From our correspondent
Itagar, May 7: Aruchal Pradesh has earned the distinction of a wine producing state with the launch of ‘Arun Kiwi Wine’ a brand produced Pune-based Hill Crest Foods & Beverages Pvt Ltd Pune after inking a MoU with Aruchal Pradesh Horticultural Produce Marketing & Processing Board (APHPM&PB).“A good beginning for the state which has immense potential in horticulture,” commented Chief Minister bam Tuki while formally launching the product here Wednesday evening.He said that with the marketing of the wine going global in the near future, Kiwi farmers will have a good income generating avenue besides earning revenue for the state government.Tuki especially hailed the concept of producing wine from other available fruits like orange, pineapple, apple, passion fruit, etc.“In such case, our farmers would benefit and as processing units come up, our youths, particularly women, will get employment,” he said while adding that besides wine, production of juice can also be targeted from the fruits grown abundantly in the state.Tuki accepted the suggestion for a wine policy and advised the Horticulture department to draft a policy by taking into account success stories of other states and aligning it with the potentials and peculiarities of Aruchal Pradesh.”After a few years we should be in a position to exporting Arun Kiwi,” Tuki exuded hope and advocated for popularizing the product through publicity saying that increase in sale of the product would indirectly help the kiwi farmers of the state.Terming the venture as a source of sustaible development, the chief minister said that through such ventures, every family would be able to earn handsomely.He also stressed on the need for framing a wine policy for the state as suggested by an expert from Bangalore during the launch programme and directed the concerned minister to prepare the draft in close coordition of the departmental officials in due consultation with other wine producing states of the country.Tuki also suggested for keeping provisions for incentives for the local farmers.Stating that fruit wine could be a money spinner for the state with innumerable horticulture potential, the chief minister advocated for organizing workshop on fruit wine in other parts of the country to attract market linkages.The APHPM&PB has signed the MoU with the company on December 2013. The product was initially launched at Pune in September last year.The brand me bears the me of the state, the largest kiwi fruit producing state in the country. Kiwi fruits cultivated in Aruchal Pradesh are of high aroma and flavour, thus producing a very crisp and fresh kiwi wine.Rhythm Winery, a part of the Hill Crest Foods & Beverages Pvt Ltd, is sourcing over 2.5 tonnes of kiwi fruits from Aruchal for brewing the wine.According to the MoU, the revenues from this business will go to the APHPM&PB while Rhythm Winery is only a service provider working on project basis.The state government had finced the full cost of the project amounting to Rs 18, 84, 000 as per project proposal submitted by Hill Crest.Agriculture and Horticulture Minister Chow Mein, while terming the occasion as ‘historic’ said that a green revolution has already started in the state with many youths embarking on horticulture and agriculture farming.Mein said that despite surplus production of fruits, huge quantities went unutilized or consumed due to lack of use. But with conversion of the surplus produces into beverages, farmers will make optimum use of their products economically.“Today a silent revolution is going on in Aruchal Pradesh and in 3 to 5 years the economical face of our state will change completely,” he said citing the example of entrepreneurs and farmers taking seriously cultivation of rubber, tea, large cardamom, etc.Mein pointed that with wine-making being introduced now, farmers will take cultivation of kiwi, orange, pineapple, apple, etc as profit making business.“The beginning of a changed Aruchal has just begun!” he added.Mein appreciated progressive rubber planter Likha Maj who was also present on the occasion and termed him as the pioneer in kiwi cultivation in the state.Maj had initiated kiwi cultivation at Joram Top in Lower Subansiri district during 1999 in an area of five hectares. Since 2001 cultivation of kiwi in the state was started by the department on mission mode.The minister also suggested the authorities of Hill Crest Foods & Beverages to reduce the percentage of alcohol in the product which is presently 12 per cent.