Grassroots Reachout & Networking in India on Trade & Economics (GRANITE)

Maharashtra Third Outreach Meeting
Ahmednagar District, Maharashtra
June 16, 2006

Samarthan, GRANITE project partner for Maharashtra, in association with the Department of Agriculture of the Government of Maharashtra, organised its third outreach meeting. The meeting took place on a farm in a small village of Vadgaon Landga in Sangamner taluka of the Ahmednagar district, on June 16, 2006. This one-day workshop was attended by 77 farmers, mostly pomegranate cultivators from the surrounding area.


to enhance the understanding of the farmers regarding the dynamics of the international market of the pomegranate.

to make farmers aware of the quality parameters of the exportable pomegranate and imparting techniques and technologies to farmers for growing export quality pomegranate.

Methodology of the Outreach Meeting

The meeting began with the inaugural remarks of AK Mishra, Director, INCF. Ajay Kumar Singh, Block Pramukh, Buta Singh, leader of Bhartiya Janta Party and social worker, Sanjay Awasthi, Member District Panchayat, Ram Beri, social and political leader, and Smita Mishra, Development Manager-GRANITE, also addressed the gathering. This was followed by an active group interaction with the resource members on affirmative clarifications related to the global scenario on agriculture, trade and economics.


The programme was held on a farm owned by Sahebrao Landge who is growing quality pomegranates on his farms. The area surrounding Sangamner taluka is known for pomegranate cultivation and the farmers are exploring potential of exporting this fruit to the European market. The programme was especially designed for farmers by keeping in mind their particular need.


  • Interactions of farmers with the fruit exporters.
  • Interactions of farmers with the experts in pest control.
  • Informative lecture by the government officials on various schemes under National Horticulture Mission.

Highlights of the Discussions

  • Naikwadi, the Sub-divisional Agriculture Officer gave the welcome note to all the participants.
  • Priya Khan, Programme Coordinator, Samarthan explained the objectives of the GRANITE project.
  • Milind Murugkar, Nodal person, Samarthan gave a brief speech explaining the ongoing trade negotiations in the WTO in the context of the programme.

Dr. Nakat, Entomologist

  • discussed about plant protection techniques, keeping in view, the quality demands of the consumers in the Europe. He explained the various pest attacks on the pomegranate plant and discussed the techniques for their control. The consumers abroad being very keen on spotless fruits, his talk centred around the discussion of bacterial spots on the fruits. He explained the effect of weather conditions on the bacterial and fungal spots on the pomegranates and the options to deal with them.
  • threw light on the issues related to Post Harvest Interval (PHI) which forms the key parameter having bearing on the Maximum Residual Level (MRL) of the pesticide in the fruit permitted under the EUREPGAP.

Rajaram Sangale, a grower exporter of the grapes and pomegranate informed about:

  • varieties of pomegranate preferred by the European consumers.
  • competition faced by Indian pomegranate from the other foreign suppliers.
  • potential for export.
  • potential for export processed fruit like pomegranate juice and powder.
  • economics of export.

Vikas Patil, the District Agriculture Officer (DSO) stated about:

  • various government schemes under the National Horticulture Mission for the growth of horticulture with special emphasis on exportable fruits.

Outcome of the Outreach Meeting

  • The farmers gained knowledge about the quality requirements in the European market.
  • Farmers were imparted the techniques and technologies to control pest attacks and to produce quality products.