ICAR-National Research Centre for Grapes, Pune celebrated 24th foundation day on 24th January, 2020. Dr P.G. Adsule, Ex-Director, ICAR–NRC for Grapes was the Chief Guest of the program. Dr Lakhan Singh, Director, ICAR-ATARI, Pune and Dr P.S. Naik, Ex-Director, IIVR, Mr Arvind Kanchan, Chairman CRC, MRDBS were the other dignitaries present on the occasion. The scientists from Pune based ICAR institutes, staff of ICAR–NRC for Grapes and twenty five farmers from different grape growing regions of Maharashtra attended the program. In the beginning, Dr R.G. Somkuwar, Director (Acting) of institute briefed the gathering on the achievements of the Centre in recent years and highlighted the close interaction of the institute with grape growers of the country. He also gave insight into ongoing research activities especially progress in varietal development, plant health management, processing, food safety and decision support system. Dr Lakhan Singh appreciated the role of the Centre in the growth of grape industry in the country and Centre’s close linkage with the growers and extended his support for technology popularisation through Krishi Vigyan Kendra. Dr P.S. Naik emphasized the need to develop technologies to obtain grape around the year. Dr P.G. Adsule, in his address chronicled the growth of the institute since its inception.
Five farmers were felicitated for their contribution to grape industry. Among these Shri Haribhau M. Vaykar (Jay Seedless), Shri Sudhakar B. Kshirsagar (Sudhakar Seedless) and Dattatrey N. Kale (Nanasaheb Purple Seedless and Sarita Purple Seedless) have developed new grape varieties which have been registered with PPV&FRA. Shri Dattatrey B Chavan was honoured for role in popularising grape cultivation in drought prone area of Marathwada region. Shri Atul S Bhilvwade were honoured for his support to NRCG’s efforts on use of Biological agents (Trichoderma spp.) to control fungal diseases and support for implementation of Mera Gaon Mera Gaurav program of the Centre.
Ms. Shailaja V. Satam, Technical Officer was conferred with “Best Employee Award 2019” and she was felicitated by presenting a Memento and Certificate by the Chief Guest.
The Foundation Day Lecture on “IMD's weather and Climate Forecast Products for Agriculture” was delivered by Dr D. Shivanand Pai, Head (CR&S), IMD, Pune. He apprised about the role of IMD in providing timely weather advisories to farmers and other agriculture related sectors and its importance for decision making for various agricultural activities. He informed about the ongoing efforts of IMD to extend the weather forecast at block level across the country. He also extended support for collaboration with the Centre for its ongoing work on weather based forecasting for vineyard management.
A Scientist-Farmer Interaction meet on “Grape vineyard management strategies to combat unseasonal rains” was also arranged. Dr A. K. Upadhyay, Principal Scientist initiated interaction with overview of impact of unseasonal heavy rains on vine health and subsequent crop losses in various grape growing areas in Maharashtra. It was observed that grape cultivation under plastic cover is a viable solution to prevent losses due to weather vagaries, which are expected to be more frequent in future due to climate change. Farmers expressed their concern on the high cost of infrastructure needed for protected cultivation.
The participants raised the issues associated with use of plastic cover in the areas with relatively high temperature. Issues related to variety specific rootstocks and need for new varieties adaptable to changing climate were also discussed. The Director and scientists addressed these issues. Mr Arvind Kanchan extended MRDBS support for ongoing breeding work at the Centre and to procure the germplasm from UC, Davis. This interaction meet was jointly organized with Society for Advancement of Viticulture and Enology (SAVE).
Several cultural programmes were also organised. All the staff including contractual and farm staff participated in these activities with enthusiasm.