This week, we bring you updates from Chile and the unexpected rainfall that impacted several areas of the country as well as the field days held prior to these critical turn of events. 

Furthermore, we would like to share with you the fruits of the cooperation between the Jupiter Group, the exclusive license holder for the ARRA™ Varieties in India, in conjunction with their partners Sahyadri Farms. This season, ARRA Sweeties™ (ARRA 15) grown in the Nashik area, brought excellent results.

On the 29th of January, heavy rainfall has caused an unprecedented disaster for the fruit industry in much of Chile. Unfortunately, table grapes have been recorded as the most affected crop so far. Despite this heavy challenge, we would like to bring our readers updates from the field days that were held prior to this event.

During the past weeks, the Grapasa team in collaboration with NuevaVid Nursery held 3 field days where ARRA 29 (ARRA Passion Fire™) was exhibited to the participants. Growers from different regions attended the events and had the opportunity to exchange their own successful experiences from this current season.

ARRA 29, ARRA Passion Fire
ARRA 29 Field Day at Agricola El Calvario, El Huique, Region VI.
ARRA 29, ARRA Passion Fire in Agricola La Higuera
Agricola La Higuera in San Felipe hosted one of the field days on their farm. The results of this event are very encouraging and show that the implementation of the right protocol has proved itself.

Our hearts are with all the Chilean ARRA producers during these difficult days. These are challenging times in more ways than one and we would like to wish you success for the many more seasons still to come. 

The overall climate this season in Nashik has not been subjected to too many extreme weather changes. A few cool spells throughout the season have been very good for berry development, providing firmness and a balanced taste. In the first week of January 2021, some rain showers fell in the region with an average of 20 mm and in certain pockets as much as 100-120 mm. Challenging weather situations demand new grape varieties that have rain resistance, providing an edge over traditional table grapes.

ARRA 15 in its second year of production in Nashik

The Jupiter team reports that ARRA 15 is showing great promise, the crop from vines in their first year of production is expected to produce 2,200 cartons of 4.5 kilos per hectare and approximately 5,000 cartons per hectare for vines in their 2nd year. The development of the ARRA varieties is positively changing the demand for Indian grapes with the potential to bring into the market its own key supply in the annual table grape supply calendar.

Mr. Sachin Walunj, General Manager and Farm Operation at Sahyadri Farms (top right) with happy growers proud of their ARRA 15.

Sahyadri Farms growers reports: “We are really enthusiastic about producing ARRA 15”, and between the benefit of choosing ARRA 15, they highlight the following reasons: Excellent fertility: this is something really amazing for farmers. Rain resistance: “seeing is believing” that’s what farmers experienced this time as conditions have proven this as a true characteristic of the variety. Negligible GA3: it is unbelievable for the farmers to see 22mm berry size with only 0.5-1 gm GA3 application, whereas Thompson requires more or less 125 gm GA3 with other cytokines like CPPU & Brassinos. Uniform produce: uniformity through the block without variations in berry size, shape and color have been observed.

The Sahyadri producers had the opportunity to "taste & feel" ARRA 15.
Mr. Vilas Shinde, CMD, Sahyadri Farmers Producer Company Ltd (with blue shirt) listening to Mr. Sukrut , ARRA grower, sharing his experience with the participants.

Sahyadri Farms, in January, held two ARRA Field Days where more than 150 growers attended. During the second ARRA Field Day, Mr. Shinde shared how the ARRA breeding program had evolved in the last 20 years and the efforts behind developing patented varieties.

ARRA 15 bunches uniformity.

Mr. Shinde reports: “Bringing ARRA Varieties to India is opening new channels for Indian growers. This is a game-changer for the Indian grape industry and a way of bringing sustainability to farmers”.

Jupiter Group’s Table Grape Consultant Andre Vermaak says: “The ARRA 15 production in India is showing amazing adaptability results and this is thanks to the continuous commitment of Mr. Sachin Walunj, General Manager and Farm Operation at Sahyadri Farms. The growers quickly understood and applied the protocol as well as being in touch seeking advice as well as constantly updating with pictures. The advice given was always executed and the results are incredible. The quality and size of the bunches are impressive and even after two seasons of heavy rains, ARRA 15 was not affected at all. I see a really great future for ARRA 15 in India”.

Shake it!

ARRA 15 passed the shaking test!

Watch it until the end.

Jupiter Group CEO Mark Tweddle says: “These are really exciting times for us in India. A dream that started in 2012 is coming to fruition, with the first commercial volumes of ARRA 15 this season. We are now planting 400 acres of ARRA 15 with 1,000 new acres planned for 2022 and we are also testing a further 12 new varieties”.
This season ARRA Sweeties™ from India reached the markets in the UK, Europe, China, Singapore, Malaysia, UAE, Saudi Arabia and the Maldives.

Thank you to the Jupiter and Sahyadri Farms’ teams and all the growers for the commitment and dedication to the ARRA Program and for the beautiful pictures and events updates from India. 

Grapa Varieties first introduced its Early Sweet variety into Namibia in 2006, and since then the ARRA range has followed.  The leading global, family business, which specialises in breeding and licensing premium table grapes varieties worldwide… 

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