The Grapa Team is travelling extensively so as we wish to keep you tuned in, this week we are pleased to report on Shachar and Nomi Karniel’s recent visit to Egypt as well as Uzi Yaron’s visit to the Indian ARRA™ producers.

Shachar Karniel, ARRA Varieties Breeder and Nomi Karniel Padan, Grapa Commercial Director,  just returned from a very fruitful visit to the ARRA growers in Egypt focusing on both, the commercial fields and test blocks.

With the intensive guidance and support provided by Eng. Fayez Dowidar and Eng. Ali Shahata, ARRA  representatives in Egypt, the growers are achieving excellent results, especially with ARRA Passion Fire™ and ARRA Sugar Drop™. The harvest of both varieties will start this week, followed by ARRA Sweeties™ that will be ready to harvest within the next 2-3 weeks.

Shachar exemplifying the start of sugar accumulation in the ARRA Passion Fire berries

Growers are implementing the guidelines previously adapted to the territory by Eng. Fayez. By following the correct growing practices we can clearly see that ARRA Sugar Drop reached great uniformity of bunches, with a berry size between 19-21 mm, meeting the requirements of the UK and European markets. ARRA Sugar Drop is crunchy and has developed a beautiful creamy color. ARRA Passion fire is currently in different stages of veraison across the farms but is already showing great uniformity throughout. 

Left: Eng. Ali Shahata and Eng. Fayez Dowidar

Eng. Ali Shahata reports: “One week from now, the ARRA harvest season will begin in Egypt, and this is the first year of the Grapa team providing intensive technical support to the ARRA growers.”


Ali continues: “This season we are witnessing a great development in the performance of ARRA Varieties in terms of quantity and quality of production, which is the main goal of the Grapa team in Egypt. We can proudly say that we succeeded in obtaining 9-10 tons per feddan of ARRA Passion Fire, ARRA Sugar Drop, and ARRA Sweeties, ready for export at high quality.”

Agrostar

Agrostar, founded and owned by Mr. Mokhles Harraz, is a top quality, table grapes production company. In addition to the already commercial ARRA varieties, Agrostar is currently managing and evaluating the new ARRA selections in their test block, under the excellent management of Mrs. Esraa Harraz, and the results so far look very promising. 

One of the varieties currently under testing that truly stands out is a very early black variety with results that are so far very good. It ripens at the same time as ARRA Sugar Drop™, reaches high sugar levels and is easy to grow. It is sweet and crunchy with a natural dark black color and high yield. All these advantages make it a profitable and promising selection for the Egyptian growers.
The team was accompanied by Georgios Bitsakos, Lead Source Development Manager at TESCO UK who came to check out first-hand the very early ARRA white, red and black varieties as part of his supplier’s visit to Egypt. 

The Grapa Team with Georgios Bitsakos observing the very early black variety

A new very early red selection is also amongst the new ARRA stars and is looking promising in the Agrostar evaluation block. Bearing crunchiness, sweetness and fertility, it ripens at the same time as Flame. Its superb eating quality and the natural shiny red color, are what will make it stand out on the shelves in the foreseen future.

Very early red ARRA selection currently under evaluation

ARRA Honey Pop™ showed excellent potential from the very beginning. Now planted commercially in Egypt it is loved by the growers, due its short growing cycle, high level of crunchiness,  productivity, and size.  Labelled as a very grower-friendly variety, it is the perfect early white to allow the continuous presence on the shelf of early green varieties.

Mokhles Harraz (center) with his daughter Esraa and son Ahmed in an ARRA Honey Pop plantation

Season after season the ARRA Passion Fire™ and ARRA Sugar Drop™ produced by Agrostar are synonymous with great and stable quality.
Nomi Karniel Padan reports: “The great job made by Ahmed Harraz, Exporting Director at Agrostar, by exporting the Early ARRA varieties, such as ARRA Passion Fire and ARRA Sugar Drop to the UK and European markets, has paved the way for other Egyptian ARRA exporters. Due to this, I believe that this year the markets will have the opportunity to enjoy the great fruits of the growers’ hard work”.

Fayed Agriculture Development Co. (FATA) 

FATA, owned by Mr. Hamdy Fayed, has been producing successfully  ARRA Sweeties™ and ARRA Passion Fire™.

The Grapa team had the opportunity to visit the test block where they could observe the new ARRA Varieties. The FATA technical team made significant production improvements, mainly of the varieties not grown under  plastic cover.
These new ARRA selections will bring to the Egyptian growers improved, very early varieties that will definitely be very competitive in the market. 

Sahyadri Farms, with the support of Grapa and Jupiter Group, the exclusive license holder for the ARRA Varieties in India, continues to provide growing, storage and export protocols. and when adhered to, the results truly show as we can see in the pictures below.

Shachar with the Fata Team at the test block

Technogreen

The Technogreen farm’s technical team lead by Mr. Mostafa Hassan, holds a high level of knowledge and experience in growing ARRA Varieties which is reflected in their end product. Technogreen is the largest ARRA Sugar Drop grower in Egypt and it is showing great results this season and the crop has reached optimal berry size, crunchiness, sweetness, color and uniformity. 

Right: Mostafa Hassan and beside him, Eng. Fayez Dowidar in an ARRA Honey Pop plantation

Technogreen’s is showing great potential, especially ARRA Honey Pop which shows great results in its first year of production.

Pico

This season Pico’s ARRA Passion Fire™ production looks particularly promising. The crop is now in veraison phase but size and grape quality seem to be on point so far.
This is Pico’s first ARRA Passion Fire commercial production and the company is expanding the plantation as well as planning to add other ARRA early Varieties to their grape crops range..

ARRA Passion Fire in its veraison phase
Shachar with the Pico team

Blue Nile

The harvest of ARRA Sugar Drop™ at Blue Nile will start during the next few days and the farm managers are pleased due to the low labor requirements, stable crop and perfect timing. Today this variety reached a high yield with excellent quality, and proved its superb suitability to the Egyptian climate and environment.

Shachar with the Blue Nile team focusing on the positioning the bunches of ARRA Sugar Drop
ARRA Sugar Drop

Blue Nile’s ARRA Passion Fire is showing excellent yield and quality. The team is happy with the results reached by applying their knowledge and the right growing practice.

Daltex For Agricultural Development Daltex 

The El Minya oasis in Egypt, located 245 Km south of Cairo on the western bank of the Nile River, is well known for its extreme daytime temperatures as well as very hot nights. In such conditions, it is challenging for red grapes to develop sufficient color as well as to obtain berry crunchiness.

Despite the weather challenges, the salty soil and salty water, Daltex For Agricultural Development managed to grow ARRA Passion Fire™ successfully. The crop is developing excellent crunchiness as well as its full red color.

ARRA Sugar Drop

Grapa’s R&D Director, Uzi Yaron is back in India where he is spending his time in the field visiting the growers’ ARRA Sweeties plantations.
The goal of this visit is to continue improving the efficiency of the vine management by supporting the growers.

This month the Brazilian growers will start pruning and preparing for the next export window. Grapa Brazil invited the growers to a field day specifically about ARRA Sweeties. The event took place yesterday, in partnership with FMC Agricultural and was held at the Prado Agricola Farm.

More than 100 people attended the event and the main topic discussed was the importance of following the guidelines in order to obtain the best results. 
Grapa Brazil would like to thank all the attendees and the consultants that made this event so fruitful.

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