Maha wine makers hail setting up of grape board

Written by Sanjay Jog | Mumbai | Updated: Jan 4 2009, 04:22am hrs
Maharashtras wine industry has received a major boost as the centre has cleared the formation of Indian Grape Processing Board (IGPB) at Pune.

Maharashtra produces 12 lakh tonne of grapes annually and of which, nearly 15,000 to 20,000 tonne are exclusively grown for wine making. The board will foster the sustainable development of the Indian Wine Industry and will focus on Research & Development, Extension, Quality up-gradation market research and information, domestic and international promotion of Indian wine.

The expected outcomes of the Board will be to increase awareness and capacity building among farmers, processors and other stakeholders resulting in increased productivity, reduced wastage and improved quality of grapes and wine conforming to

global standards.

The wine industry has upheld the centres decision and said it will help promote wines not only in India but also abroad. There are 58 wineries in the state while only four wineries are other parts of country. as compared to a paltry number of merely four wineries in 2001. Out of total grape wine production in India, Maharashtra accounts for almost 97 per cent of Indias total wine produce.

In FY08, the total wine production in India was 2.25 crore litres, out of which Maharashtras had the lions share of a whopping 2.11 crore litres. Maharastra takes a clear lead in the total number of wineries in India. Out of the 62 wineries across the country, 58 wineries are in Maharashtra alone. Out of which 30 wineries in Nashik district, 11 in Pune, 10 in Sangli, 3 in Solapur, 3 in Buldhana and one in Usmanabad.

Maharashtras wine industry has welcomed. A leading wine producer, on a condition of anonimity, told FE Maharashtra houses maximum number of wineries. However, on the lines of Maharashtra, other states such as Uttar Pradesh, Himachal pradesh, Mizoram and Karnataka have already framed their respective wine policies. Similar initiative is being taken by the neighbouring Andhra Pradesh.

According to the state government sources, the total investment in the state wine industry has grown four times since the last five years from Rs 77.75 crore in 2004 to Rs 328.97 crore in 2008.