BEER AND AGRICULTURE

Beer is an all-natural, simple low alcohol beverage made from Barley Malt and hops, both of which are natural agricultural sources and needs no preservatives. Beer is generally pasteurized.

It is the world’s oldest beverage that exists since 6th millennium BC. Even before civilization, peopleof ancient age were brewing beer using wild grains. Some scientist claim that beer is the reason early man adopted a society based on farming, around 10,000 years ago.Experts claim that it was the prospect of the brew that drove the desire to settle down and start a farm.With industrial revolution, mankind has developed various skills and techniquesfor simplifying beer brewing process, making beer one of the most consumed beverages in the world.

Beer is mainly made fromfour main ingredient malted barley, hops,water and yeast and is a product of brewing and fermentation of starch that is commonly derived from Barley. Barley is grown on dry lands, which are not suited for cultivation of any other type of crop. It is cultivated as a summer crop in temperate areas and as a winter crop in tropical areas. The ingredients used in making beer make it rich source for daily metabolic needs.

From barley and hops in the field, to the glass of beer in a pub, the beer industry has a major impact on state economicsand is a source of revenue for many Indian farmers. Out of total barley produced in India, 40% (5-7 lakh tons) is being used by beer manufacturers and approximately one lakh farmers are being benefited. The industry is generating revenue of approximately INR 840 crores for the farmers, annually. Furthermore, entry of several international manufactures into the Indian Beer market haspresented a big opportunity for farmers producing quality barley in India with better yields and water conservation.

Given the size of the industry, there are several initiatives being taken by beer manufactures in India to educate farmers regarding barley production and train them to implement best practices. Additionally, several research and development initiatives are being undertaken by the Indian Agricultural Research Institute as well as leading beer manufacturers in India.