India is the world’s biggest producer of jute , followed by Bangladesh. West Bengal, Odisha, Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura, and Andhra Pradesh are the main growing regions for jute.
India's jute industry has been around for 150 years. Jute production is a labour intensive industry. In West Bengal alone, it employs roughly 2 lakh people, and there are 4 lakh people employed nationwide.
The Golden Fibre
The second-most common natural fibre in the world is jute. High tensile strength, thermal and acoustic insulation, breathability, low extensibility, simplicity of blending with both synthetic and natural fibres, and antistatic characteristics are only a few of its qualities. In addition to replacing glass wool for insulation, jute may be used to make geotextiles, activated carbon powder, wall and floor coverings, clothing, rugs, ropes, gunny bags, handicrafts, curtains, carpet backings, paper, sandals, carry bags, and furniture.
India's jute sector faces tough competition in the global market from nations such as Bangladesh, Thailand, Brazil, Egypt, etc. who provide relatively inexpensive jute goods.
Competition from substitutes, Items produced from synthetic fibres have replaced jute-based products. Hemp and plastic bags, for example, have severely impacted the jute business in India.
A significant portion of the jute industry is outfitted with obsolete equipment. This leads not just to high manufacturing costs but also to poor productivity.
1947 was a difficult year for the jute sector in India as a result of the partition of the country. After partition, around 80% of the jute-growing regions moved to East Pakistan (Bangladesh), whereas nearly 90% of the jute mills remained in India.
Jute Corporation Of India
The Jute Corporation of India Ltd was established in 1971 with the main purpose of strengthening the jute industry by safeguarding the interests of jute producers, who were mostly small-scale farmers. The corporation has carved out a place for itself over the years by effectively implementing the minimum support price and Ministry of textiles development initiatives for jute farmers.
The 1987 Jute Packaging Materials Act
Approximately 4 lakh employees and 40 lakh agricultural families have their interests protected by the government under the Jute Packaging Materials (JPM) Act.
To safeguard the jute industry from competition from the plastic packaging industry, the Jute Packaging Materials (Compulsory Use in Packing Commodities) Act was passed in 1987.
In October 2020, the government decided that 100% food grains and 20% sugar will be mandatorily packaged in jute bags .
Jute Geo-Textiles (JGT)
The Technical Textiles Mission, which comprises Jute Geo-Textiles, has been authorised by the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA). JGT is one of the most important diversified jute products. It may be used in a variety of industries, including civil engineering, stopping soil erosion, building pavement for roads, and protecting river banks.
To encourage transparency in the jute industry, an e-government effort was started in December 2016. It provides an integrated platform for procurement of sacking by Government agencies.