Karnataka to allow beetroot for liquor production

May 10th, 2011 - 9:24 pm ICT by IANS  

Bangalore, May 10 (IANS) Beetroot growers in Karnataka can now say cheers as the state will allow its use to manufacture liquor.

“This will encourage farmers as beetroot can be grown twice a year and needs less water compared to sugarcane,” Excise Minister M.P. Renukacharya told reporters here.

Karnataka annually produces over 41,000 tonnes of beetroot on a crop area of around 2,400 hectares. The value of the crop is estimated at over Rs.20 crore.

Since beetroot has higher sugar content, it could be an alternative for molasses used in liquor production, he said.

Renukacharya, however, rejected the demand of distillers to allow the use of foodgrain such as wheat and barley to produce liquor.

“This cannot be allowed as it will lead to foodgrain shortage,” he said.

Renukacharya said excise revenue for 2011-12 had been set at Rs.9,200 crore as against over Rs.7,500 crore netted in 2010-11.

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