Sat. Jun 22nd, 2024

From TCNEWS

A sociocultural organization known as Igbo Vanguard Group IVG has called on the Government to seize the opportunity provided by National Wine Day to brainstorm and come up with remedies that will curtail the major challenges encountered by palm wine tappers in the country.

On May 25th each year, wine lovers everywhere pour a glass of their favourite wine (whether it is Red or White) to celebrate National Wine Day.

Interacting with our correspondent in Umuahia, the President General of the Organization, Engr Dr. James Nnadozie Uchegbuo, pointed out that palm wine plays an important role in the economy of many communities across Nigeria and many citizens depend on the commodity for survival, but decried that inadequate capital, poor marketing service, inadequate credit facilities, poor storage facilities among others have remained the majority of challenges faced by these tappers who tap palm wine, an alcoholic beverage created from the sap of various species of palm tree such as the palmyra, date palms, and coconut palms.

Uchegbuo who also observed that palm wine tappers are not only struggling to find fresh recruits, but the industry although one of the oldest industry is still finding its feet in terms of attracting meaningful investment.

“Palm wine tapping, an indigenous technology which has proved to be an efficient and effective means of food processing in the tropical world, particularly in South Eastern Nigeria, should be encouraged and standardize so as to restructure the efficient and effective production of palm wine in the southeast region.

“Palm wine tapping has contributed and it is still contributing to the cultural and economic growth of the Southern region. The consumer demand for palm wine is very strong and also the pay is becoming encouraging unlike before when it was low, given to the hazard involved which will see a tapper scaling about 50-foot tree multiple times a day with no safety net”, Uchegbuo observed.

He suggested to the traditional institution in the Southeast region to make palmwine the region’s main social drink, and mandatory offer at events like weddings and concerts.

Uchegbuo maintained that although the proliferation of beer and foreign liquor has penetrated the region but it will not curb the demand for palmwine, the traditional drink.

According to him once the able-bodied youths engage in the palm wine tapping industry and make the wine readily available, most of the people will not feel the high cost of beer and other wines that are skyrocketing on a daily basis.

By NWAMARA

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