Lower Mustang, Nepal is famous across the country for its well-known trekking circuit and an agricultural climate especially suitable to apple cultivation. Home to the indigenous Thakali ethnic group, the region was made accessible by motor vehicle via the Jomsom-Beni road just ten years ago. While before the road transportation of fresh apples was nearly impossible, necessitating the production of dried apples and apple brandy, now farmers make a lucrative profit off of high demand throughout the country. Additionally, the production of apple brandy has boomed, and the region has four to six distilleries in production at any one time. The recent taxing of these distilleries has caused the government to initiate licensing rules, requiring those who wish to sell apple brandy to register with a license. Though Thakali women are well-known for their roles in local alcohol production and are understood to be the initiators of apple brandy production in the region, these licensing rules effectively prohibit them from tapping into a traditional income source. The emergence and enforcement of licensing rules is an externality of regional development that disproportionately affects women. While commercialization and infrastructure developments in the region are largely beneficial, the consequences must be examined for all parties involved.
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Sachs, Madeline, "The Business of Brandy: The Changing Roles of Women in Apple Brandy Production in Lower Mustang, Nepal" (2017). Independent Study Project (ISP) Collection. 2566.
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