Dehradun, 30 June 2005
The Uttaranchal government is likely to bring its separate wine policy in the wake of growing demand for fruit-based wine at home and abroad.
“There is great need for a new wine policy for the state. Around 25-30 per cent of the fruits get wasted due to poor storage and inadequate processing. The wine industry in India provides possibilities for value addition to fruits, which could be cultivated on a large scale as a measure to agri-diversification offering higher incomes to farmers,” a top official told Business Standard.
According to a study of the horticulture department, fruits-based wines have tremendous export potential. The establishment of wine policy would enhance more investors in the state as help in increasing excise revenue generation.
The study further stated that wine industry also offers fair opportunities for increased domestic production to counter large import of wine and generate huge employment opportunities for the state.
The study also noted that Uttaranchal’s annual production of fruits stood at 3.54 lakh tons under 1.90 lakh hectares of land. The productivity is 2.56 tons/hectares, it said.
Among the fruits, Uttaranchal produces 36,708 tonnes of pears in an area of 12,225 hectare with commonly grown “stone pear” being branded as suitable for wine making.
The area under plums is 9,843 hectare which provides an annual production of 12,748 metric tons to the state. The varieties such as “Satsuma” and “Victoria Red” are found suitable for wine production.
The plum wines are one of the healthiest wines due to highest antioxidants contents, the study said. The state has also abundance of apple crop.
It produces 59,329 metric tons of apples in 51,025 hectare land. European varieties like Cox’s o range pippin, Jonathan, Macintosh, Rymer, Delicious are easily available in the state, which are suitable for apple cider.
Besides this, there is also possibility to make cereal based (Rabi/Malt) wines that have very a high calcium content.
News Source: http://www.business-standard.com