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India's area under jute declines; output to fall
17
Jul '12
Owing to a reduction in area under cultivation, India’s raw jute production is expected to plummet by about 18 percent from last fiscal’s 10.25 million bales of 332.5 kg each to 9.3 million bales during the current fiscal.
 
Farmers in the country are shifting to cultivating other crops as they did not receive good remunerative prices for their jute fibre. Jute growers in West Bengal’s Murshidabad district even resorted to burning their crop during last season, as their crop was not fetching good price.
 
Since 2000, the land under jute cultivation in India has fallen by 22 percent. During last fiscal itself, the crop cultivation acreage contracted by around six percent from 2010-11’s 910,000 hectares to 860,000 hectares. 
 
To address the issue, in March this year, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs hiked the minimum support price (MSP) of raw jute from Rs. 1,675 per quintal to Rs. 2,200 per quintal. However, according to industry experts, even this 31 percent increase in MSP would not help in holding back the slump in production during the current fiscal.
 
Apart from non-remunerative prices, another reason behind contraction in area under jute cultivation is that traditional jute cultivating families are fragmenting following introduction of central social sector schemes such as the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme.
 
Jute is mainly grown in seven states in India namely, Orissa, Tripura, West Bengal, Assam, Bihar, Meghalaya and Andhra Pradesh.
 

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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