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Farmers Upset as Prices of Raisins Drop in Maharashtra

Tooba Maher
Tooba Maher

Not only the onion and pomegranate farmers in Maharashtra are facing a decline in income, but also farmers involved in the processing of raisins have reported a 30 per cent drop in prices on account of excess production.

The production of raisins this year stands at about 1.85 lakh tonnes, which is 20 per cent higher than the previous year. In the wholesale market, it had resulted in prices dropping to ₹150 per kg against last year’s ₹220.

As it is known that when grapes are sun-dried and processed, the end-product is raisins. The large markets in Maharashtra for raisins are Sangli and Tasgaon in Western Maharashtra. According to grape and raisin farmer Baburao Kabade from Malgaon near Sangli, "Farmers who were not getting good rates for table grapes had shifted their crop to raisins processing but this year even raisins business is a failure. Farmers want to know that how can they recover their costs.”

In 2018, the prices had reached as high as ₹250 per kg but now today depending on quality, farmers are getting ₹40- 180, Kabade added.

Manoj Malu, President of Sangli Tasgaon Bedana Association said, "Due to the dry climate and higher temperatures, the process of converting grapes to raisins was much faster, it resulted in higher arrivals."

However, over the last few years, farmers have also invested in sorting machines for raisins which has resulted in higher production costs. As per Malu, last year due to a dip in Iranian raisins production, the Indian export market was fetching much higher prices, which had resulted in good prices for farmers.

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