India RegionFarming and Agriculture

Cumbum Valley: A Thriving Hub for Muscat Hamburg Grape Cultivation in India

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05 April 2024, New Delhi: India’s Cumbum Valley has emerged as a thriving region for the cultivation of Muscat Hamburg, locally known as panneer thiratchai, contributing to an impressive 85% of the country’s grape production.

In Tamil Nadu, the seeded Muscat Hamburg variety accounts for approximately 90% of the grape harvest. Among the districts in the state, Theni stands out as a prominent hub for this grape variety, renowned for its rapid growth and early maturity, resulting in year-round availability in the markets. The valley’s fertile soil and abundant water supply further enhance the natural flavor of these medium to large-sized grapes, which find utilization in the production of top-quality wine, jam, and raisins. Recognizing its exceptional quality, Cumbum grapes were awarded the prestigious Geographical Indication (GI) tag in 2023, opening doors to global export opportunities.

Pon Katchi Kannan, the president of the Periyar Vaigai Irrigation Farmers Association and coordinator of Kaamayam Thiratchai Vivasayigal Sangam, highlights the dominant cultivation of the panneer variety in the Cumbum valley, which spans across 5,000 acres and encompasses 10 villages. He reveals that nearly 90% of grape production in Tamil Nadu is concentrated in the Theni district, involving the dedicated efforts of over 300 farmers. The favorable climate and soil conditions in the area perfectly suit the Muscat variety, allowing the continuous harvesting of panneer grapes throughout the year. This distinguishes Cumbum Valley from other regions in India, where grape harvesting typically occurs between January and April.

Also Read: Drumstick Cultivation, an Example From Gujarat, Turning a Poor Farmer Into a Millionaire

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