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Jute Industry

Context:

Member of Parliament (MP) from Barrackpore constituency in West Bengal met the Union Textile minister about issues concerning jute farmers, workers and the overall jute industry.

Relevance:

GS III- Major crops-cropping patterns in various parts of the country

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. About Jute “The Golden Fiber”
  2. About Jute Cultivation Overview
  3. Advantages of Jute
  4. Disadvantages of Jute
  5. Importance of Jute Industry

About Jute “The Golden Fiber”

  • Jute is a natural fiber with a golden, soft, long, and silky shine. It is the cheapest fiber procured from the skin of the plant’s stem.
  • Because of its colors and high cash value, Jute is known as a golden fiber. Hence, the Golden Fibre Revolution in India is related to jute production.
  • Natural fibers are the hair like raw materials directly obtained from vegetable, animal or mineral source.
  • Jute is the second in the worlds production of textile fibers after Cotton.
  • After cotton, jute is the most important vegetable fiber in consumption, production, usage, and availability. During the industrial revolution, jute started being used as a raw material in the fabric industry and until today, the processed jute is used for making strong threads and jute products.
  •  Jute is a natural vegetable fiber under the category of bast fibers like flax, hemp, kenaf and ramie.
  •  Since ancient times, it has been traditionally grown in the eastern part of the Indian subcontinent, which make up of the present day West Bengal of India and plains of Bangladesh.
  •  Bangladesh, India and China are the leading producers of Jute.
  • Jute is an annually renewable plant belonging to the genus Corchorus of the order Tiliacea.
  • The first jute mill in India was set up in the year 1855 at Rishra, near Kolkata.
  • To promote and popularize jute diversification work, National Jute Board, Ministry of Textiles, acts as the apex body for promotion of the products in India and abroad.

  About Jute Cultivation Overview;-

  • Land = Jute can grow in wide range of soil but fertile loamy alluvial soil is better suitable.
  • Soil pH = 6 -7.5 is ideal soil pH where jute is cultivated.
  • Climate = Relative humidity between 40-90% and temperature between 17° C and 41°C, along with well distributed rainfall over 1200 mm is ideal for cultivation and growth of jute.
  • Harvesting & Retting = Jute crop can be harvested between 100 – 120 days. After harvesting the jute bundles are kept in the field for 2 -3 days to allow leaf shedding. The bundles of jute stems after defoliation are placed in retting tank in ‘Jak’ and weighed down under water and places at a depth of 10 cm.
  • Retting is a microbial process by which the fibre from the woody core (stick) is loosened. Bacteria and fungi act upon the soft tissues of the stem, which on dissolution makes it easy to separate the fibre from the core (stick). At normal temperature of 34° C, it taken generally 8-10 days for complete retting.
  • Jute Grading = Jute cultivation is confined to West Bengal, Eastern Bihar, Assam, Orissa, Tripura and Andhra Pradesh where mostly Mesta (In trade and industry both the Jute and Mesta fibre together is known as Raw jute) is grown. Out of these states, West Bengal, Bihar and Assam contribute about 80% of the total production.

    Above image is of Top Jute Producing States is Highlighted.

Advantages of Jute

  • Great Anti-Static Property.
  • Low Thermal Conductivity.
  • 100% Biodegradable, so it is environmental friendly fiber like cotton.
  • Cheap in market.
  • Jute can be widely used in Agriculture sector , Textile Sector, Woven sector, Non-woven sector.
  • Jute fiber can be easily blended in Natural and synthetic fiber.

 Disadvantages of Jute

  •  If Jute is wetted it loses its strength.
  • Create shade effect and becomes yellowish if sunlight is used.
  • The crease resistance (resistant to normal wrinkling) of Jute is low.

Importance of Jute Industry

  • Jute Geotextile is (a variety of jute available in woven and non-woven fabrics) used in erosion control, separation, filtration and drainage in civil engineering work, and agricultural uses.
  • Jute Geotextile also has application in rural road pavement construction and agro plant mulching.
  • Diversification of jute products has opened up large opportunity for employment generation.
    • Ex of diversified jute products include fancy jute bags, Jute soft luggage, Jute footwear, Jute door panels, Jute check sarees, Jute wide range of furnishing, Jute gift items, Jute table lamps, Jute floor decor, Jute wall decor etc.,
  • Jute bags have porosity, easily it can withstand the high temperature and are much stronger than the poly sacks.
  • Jute bags can be recycled and reused and can be easily repaired compared to others.

Government Steps for Promoting Jute Industry

  • Jute Corporation of India (JCI) procures raw jute at Minimum Support Price (MSP), fixed on the basis of recommendation of the commission for Agricultural Cost and Prices (CACP), from jute growers to safeguard their interest.
  • Incentive Scheme for Acquisition of Plants and Machinery (ISAPM):- Launched in 2013, it aims to facilitate modernization in existing and new jute mills and up gradation of technology in existing jute mills .
  • Jute-ICARE (Jute Improved Cultivation and Advanced Retting Exercise):– This pilot project launched in 2015 is aimed at addressing the difficulties faced by the jute cultivators by providing them certified seeds at subsidized rates, and by popularizing several newly developed retting technologies under water limiting conditions.
  • The National Jute Board (NJB) implements various schemes for market development, worker’s welfare and promotion of diversification and exports.
  • In order to boost demand in the Jute sector, the Government has also imposed Anti-Dumping duty on import of jute goods from Bangladesh and Nepal.

Source: Indian Express

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