Shillong, September 14 : Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K. Sangma on Thursday announced a plan to promote the fruit wine industry in the state. He said that the government has put in place a robust policy to create 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 Fruit Wine Incubation Centre (NEFWIC) at Institute of Hotel Management Catering Technology & Applied Nutrition (IHMCTAN), Mawkasiang, Mawdiangdiang in New Shillong Township, the Chief Minister said that he was inspired to devise a strategy to promote professional wine making and packaging after encountering a homemade pineapple wine with a simple, handcrafted label on a beer bottle.

“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.

He emphasized the importance of establishing a proper system, policy, and support structure for local fruit winemakers. He said that 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.