PANAJI: Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant on Wednesday told the state assembly that he has written to the embassies of some foreign countries with a request to popularise and import ‘Feni’ to their countries.
Feni, a drink commonly and socially consumed by the local residents of the coastal state, was notified as the state heritage drink by the Goa government in 2016.
Cashew feni is also the country’s first indigenous liquor to obtain the Geographical Indication tag, a process which was initiated by local manufacturers of the brew in 2009.
“In order to promote the Heritage Drink ‘Feni’, I have written to the embassies of some foreign countries with a request to popularise and import feni in their countries,” Sawant said, while presenting the Budget.
Sawant said that he has also requested other states to recognise ‘Goan Feni’ as ‘Country Liquor’ in their State Excise Policies, so that the levy of excise duty in their states is at par with country liquor and not IMFL.
During the Assembly’s Monsoon Session, Goa BJP legislator Deviya Rane demanded that the government allow the export of Goan cashew feni, a step which can boost cashew cultivation and bring cashew apples into use.
Rane, an MLA from Poriem constituency in North Goa, has said that it has demand from foreign countries.
“If we get permission to sell it in other states and internationally as well as it has wide scope and demand, it will help to increase the production and thus, new distilleries will come. This will ultimately help the cashew farmers,” she said.
“I went abroad recently and when people there came to know I am from Goa, they said you are so lucky, you have beaches and you have Feni… but they also lamented that they do not get it in their country. They also asked me ‘why your country doesn’t export it’,” she said.