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Adaptation and commercialization of viticulture in West Bengal - a new area in India

Ghosh, S.N., Bera, B., Roy, S., Kundu, A.
Acta horticulturae 2012 no.931 pp. 389-399
Pusa, color, commercialization, cultivars, farms, fruit quality, fruit set, fruit yield, grapes, pests, pruning, seedless varieties, small fruits, spraying, supply balance, urbanization, viticulture, world markets, India
Viticulture in the world is gaining popularity for multidirectional uses of grapes. Demand of fresh grapes in the world market is an increasing trend while its production in the commercial sector in many countries like India is now more or less in a stable position due to speedy urbanization. In order to minimize the gap between demand and supply, new areas to be explored for grape cultivation. With the view to introduce and commercialize the grapes in western part of West Bengal (India) where a vast area is available and agro-climatic conditions indicated its suitability, long term investigation on various aspects was initiated at the university and government farms and also in private sectors. Varietal suitability is considered to be the first step for commercialization of a crop. Introduction of 30 good grape cultivars and evaluating them for more than five years indicated that 'Arka Neelamani', 'Pusa Navarang', 'Pusa Urvashi', 'Arkavati', 'Arka Kanchan', 'Arka Shyam' and 'Arka Trishna' were the most promising cultivars in respect to yield, fruit quality and disease and pest reaction. Results from the pruning trial indicated that pruning on 30 January was the best among 4 other dates tested. Increased spur fruitfulness, yield and fruit quality. Smearing of H2CN2 at 30 ml/L was the most effective compared to other chemicals. Higher fruit set was obtained with the application of GA3 at 20 ppm while better quality bunch was recorded from 40 ppm GA3. Induction of seedlessness was possible in seeded cultivar like ‘Arka Neelamani’ by pre-bloom application of 400 ppm GA3. Spraying of 200 ppm BA at 25% colour breaking stage resulted in uniform colour development of berries with higher TSS/acid ratio.