From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : ARI-516
Mains level : Not Much
Pune’s Agharkar Research Institute (ARI), an autonomous institute of the DST has developed a hybrid variety of grapes which is resistant to fungal diseases, high yielding and has excellent juice quality.
- The hybrid variety ARI-516 has been developed by interbreeding of two species from the same genus — Catawba variety of Vitis labrusca and Beauty seedless variety of Vitis vinifera.
- It is a result of collaboration between Maharashtra Association for the Cultivation of Science (MACS) and ARCI and can benefit farmers, the processing industry and consumers.
- This variety of grapes is resistant to fungal diseases, high yielding and has excellent juice quality.
- The fungal resistance of ARI-516 has been derived from Catawba, which is an American grape variety.
- It is also suitable for preparation of juice, raisin, jam and red wine and farmers are enthusiastically adopting the variety.
- It has superior quality fruits and higher yield per unit area.
- An early ripening hybrid, it matures in 110 – 120 days after pruning.
- Being moderately resistant to a majority of fungal diseases, its cost of production is lower.
Grape production in India
- India ranks twelfth in the world in terms of grape production.
- About 78% of grape production in India is utilized for consumption, 17-20 % for raisin production, 1.5 % for wine and 0.5 % for juice.
- Maharashtra leads in the production of grapes in India with a share of 81.22 %. A negligible share of grapes is used for juice production.
- A majority of farmers in Maharashtra cultivate ‘Thompson seedless’ and its clones for table purpose or raisin making.