The Red Globe, popularly known as the Australian grape, which has been a delight of elites who have savoured it for its great taste and a high price tag that curiously underlined its quality, would soon be on the table of every household.
Tamil Nadu Agriculture University has successfully cultivated this variety in Coimbatore.
This grape which is now imported largely from Australia and or China, is sold in the Indian market at a cost Rs 300 per kilogram.
Farmers were cultivating grape varieties like Muscat grapes in Coimbatore in a large area. Initially Anab-e-shahi variety was also grown, N Kumar, Dean, Horticulture department, TNAU, told TOI. However the new variety of grape has been successfully cultivated in Coimbatore after a study of 10 years with the assistance provided by the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Authority.
He said that three varieties of grapes were tried including the Red Globe, a variety developed by University of Davis in California, Italia variety and Crimson Seedless. However, cultivation of Red Globe was successful as it grows well in subtropical and mediterranean climate, he said.
Kumar said there was a time when Coimbatore had large-scale grape cultivation but the area has now shrunk. Some years back disease affected the grape cultivation and many farmers were affected as the investment is generally huge, he said.
In Tamil Nadu 2600 hectares of land is being utilized for cultivation of grapes. In this 90 per cent of the farmers are cultivating Muscat variety, while 9 per cent are growing Thomson seedless variety grapes, while only one percentage try out other varieties.
He said the university has now successfully standardized the cultivation by grafting the Red globe on root stock on dog ridge, which is a wild species of roots capable of resisting the nematodes that harms the growth of plants and grow in despite the salinity in soil. A lot of grape cultivation is destroyed by nematodes and salinity. However the red globe was able to develop and adapt well through the method.
Source : TOI