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In God’s Own Country Get High On Wine And Liquor Brewed From Tapioca

Soon tipplers in Kerala will be sipping wine and liquors made from locally grown fruits and it will be relatively cheap. By giving license to make fruit-based, low alcohol content beverages, the Kerala government intends to boost cultivation of bananas, pineapple, jackfruit, cashew and nutmeg in the State. The government has also initiated steps to extract liquor from tapioca, for which it has allocated Rs 2 crore in the Budget.  Studies show that 250 ml of spirits can be produced from 1 kg of tapioca at a cost of Rs 48. Meanwhile, a local cooperative bank, Payyavur Service Cooperative Bank has been given permission to produce liquor from cashew apple on the lines of Goan Feni. The new President of the Cooperative Bank, TM Joshy, had mooted the idea of making liquor from cashew apple way back in 1991. “As the state and its people always hesitate to accept new and non-conventional ideas, my attempt had failed then”, said Joshy. As per rough estimates, farmers are expected to make Rs 300 crore per annum and excise department another Rs 300 crore from production and sale of Feni. It is learnt that liquor and wine made from fruits and vegetables sourced locally will be processed and distributed by the Kerala State Beverages Corporation Ltd (Bevco), which has a wide distribution network.