World Agrochemical Network Chinese website report:All India Grape Exporters Association (AIGEA) predicts that the EU’s policy on mancozeb will affect India’s table grape exports. The association urged the Indian government to negotiate with the European Union.
The Sahyadri Farmers Producer Company, India’s largest grape export company, welcomed the EU’s initiatives, stating that the regulation of mancozeb will encourage grape growers to use more cost-effective fungicides.
The European Union issued a notice on the disapproval of the active substance Mancozeb on December 14, 2020. Mancozeb is a protective fungicide that can effectively control a variety of foliar fungal diseases. It is registered for use in horticulture and agricultural food crops, ornamental plants and tobacco, and forestry.
The European Union provides a transitional period for exporting destinations to readjust their package of measures to export table grapes to the EU. Before January 2022, the maximum residue limit of mancozeb will not be reduced to the default limit of 0.01 mg/kg. APEDA believes that since the grace period for mancozeb will not expire until January 4, 2022, India’s grapes originally scheduled to be exported to the EU in 2021 will not be affected.
However, starting from the next season (2022), grape growers planting export varieties for the EU market will have to adopt a package of alternative plant protection methods and stop using mancozeb.
Return to organic agriculture
”India’s grape exports have gradually increased in recent years, but the various restrictions imposed by the EU make farmers feel like walking on thin ice. The government must negotiate with the EU to ensure that frequent EU regulations and rule changes will not affect exports,” AIGEA President Jagannath Khapre Tell India BusinessLine (BusinessLine). Khapre added that there is no data on the use of mancozeb in India, and farmers are not clear about the alternatives available.
There are more than 20 grape varieties grown in India, and more than a dozen varieties are commercially grown and exported to Europe and the Gulf countries. During 2019-2020, India’s main grape export destinations are the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Germany, Russia and Bangladesh.
Khapre said that considering the cautious attitude of EU countries on the use of chemicals in planting, grape growers will have to return to organic agriculture.”Since the 1960s, Indian grape growers have used more and more chemicals and abandoned organic farming. Perhaps we will have to adopt traditional growing methods and find a way to make it cost-effective ,”He said.
Maharashtra is the state with the largest grape production in India, accounting for more than 81.22%of the country’s total production, and it is also the region with the highest productivity. AIGEA is concerned that grape growers and exporters in Maharashtra will have to modify their planting and export plans in accordance with the new regulations.
But in the view of Vilas Shinde, chairman and general manager of Sahyadri Farmers Producer Company, EU regulations are not only for India, and India’s exports will not be affected. Shinde said:”The new regulations will promote research and development, and farmers will have the opportunity to use new fungicides, thereby reducing costs. Grape consumers around the world are becoming more and more cautious about the use of chemicals to grow food, and we must adapt to market choices.”
Grape is one of the most important fruits in India, with a planting area of 123,000 hectares, accounting for 2.01%of the total arable land. According to data provided by APEDA, between 2019 and 2020, India exported 193,690.55 tons of grapes to the world, valued at 217.68 billion rupees (approximately US$29805 million).
”So far, the new regulations will not have any impact on grape exports. But farmers must consider alternatives from now on,” Shinde added.