Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K. Sangma on Thursday said that the Government has chart out a plan to promote fruit wine industry in the State. He said that a robust policy has been put in place to promote a thriving ecosystem that links tourism, agriculture, entrepreneurship, and job creation through the promotion of local fruit winemakers.
Speaking at the launch of North East Wine Incubation Centre at Mawdiangdiang in Shillong, the Chief Minister recalled moment when he encountered a homemade pineapple wine with a simple, handcrafted label on a beer bottle, which stemmed the idea to devise strategy to promote professional wine making and packaging.
“Despite the unimpressive packaging, the wine inside was exceptional. This experience, combined with discussions and observations, led to the realization that there is immense potential in the fruit wine industry in Meghalaya,” the Chief Minister added.
“This entire activity that we are trying to do, it links tourism, agriculture, and job creation. It has the potential to unlock a vast capacity that is lying dormant,” he added.
On comprehensive framework to promote the industry, the Chief Minister informed on the importance of establishing a proper system, policy, and support structure for local fruit winemakers. This initiative is not only aimed at boosting the wine industry but also at benefiting farmers, tourists, and entrepreneurs in the state.
“I am in public life to make a positive difference in even a single individual’s life. That is my driving force,” he said, while adding, “The activity that we are trying to do here is going to make a huge positive difference in people’s lives.”
He further envisioned to make Meghalaya the fruit wine capital of the country. He expressed confidence in achieving this goal with the collaboration of all stakeholders involved.
He hoped that the wine incubation centre will provide a platform for aspiring entrepreneurs to test and utilize machinery, encouraging innovation and economic growth through wine making.
Addressing concerns about licensing and accessibility for winemakers, he assured the public that the licensing fees would remain nominal. He also informed that the Government is in the process to streamline the registration process to facilitate ease of access for local winemakers.
The inauguration of the wine incubation centre, which is first of its kind in the entire North East, was also attended by Agriculture Minister Ampareen Lyngdoh and Excise Minister Kyrmen Shylla.