Assam’s Judima wine becomes first beverage from Northeast to get GI tag

By Express News Service

GUWAHATI: Assam’s traditional Judima wine has been awarded the Geographical Indication (GI) tag. Made from rice and a certain herb and widely popular among the Dimasa tribals, Judima is the first beverage from the Northeast to get this honour.

Ahead of staking a claim for GI tag, the Assam Agricultural University (AAU) had relied on historical backgrounds while carrying out the drink’s documentation. The varsity worked in close coordination with the Youth Association for Development and Empowerment (YADEM) of Dima Hasao district.

AAU director of research (agriculture) Dr Ashok Bhattacharyya said the Chennai-based GI Registry had shared the information on its website about Judima being granted the honour.

Scientists Dr Kishore Kumar Sharma, Dr Gargi Sharma and Dr S Maibongsa of the AAU and Dr Uttam Baithari, a professor of the Gauhati University, were involved in the application and documentation of Judima.

Earlier, YADEM as well as a women’s organisation, Dimazik, had approached the AAU seeking its support to promote Judima and get GI tag for the drink.

Judima is inseparable from the social and cultural life of the Dimasas. This is the second product from the hill districts of Karbi Anglong and Dima Hasao to get GI tag.

Back in 2007, the ginger of Karbi Anglong was awarded GI tag. The matter was pursued by the then Karbi Anglong district magistrate M Angamuthu who is from Chennai.

Last week, Manipur’s Tamenglong orange and Hathei chilli, grown in the hill districts of Tamenglong and Ukhrul respectively, were granted GI tag.

The vitamin and phosphorus-rich Tamenglong orange is consumed fresh or in the form of juice, jam, squash and syrup. Hathei chilli is believed to be god’s gift. It is either red or green and cultivated on the slopes of hills under jhum farming.