June 22, 2007 12:56 IST
Hereon, grapes exported from India will be tracked and traced by a new software called 'GrapeNet.'
The Indian government on Thursday unveiled the web-based GrapeNet software that will provide traceability regarding the table grapes exported from India to European Union.
The software developed by the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority, an apex government agency.
Officials said the software will help in raising the confidence of importers by enabling monitoring of pesticide residue and by achieving product standardization and thus boost grape exports to EU.
Launching the software in New Delhi, Minister of State for Commerce Jairam Ramesh said: "Now, the importers, export regulation authorities abroad and in the country, in fact, anyone who will be using this software will be able to access the information at one's convenience at their tables about any grape export transaction."
The software works on the regulations of tracing back to the origin of the produce in the reverse order from shelf to farm at the click of a mouse at one's computer.
By clicking the phytosanitary No. or Agmark No. one can reach directly to the certificate issuing authorities thereafter one can reach at the inspection reports to laboratory analysis, certificate of residue analysis and the pack house details, which are available in detail instantly.
The software is designed to reach at the root of any grape export transaction.
Traceability has helped 40,000 grape farmers to come together and apply uniform farming practices. There is complete accountability in the system and farmers have earned 40 per cent more value for their grapes. Export value has grown from euro 8 to euro 11.5 for a pack of 5 kg in 06-07.
The success achieved in implementing the residue monitoring system and IT based traceability procedure has enabled all stakeholders in India and importers & supermarkets in the EU to develop considerable confidence in Indian grapes with a result that export of table grapes from India has doubled during the last three years.
The present level of exports (2005-06) is of the order of about euro 40 million. About 55,000 MT of grapes were exported in 2005-06 out of a total production of around 1.5 million tones. 80 per cent of exports were from Maharashtra alone.
In the last few years, Indian grapes exported to European Union had met with quality complaints from importers. In 2003, the European Commission had issued 17 rapid alert notifications on the ground of detection of high levels of pesticide residues in Indian grapes.
APEDA officials said the quality complaints have been fully resolved, and the new software would further give a fillip to ensure better quality of grape exports from India.
Officials said that during grape seasons of 2005 and 2006, there were no complaints about pesticide residues. APEDA has also been interacting with trade bodies in India and Europe.