Climate change may make Goa’s favourite drink more expensive soon. Cashew feni is a widely consumed beverage in the state. In 2016, the Goa state government declared the beverage the state heritage drink.
Feni is India’s first indigenous liquor to be granted Geographical Indication status; the process was initiated in 2009 by the drink’s local manufacturers.
Various industry stakeholders are now claiming that cashew feni production will be harmed as a result of the state’s unprecedented drop in cashew production. Moreover, they have indicated that the feni production could drop by nearly 70-80%. The production drop would not only lead to a price hike but also lead to a rise of spurious versions of feni.
According to Mac Vaz, the president of Cashew Feni Distillers and Bottlers Association, the prices of feni would rise as much as 30%. He said, “I am worried about the distillers and bottlers as feni production has dropped. As distilling feni is their bread and butter and they may face loss this year, I feel the government should help them.”
He further added, “The second fear I have is that due to the shortage of feni, some may take to the production of spurious flavoured feni, which may spoil the image and taste of feni. We will have to keep a check on any such activity because feni is our heritage.”
According to another distiller, the production of urrak was affected and could not be sustained. Urrak is an alcoholic beverage obtained through single distillation, and feni is obtained through double distillation.
Govind Girodkar from Shell-Melauli shares a similar story. He says, “I can hardly distil around 16-litre of feni. Cashew feni production has dropped at least by 80-90 per cent. We are facing loss this year, as we have already paid necessary fees to the government and have no business of even that amount.”
References: Deccan Herald
Featured image source: India Ahead