A web conference “Export of grapes in 2021: Instructions for uses of authorized agrochemicals as per Annexure 5 of Residue Monitoring Plan” was organized by ICAR-NRC Grapes on 20th August 2020, between 4-6 PM on Zoom platform. Dr A.K. Singh, DDG (Horticulture Science), ICAR chaired this conference, which was attended by 238 participants, pre-dominantly comprising the grape growers from various locations of Maharashtra and Karnataka states. Mr. Devendra Prasad, DGM (APEDA) had joined the panelists. The members of Maharashtra State Grape Growers’ Association (MRDBS) actively participated. In addition, the representatives of grape exporters’ association of India, and agrochemical industries also joined and contributed to the conference proceedings. In the beginning, Dr R.G. Somkuwar, Director, ICAR-NRC Grapes, Pune welcomed the participants, and provided a brief account of the current grape season. Every year, ICAR-NRCG updates the list of agrochemicals in Annexure 5 of the residue monitoring plan document based on the new CIB&RC-label claims for grapes. Based on the field studies, the institute provides the recommended dose of agrochemicals, usage instructions for managing diseases, insect pests, and physiological disorders, and suggest the compound-specific pre-harvest intervals (PHI) to minimize residues at harvest. Dr A.K. Singh, DDG (Horticulture Science) emphasized upon the importance of following the good agricultural practices in relation to pesticide applications in grape cultivation, and congratulated the participants for developing an ideal residue control system in grapes in the country. He assured that scientists of ICAR-NRCG will actively address the growers’ problems on priority based on field visits and also online interactions to ensure that they produce residue free grapes for the consumers. He urged the participants to have confidence on ICAR in providing technologies and recommendations for effective management of pesticide residues in grapes. While coordinating the conference, Dr Kaushik Banerjee (in-charge NRL) presented the agenda, and explained the structure of Annexure 5 as the central theme of pesticide residue control in the food safety traceability system, viz. Grapenet of APEDA. This was followed by the technical presentations by the scientists of Plant Pathology (Dr Sujoy Saha), Entomology (Dr D.S. Yadav), Plant Physiology (Dr S.D. Ramteke) and Agricultural Chemistry (Dr Ahammed Shabeer T.P.), who provided a brief account of the newly added agrochemicals in Annexure 5 and also explained the other changes in pre-harvest intervals, which have been brought in to manage any anticipated changes in the EU-MRLs. The strategies to sequence the use of the pesticides as per their relative PHIs were also presented.
A live interactive session took place subsequently, where the panelist scientists responded to the queries of participants in relation to usage instructions of Annexure 5 chemicals, any anticipated changes in EU-MRLs, and PHIs to be maintained to ensure MRL compliances in export. At the end, Dr A.K. Singh, DDG (Horticulture Science) summarized the conference deliberations and wished the participants a successful grape export season. All the participants agreed to the changes in Annexure 5 and its release for 2020-21.