Guwahati, Sep 26 : The traditional Judima wine of the Dimasa tribals of Assam and Nagaland has become the first beverage from northeast India to be awarded the Geographical Indication (GI) tag, officials said on Sunday.
An official of the Assam Agricultural University (AAU) said that the Dimasa tribals prepare the wine from sticky rice and certain herbs.
The AAU researched its historical background, utility, and scientific aspects, in close coordination with the Youth Association for Development and Empowerment (YADEM) of Assam's Dima Hasao district.
A group of AAU scientists including Kishore Kumar Sharma, Gargi Sharma and S. Maibongsa and Gauhati University Professor Uttam Baithari jointly worked on the documentation and other processing of Judima wine to obtain the GI tag.
AAU's Director, Research-Agriculture, Ashok Bhattacharyya said that the GI Registry had shared information last week regarding Judima being granted the official brand mark.
Various organisations, including the YADEM, had long been urging the AAU to take necessary steps to promote the traditional Judima wine and obtain the GI tag for it.
Judima wine is an essential tradition in the life and culture of the Dimasa tribals, who mainly inhabit Dimapur in Nagaland besides Cachar, Karbi Anglong, and Dima Hasao districts of Assam.
The wine has a distinct sweet flavour and takes around one week to prepare while it can be stored for years. Various other tribes in the northeastern region traditionally make various types of wine and country liquor and consumed these among themselves.
Many fruits, horticultural and agricultural products of the northeastern states have already got the GI tags for their speciality but it is for the first time, that a wine has received this marking.
Last week, Manipur's Tamenglong orange and Hathei chilli, grown in the hill districts of Tamenglong and Ukhrul, respectively, and Mizoram's ginger were accorded the GI tag.
The vitamin and phosphorus-rich Tamenglong orange is consumed fresh or in the form of juices, jams, squashes, and syrup while Hathei chilli, either red or green, is cultivated on the slopes of hills under "Jhum" farming (slash and burn method of cultivation).
On getting the GI tag for Mizoram ginger, Chief Minister Zoramthanga, congratulating the state's farmers, had tweeted: "The GI Tagging of Mizoram Ginger will go a long way in fortifying all stakeholders for a better economic stability."