Grape growers in Junnar, Pune, worry about losses

In the last one-and-a-half months, Junnar has received over 700mm of rain . Many farmers are struggling to do necessary maintenance on their farms .

PUNE: Jitendra Bhor (45), a grape grower from Junnar, is afraid of losing his two-acre plantation to constant rainfall and accumulated rainwater on the farm.In the last one-and-a-half months, Junnar has received over 700mm of rain.Many farmers are now struggling to do the necessary maintenance on their farms as a result of the accumulation of rainwater, according to district agriculture officials.For grape growers, September and October are crucial months for plant pruning, allowing the harvest in the first week of January.

We are yet to begin the construction on the plantations this time, however, due to the constant rainfall.Bhor claims that it could result in a significant loss for us.According to a group of farmers, prolonged overcast conditions have created favorable conditions for diseases like downy mildew and bacterial blight.According to RG Sokuwar, the director of Manjari's National Research Centre for Grapes, the growers in many areas, including Junnar, were unable to perform spraying on the grape plantations due to the rainfall.

We have been supporting them by e-mailing them with weekly warnings.To find the reasons, some of our researchers are visiting plantations.Based on their findings, the center is assisting the growers in the region.Junnar growers said they've been seeing a steady decline in their harvest for the past few years, due to poor weather.

According to Jitendra Bidwai, president of the Junnar tehsil's grapes association, the crop has now decreased to 6-8 tonnes.To grow grapes on one acre of land, a grower needs at least Rs 4 lakh in capital.However, due to volatile rates and the decline in harvest, we did not see good returns for the past three years.Bidwai said that some growers are debt-ridden because they could not see returns during the Covid-19 years.

I have no plans to repay the loans and continue farming in the event that I do not see a great harvest.