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India 9th Biggest Grape Producer in World

Posted: Tuesday, 21 June 2011 15:28

India 9th Biggest Grape Producer in World

June 21: With an industry less than 20 year old, India has not yet made a mark in the wine industry in the world but it is already the ninth biggest producer of grapes including the eating grapes with an estimated crop of 18.8 million quintals of grapes in 2010, according to Federico Castellucci, Director General of OIV, while releasing the World Statistics on grapes and wine at the 34th World Congress of Vine and Wine, reports Subhash Arora from Porto

Click For Large ViewOut of the 16 top producers led by Italy at 75 million quintals, only six nations – China, Turkey, Chile, India, Egypt and Brazil have demonstrated an increase while the rest have shown a decrease. 

While describing the consumption in Canada, he observed that the French speaking province of Quebec had the highest per capita consumption of wine and the lowest problem due to alcoholism debunking the theory that higher consumption would automatically lead to alcohol related problems. He also recounted how in the eighties, Gorbachev had order uprooting of vines in Russia with an intent  to curb alcoholism. It was discovered later however that the problem of alcoholism remains as it was attributed  more to hard liquor like vodka. Now the Russian Federation has started replanting  but the scarcity of funds has slowed down the process.

According to the statistics collected mostly from the member states, world wine production in 2010 fell to 1998 levels with only Argentina, China, South Africa and Chile seeing the production increase during 2005-10. The consumption showed a slight increase at .4% to 238 Million hL, thanks to the US, Germany, Australia, Canada  and China which increased their consumption substantially with  China becoming the 5th largest consumer.

It was heartening to note that the effects of recession of 2008 and 2009 seem to be finally petering out with 2010 showing an increase of 7% in wine exports with Italy and Spain leading the pack, said Castellucci.

The report did highlight the pressures on the share of the European industry going down and the challenge being faced by the old world producers, due to the expanding industry in the Americas, Australia and Asia especially China.

The World Congress which is termed as the ‘Construction of Wine-A Conspiracy of knowledge and Art’ is of scientific and technical nature in which people from the 44 member states are presenting multitudes of papers during the week, besides providing an opportunity to the participants to visit port cellars and  Douro and Vinhos Verde wine producing regions. Over 800 participants are reported registered with 22 journalists, including Arora, the lone delegate  from India.

India hopes to be the 45th country to be a member of the UN type of organization which replaced the pre-existing International Vine and Wine Office since 1924 in April 2011. Membership is open only to the government agencies in the countries making wine, wine based beverages, eating grapes, resins and other vine-based products. All the major wine producing countries including Italy, Spain, France, Germany, Austria, Australia, New Zealand, Chile, Argentina and South America (US is the only major producer and a non- member).  India officially applied for membership about 6 months ago. According to the Charter, a majority of members must approve of the membership in 6 months which is usually granted after having the country join as an observer for a while.  India has been given a special consideration and would be accepted a member on July 12th, 2011, informed Castellucci at the inauguration of the Conference. He expressed confidence at the opening speech that the approval was not going to be a problem and at this stage was a mere formality and that OIV was looking forward to welcoming India as an active and important member. 

Earlier, inaugurating the Conference, the Minister of Agriculture Antonio Serrano (it was his last speech while relinquishing his post- the new government takes over today in Portugal) said that he was proud to be associated with the project throughout –including giving the go-ahead for the Conference. He was delighted that he was able to see the project fructified and he was there to inaugurate it.

Subhash Arora

World Statistics


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