India - Grape yield crisis in Tamil Nadu due to high temperatures

15.05.2024 73 views

In Tamil Nadu, the grape farming community faces significant challenges due to recent high temperatures, impacting two primary grape varieties: panneer thiratchai (Muscat Hamburg) and Odaipatti seedless grapes. A farmer from Theni highlighted a drastic reduction in panneer thiratchai yields, with expectations falling to less than three tons per acre from the usual 10-12 tons due to temperatures exceeding 39 degrees Celsius.

The financial implications are severe, with cultivation costs around Rs 125,000 per acre. Karuppanan Raju of the Panneer Thiratchai Farmers Association indicated that nearly 300 farmers cultivating over 5,000 acres in the Cumbum area anticipate significant losses, urging the Tamil Nadu Agricultural Department for compensation.

Similarly, the Odaipatti region, known for its seedless grapes, involves 200 farmers across 1,000 acres. An Odaipatti farmer reported expected yields of only two to three tons per acre, a stark decline from the typical 12 tons. He has called for the establishment of a Minimum Support Price (MSP) for Odaipatti grapes at Rs 50 per kg to mitigate the financial impact, paralleling the support provided for sugarcane and paddy.

Despite the Tamil Nadu government's proposal for a GI tag to facilitate grape exports, immediate concerns focus on addressing the anticipated 80% yield loss. Another Odaipatti farmer emphasized the need for government intervention to establish an MSP, reflecting the community's apprehension about the upcoming September harvest.

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