NASIK: The Maharashtra Rajya Draksha Bagayatdar Sangh (MRDBS), a state-level association of grape-growers, has sought the state government to provide grant for importing plastic covers to protect the vineyards from unseasonal rains and hails.

The grape-growers body has been seeking government assistance for the import of plastic covers in a bid to protect vineyards from unseasonal rains and hails. The plastic covers cost at Rs 4.5 lakh an acre and it is not affordable to farmers to buy the material to protect their vineyards. The chief minister Devendra Fadanvis, during his visit to review damage of vineyards due to unseasonal rains and hails in the district last year, had assured the office-bearers of the MRDBS for waiver of import duty and subsidy for importing plastic covers. But the government has yet not taken any decision on the issue so far.

Ashok Gaikwad, director of the MRDBS said, “The grape-growers have been facing unseasonal rains and hails for the past few years that have led huge losses to grape-growers. Last year, the unseasonal rains and hails had badly hit the district, causing heavy damage to the vineyards. The CM, during his visit, had assured of waivers of import duty and providing subsidy for importing plastic covers. But the government is yet to provide grant for the purpose. The plastic cover is not affordable to grape-growers as it is costlier. We can save veinyards from hails through use of plastic covers. We had recently urged the state government to look into the issue, but in vain.”

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