With wine drinking becoming an increasing trend both in towns and villages in Sikkim local Self Help Groups (SHG’s) are here to seize the opportunity.
The collective efforts of three SHGs under Khamdong Block in East Sikkim have ventured into making wine from Sikkim’s native oranges, plums and pears. In an attempt to supply the right local wines to pair up the palate, twenty five members of Sadichha SHG, Kokomendho SHG, Rose SHG of Lower Khamdong have produced flavored organic wines within 17 days since they started the venture on November 5, 2011.
A 350 ml bottle of ‘organic wine’ is being sold at Rs.90 and has attracted a sizeable number of buyers at the SHG’s stall put up at the venue of Public Information Campaign organized by the Press Information Bureau at Khamdong BAC complex. Leela, a member of the group says, ‘We could have made more superior quality wines if we had some more days’. She also expected government agencies to come forward to help market and promote the organic drink prepared by them. It can prove to be a fruitful venture of the local villagers in this era of entrepreneurship where more and more women are coming up with their cottage industries.
Self Help Groups, formed in the villages has taken up the government’s mantra of self reliance and self dependency for which various training programmes are being operated throughout the state. The SHG’s of Khamdong has a long way before itself but this venture can be seen as an initiative of enthusiastic women force of the state. The people, farmers across state before availing certification on organic farming has already started to produce numerous products with organic labels which has resulted in fetching handsome price inclusive of wide marketing within and outside state. Once organic certification comes into force then it is well imagined that the products of state possessing certification will be widely in demand in and outside state along with fetching good price compared to the existing ones.
The production of wine is just an example of organic product’s demand in state but soon the certification which is likely to be introduced as informed by the Minister AH, LF&VS DN Thakarpa during the recent meet at Upper Burtuk constituency will boom the agriculture sector of state making the farmers economically sustainable along with increase in state revenue in days ahead. The state government and the department have been taking considerable steps towards making Sikkim an organic state by 2015 as the international market today demands for organic products to remain healthy and strong as it used to be in early days.
The use of pesticides, fertilizers world wide did increase the productivity of the agri products but on the other hand also decreased the health standard of humans considering which the organic farming, production across globe in today’s era have been boosted. The government and the department concerned are not only providing every facility under organic framing but also have looked out for marketing of the products too.
The cold storage facility, soil testing facility, marketing, outlet at major areas like airports, railways by the government will also add more charm and encouragement to the producers of organic products.