Jute is a natural fibre popularly known as the golden fibre. It is one of the cheapest and the strongest of all natural fibres and considered as fibre of the future. It is a long, soft, shiny fibre that can be spun into coarse, strong threads. Jute plant is generally 6 to 12 feet in length. The jute plants fibres lie beneath the bank and surround the woody central part of the steam. Jute is second only to cotton in world’s production of textile fibres. India is the leading country in jute production in the world followed by Bangladesh and China.
Jute is a rainy season crop, sown between month of March to May, according to rainfall and type of land. It is a 100-120 days crop and is harvested from July to September depending upon timings of sowings.
India is the largest producer of jute goods in the world, while Bangladesh is the largest cultivator of raw jute. The cultivation of Jute in India is mainly confined to the eastern region states such as West Bengal, Bihar, Assam, Tripura, Meghalaya, Odisha and Uttar Pradesh. Nearly 50% of total raw jute production in India alone figures in West Bengal.
The Jute industry occupies an important place in the national economy of India. It is one of the major industries in the eastern region, particularly in West Bengal. Jute, the golden fibre, meets all the standards for ‘safe’ packaging in view of being a natural, renewable, biodegradable and eco-friendly product. It is estimated that that the jute industry provides direct employment to 0.37 million workers in organized mills and in diversified units including tertiary sector and allied activities and supports the livelihood of around 4.0 million farm families. In addition there are a large number of persons engaged in the trade of jute.
As on 1st Jan’18, there are 97 composite jute mills out of which the state of West Bengal has 71 jute mills with Andhra Pradesh having 12 mills, Uttar Pradesh 3 mills, Bihar 3 mills, Orissa 3 mills, Assam 2 mills, Chhattisgarh 2 mills and Tripura 1 Jute Mill. The first Jute Mill was established at Rishra, on the River Hooghly near Kolkata, in 1855 by Mr. Gerge Acland. Mr. George Acland brought jute spinning machinery from Dundee (U.K).
Regarding pricing issue, Minimum Support Price (MSP) for raw jute is fixed every year to protect the interest of farmers. Jute Corporation of India (JCI) is the Price Support Agency of the Govt. of India for jute. While fixing prices of different grades, the issue of discouraging production of lower grade jute and encouraging production of higher grades jute are taken into consideration so as to motivate farmers to produce higher grade jute. As per 4th estimate, India’s total raw jute production has been pegged at 96.28 lacs bales during the 2017-18.
Raw Jute Contract Specification