stage increases the bunch and berry size of seedless varieties. Similar kind of treatment given to seeded varieties does not give the same kind of result. Pre-bloom application of SADH (1500 ppm.) and CCC (1200 ppm.) increases fruit set and yields in Thompson Seedless and Anab-e-Shahi cultivars of grapes.
5.12          Plant Protection Measures
5.12.1    Insect Pests
Insect pests mostly observed are flea beetle, thrips & wasps.  For controlling these spraying with Dichlorovas, Dimethoate & Endosulfan is recommended.
5.12.2    Diseases

The Crop is suspect to diseases like downy mildew, powdery mildew, black rot, wilt, leaf blight etc.  Timely treatment and control measures are needed.  


5.12.3    Disorders


Some of the disorders observed in case of grapes are post harvest berry drop, berry cracking, leaf cholorosis, dead arm & trunk splitting. 


5.13          Harvesting and Yield


In North India, plants start fruiting after two years of planting.  Berries start ripening from the end of May in early varieties. However, most of the varieties are harvested after they have changed colour near the tip and have become sweet. A day prior to picking, the broken, decayed, deformed, under-sized berries are removed. The clusters are usually harvested during the early hours of the day before the temperature rises above 200 C.


Yield varies according to variety and climatic conditions etc.  The average yield of Anab-e-Shahi and Bangalore blue is 40-50 tonnes/ha while that of seedless varieties is 20 tonnes/ha. Average yield of 20-25 tonnes/ha. is considered good.     



6.1              Grading


Grading is mainly done based on the size and colour of the grapes to maintain uniformity of berries in a package. While grading, size of the berry is the criterion but not the size or shape of the bunch.


6.2              Pre-Cooling


Pre-cooling is done to reduce the field heat, moisture loss and subsequently increase the storability of grapes.  Fruit needs to be pre-cooled to a temperature below 4.40 C within six hours after harvesting in cold rooms, forced air coolers, refrigerator cars and tunnels. Cooling of grapes is generally carried out in special rooms attached to the cold storage units.  Mobile pre-cooling units (refrigerator cars) are also in operation to cool the grapes during their transport to the cold storage units situated away from the production site.


6.3              Storage


The shelf life of grapes is only one week at room temperature. The storage life of grapes can be increased by employing suitable means to reduce desiccation, decay due to growth of fungi e.g. Botrytis, Cladosporium, Alternaria etc. and bio-chemical deterioration. Harvesting the over-ripe grapes during hot hours of the day, careless handling to cause bruises and injuries to the berries at harvest and packing stage can reduce the storage life of grapes. Under optimum conditions of storage, the maximum storage life of Anab-e-Shahi variety is 40 days, Muscat 45 days, Thompson Seedless 30-60 days etc.  Ideal conditions for storage are low temperature (00 C) and high humidity (92-96%).


The following methods are recommended for increasing the shelf life of grapes :

Type of treatment

Period of Application


Spraying of fungicides- Captan (0.2%), aureofungin (500 ppm.), DCNA (2,6-dicholoro-4-nitroaniline)-0.2%

3-4 days before harvest

Reduce decay of berries in storage.

Application of growth retardants- NAA (500 ppm.), kinetin (50 ppm.)

Before harvest

Reduce berry drop during storage.

Spraying of growth retardants- B-9 (2000 ppm.), CCC (2000 ppm.), Alar (500 ppm.), maleic hydrazide (500 ppm.), phosphon-D (500 ppm.)

At harvest or berry softening stage

Retain the freshness of grapes for a longer period.

Sraying with Calcium nitrate (1%)

Ten days before harvest

Reduce the physiological loss in weight.


6.4              Packing


Table grapes meant for local market are picked and packed directly in containers in the field. Table grapes meant for long distance markets and those for overseas markets are packed differently in the packing shed. Raisin, juice and wine grapes are subjected to suitable treatments and processed.  


Different types of containers are used for packing grapes in India. Bucket shaped baskets (36cm. diameter at the top, 20 cm. at base and 25cm. height, capacity -5kg.) made of thin bamboo strips are commonly used in Hyderabad (Andhra Pradesh) and Bangalore (Karnataka). Wooden boxes rectangular in shape and capacity to accommodate 5 to 8kg. of fruits are also used. The most commonly used containers are ventilated card board boxes of corrugated fibre board (CFB) cartons which absorb moisture released by the grapes and provide insulation against minor fluctuations in temperature during cold storage. Size of the box varies to accommodate 2 to 4 kg. of fruit. The inner dimensions of the CFB carton accommodating 4 kg. grapes are 37 cm. in length, 25.5 cm in width and 11.5 cm. in height, and those of the carton accommodating 2kg. grapes are 25.5x18.5x11.5 cm. Irrespective of the size of the carton, each one contains two holes of 2cm. diameter on either side. Table grapes for overseas markets are packed in five-ply corrugated fibre board boxes, printed and labeled attractively. The standard dimensions of the carton are 50 cm. x 30 cm. x 12 cm. to accommodate 5 kg. grapes.


For the European market, bunches of grapes of approx. 300 to 700 gms. are packed in food grade plastic pouches. They are then wrapped in polythene sheet along with grape guard and tissue paper. Grape guard is used as per international norms to prevent fungal and bacterial infection to grapes due to moisture, if any.


6.5              Transportation


Table grapes are mostly transported through roadways for local, short distance or long distance markets. About 5 % of the produce is transported by rail and the quality of produce transported through air cargo is almost negligible. The cold chain for grapes is maintained meticulously right from pre-cooling state to selling of the same. The produce for international market is sent through refrigerated vans by road upto the sea port and then again by sea in refrigerated containers in the ships to their respective destination.


6.6              Marketing


The producers sell the fruit either to the pre-harvest contractor or to the wholesaler through an agent with these middlemen sharing profit. The responsibility of harvesting, packing, transportation and marketing vests with the contractor to whom the produce is sold on the basis of price agreed for unit weight of the produce or without weighing for a mutually agreed price.

Co-operative grape marketing societies are in existence in many grape producing states of India. The advantage of marketing by producers’ cooperative are:


·         Reduction in the price gap by avoiding the commission agent and wholesaler;

·         Regulate supplies to different markets; and

·         Minimize marketing problems arising out of unhealthy competition among producers.


Two channels of selling grapes exist in the international markets viz., (i) through producer’s co-operatives who collect, pack, cool, transport, market it abroad and share the profit with the growers and (ii) through traders who purchase, pack, pre-cool, store and then ship these in refrigerated containers to overseas markets.


7                    TECHNOLOGY SOURCES

The major sources for technology as well as quality planting material are:
(i)                  National Research Centre for Grapes, P.B. No.3, Manjri Farm Post, Solapur Road, Pune – 412 307, Maharashtra 
[Tel: (020) 2691 4246, 2691 4245]
(ii)                Indian Institute of Horticultural Research, Hessaraghatta, Lake Post, Bangalore – 560 089, Karnataka
[Tel: (080) 2846 6471, 28466353]
(iii)               Indian Agricultural Research Institute, New Delhi – 110 012.
[Tel: (011) 2573 3375, 2573 3367]
(iv)              Mahatma Phule Krishi Vidyapeeth, Rahuri – 413 722, Maharashtra
[Tel: (02426) 224 3208]
(v)                University of Agricultural Sciences, GKVK, Bangalore – 560 065, Karnataka, [Tel: (080) 2333 2442]
(vi)              Acharya NG Ranga Agricultural University, Rajendra Nagar, Hyderabad – 500 030, Andhra Pradesh, [Tel: (040) 2401 5078]
(vii)             University of Agricultural Sciences, Dharwad – 580 005, Karnataka
[Tel: (0836) 244 7783]
(viii)           Directorate of Horticulture, Shivaji Nagar, Pune, Maharashtra
(ix)              Directorate of Horticulture, Lalbagh, Bangalore – 560 003, Karnataka
(x)                Directorate of Horticulture, Public Gardens, Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh


8                    ECONOMICS OF A ONE ACRE MODEL


8.1              High quality commercial cultivation of the crop though capital intensive is highly remunerative (BCR being 1.8 L).  A one acre bankable model project presented below bears this out.


Costs & Returns:


8.2              The cost components of such a model along with the basis for costing are exhibited in Annexure I.   A summary is given in the figure below.  The project cost works out to Rs. 3.20 lakhs.



Project Cost:

                                                                                                               (Amount in Rs.)

Sl. No.


Proposed Expenditure


Cultivation Expenses




Cost of planting material




Manures & fertilizers




Insecticides & pesticides




Cost of Labour




Others, if any, (Power)











Tube-well/submersible pump




Cost of Pipeline




Others, if any, please specify







Cost of Drip/Sprinkler







Store & pump house




Labour room




Agriculture Equipments




Others, if any. Please specify (Bower system)







Land Development




Soil Leveling








Fencing & gates




Others, if any, please specify







Land, if newly purchased (Please indicate the year)



Grand Total


            @Cost of newly purchased land will be limited to 10% of the total project cost.


8.3              The major components of the model are:


·                     Land Development:  (Rs.4.0 thousand):  This is the labour cost of shaping and dressing the land site.


·                     Fencing (Rs.29.6 thousand):  It is necessary to guard the orchard by barbed wire fencing to safeguard the valuable produce from poaching.


·                     Irrigation Infra-structure (Rs.56.0 thousand):  For effective working with drip irrigation system, it is necessary to install a tube well with diesel/electric pumpset and submersible motor.  This is part cost of tube-well.


·                     Drip Irrigation & Fertigation System (Rs.35.0 thousand):  This is average cost of one acre drip system for the crop inclusive of the cost of fertigation equipment.  The actual cost will vary depending on location, plant population and plot geometry.


·                     Equipment/Implements (Rs.10 thousand):    For investment on improved manually operated essential implements a provision of Rs.10 thousand is included.


·                     Building and Storage (Rs.30 thousand):  A one acre orchard would require minimally a pump house and a store-cum grading/packing room.


·                     Erection of Bower System: (120 thousand).  Erection of Bower system over one acre would cost Rs.1.20 lakh.


·                     Cost of Cultivation (Rs.35.4 thousand):  This includes labour, inputs, planting material (1000 vines per acre at a spacing of 2.0 m. x 2.0 m.) etc. during the gestation period. 


8.4              Labour cost has been put at an average of Rs.70 per man-day.  The actual cost will vary from location to location depending upon minimum wage levels or prevailing wage levels for skilled and unskilled labour.  Cost on ‘training’ system can vary widely depending on the type used.  Bower type is the most popular.


8.5              Profitability calculations are exhibited in Annexure II.



8.6              Recurring Production Cost:            Recurring production costs are exhibited in Annexure III.  The main components are farm inputs, (FYM, fertilizers, liming material, plant growth regulators, plant protection chemicals etc.), labour and power mainly for irrigation. 


8.7              Besides, provision is also included for harvesting and packing/transportation for the produce to the nearest secondary market.    


8.8              Returns from the Project:  The average annual yield from the plantation is estimated at 3 tonnes per acre in year two and 10 tonnes per acre in year three (vide Annexure III).  Valued at Rs.25000 per tonne the total realization works out to Rs.3.25 lakhs per annum.


Project Financing:


8.9.            Balance Sheet:  The projected balance sheet of the model is given at Annexure IV.  There would be three sources of financing the project as below:


                                    Source                                               Rs. thousands.


                                    Farmer’s share                                               160

                                    Capital subsidy                                                 64

                                    Term loan                                                          96                                                                Total                                                                320   


8.10          Profit & Loss Account:  The cash flow statement may be seen in Annexure V.   Annexure VI projects the profit and loss account of the model.  The annual gross profit works out to Rs.56.3 thousand in year two rising to Rs.202.3 thousand in year three. 


8.11          Repayment of Term Loan:  The term loan will be repaid in 11 equated 6 monthly installments with a moratorium of 24 months.  The rate of interest would have to be negotiated with the financing bank.  It has been put at 12% in the model (vide Annexures VII & VII-A).


8.12          Depreciation calculations are given in Annexure VIII.



Project Viability:


8.13          IRR/BCR:  The viability of the project is assessed in Annexure IX over a period of 5 years.  The IRR works out to 26.16 and the BCR to 1.4.


8.14          The Debt Service coverage ratio calculations are presented in Annexure X.  The average DSCR works out to 5.45. 


8.15          Payback Period:  On the basis of costs and returns of the model, the pay back period is estimated at 3.47 years (vide Annexure XI). 


8.16          Break-even Point:  The break even point will be reached in the 3rd year.  At this point fixed cost would work out to 30.0% of gross sales - vide Annexure XII.