Mizoram amends liquor law for more wine

Aizawl: Cheers to thousands of farmers across Mizoram, who grow apple, ginger, passion fruit, peach and pear, as the state assembly on Thursday amended the liquor prohibition law to enable to process these crops into wine.

The Mizoram Assembly unanimously passed the Mizoram Liquor Total Prohibition (Amendment) Bill, 2011, introduced by law minister Lalsawta.

Earlier in 2007, the prohibition law had been amended to allow wine processing from grapes and guavas.

The law minister, while introducing the amendment bill, said grape growers in Hnahlan and Champhai in eastern Mizoram have hugely benefited from the amendment of Liquor Act as grape, when processed into wine, is much more sellable than as fruits or juice.

As apple, ginger, passion fruit, peach and pear can be processed into wine just like grapes.

The amendment bills aims at large-scale commercialisation of the said crops. In such way, the farmers could get more profits from their fruits of labour,” Lalsawta said.

Horticulture experts said Mizoram has an ideal climatic and soil condition to grow grapes and other horticultural crops like mentioned above.

The income of grape growers in Hnahlan and Champhai areas in eastern Mizoram bordering Myanmar has skyrocketed since wine produced from their grapes, said Zawlaidi, hit the market since October last year.

Before the amendment in 2007, the Mizoram Liquor Prohibition Act had prevented them from large-scale commercialisation of their products and wine-making from grapes.

The liquor prohibition law was introduced in this Christian-dominated state in Northeast India from February 20, 1997, after much pressure from the powerful church organisations, spearheaded by the Mizoram Presbyterian Church, the state’s largest Christian denomination. (UNI)