Vijay Mallya may be approached for Moha liquor in Mah

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Mumbai, Aug 26 (UNI) Liquor baron Vijay Mallya is likely to be wooed by the Maharashtra government to procure moha flower, grown in abundance in the state, for brewing liquor.

Forest Minister Babanrao Pachpute told UNI here today the Vidharbha region in the state had more than 4,35,000 moha trees, each of which produce on an average 15 kg flower and seven kg seeds in a season of two-and-a-half-month.

He said each kg of the flower could yield 350 ml of concentrate that could be diluted to make one 750 ml bottle of liquor.

The minister had during the budget session of the state legislature appealed to people in the region to take up the project. If moha industry gets a success, it would cross even the sugar or grapes industry which is considered as dominant in the state, he said.

Mr Pachpute said there had been a positive response from the region with four entrepreneurs offering to take up moha liquor brewing. ''For any reason if this does not materialise, there is a proposal to approach liquor baron Dr Mallya through NCP supremo and Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar and invite him to take up the venture'', he added.

He said the moha seeds could be used for preparing oil and soaps and this will give a good employment to the tribals.

Speaking about the Palas tree, he said there are nine crore palas trees and its flowers could generate a medicinal tea which will be beneficial for diabetes, blood pressure and lung disease patients.

Mr Pachpute said the forest department along with tribal department, industries are chalking out a plan to teach the youths to collect various forest products like tendu leaf, honey, and sell them after processing.

UNI JM/VK RN SP RN1626

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