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Govt apathy killing raw jute production leading to heavy imports
Feb '09
Raw jute imports have been increasing due to a drop in production, owing to crops lost in the Koshi river floods, power shortage and labour disputes. Jute crop is estimated to fallen by as much as 20 percent, last year leading to heavy imports to feed the Jute factories. In 2008, Nepal had imported raw jute to the tune of Rs 3,500 million.

However, in the first two months of the current year, Rs 2,800 million worth of raw jute has already been shipped in to Nepal. The country is able to produce only 30 percent of its jute processing capacity requirement, with production dropping by 10 percent in the last one decade. Though production had improved marginally in 2007, the floods of 2008, wiped out most of the gains.

Fibre2fashion spoke to Mr Raj Kumar Golecha, President of the Jute Manufactures Association, to ask him the reasons for these heavy imports. Mr Golecha replied by saying, “There are many reasons, but chief among them are scarcity of seeds and fertilizers, lack of technical know, Koshi floods, unfavourable climatic conditions, no government encouragement and cost of cultivation is high and productivity is low”.

On his expectations from the government to boost jute production, Mr Golecha said, “We expect institutional effort for jute research & development, making it mandatory to pack food grains in jute bags, soft loans and subsidies, approval to participate in institutional buying tenders in India, flexible labour laws like in India and Bangladesh and uninterrupted power supply to jute Industries.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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