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  • Record raisin production in Maharashtra

    Jul 27th, 2020

    The massive production of raisin in Maharashtra has put grape farmers in a tight spot. Many farmers, unable to take their grapes to the market due to lockdown, took to raisin making. As a result, the estimated raisin production in the State has gone up to about 3 lakh tonne (lt) from an average annual production of 1.80 lt. Now, the majority of farmers have put their produce in cold storage due to lack of demand and plummeting price. Maharashtra ranks first in India in terms of production of grapes, accounting for more than 81 per cent of total output. In 2018-19, Maharashtra exported 1,21,469 tonnes of grapes in 8,982 containers. However, this season, it exported 92,342 tonnes in 6,842 containers — a drop of about 29,000 tonnes, or 24 per cent. As export took a hit due to Covid-19 and demand for grapes in domestic market declined, many grape growers in Nashik, Sangli and Solapur belt took their produce to raisin making. “This incurred additional cost. About 4 kg grapes are required to make 1 kg raisin. A farmer has to pay ₹30,000 to produce 1 tonne of raisin. Many have to put the raisin in cold storages due to lack of demand,” said farmer Salim Mujawar. Farmers pay ₹650 plus GST per month to keep the dry fruit in the cold storage. The rate of a black raisin in the market is between ₹30 and ₹70 per kg, while the yellow raisin fetches ₹80-130. The green raisin rate is between Rs 70-170 per kg.