The homemade Judima rice wine of Assam’s Dimasa tribe has become the first traditional brew in all of Northeast India to bag a geographical indication or GI tag.
The official of the Assam Agricultural University explaimed that the Dimasa people prepare the wine from sticky rice and certain herbs.
The Assam Agricultural University has researched its historical background and scientific aspects in close coordination with the Youth Association for Development and Empowerment (YADM) of Assam’s Dima Hasao district.
A Judima wine GI tag is awarded to products associated with this specific geographical origin. Award of a GI sign not only helps in tracing the origins of products but also helps in confirming authenticity and marketing of indigenous specialties.
Subodh Maibongsha, principal scientist and head of the Krishi Vikash Kendra (Agriculture Development Centre) at Diphu in Assam said that “We are elated at the recognition Judima has got. It has been the outcome of nearly three years of efforts”.
While the efforts are underway to get the GT tag for some other traditional alcoholic beers made by different tribes in the region, Judima is the first such drink to get recognition.
Maibongsa and his colleagues at Youth Association for Development and Empowerment had applied for the Assam GI tag list in late 2018 with the aim of providing the brew global recognition.
Uttam Baithari a professor of history in Guwahati University, who is associated with the process, said, “Following suggestions that it would be better to apply through a women’s group (since Judima is traditionally made by women), we formed a women’s group called Dimajik Hasao and reapplied for the tag in 2019.”
He further stated that “We would have got the GI recognition the same year, but because of the Covid-19 pandemic and the associated restrictions, it took several months, and finally we have got it this month.”