THE JUTE FIBER
Jute is a seasonal agricultural commodity product widely grown in Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam. Raw jute crop is an important cash crop to the farmers. Cultivation of raw jute crop provides not only fibre, which has industrial use, but also jute stick which is an important fuel to the farming community.
It is produced mainly in the states of West Bengal, Bihar, Assam, Orissa, Andhra Pradesh, Tripura and Meghalaya.
Two species of jute commonly cultivated are white and tossa jute. It is second most important vegetable fibre after cotton, in terms of consumption and production. Jute plants are usually 2.5-3.5metre in height. Only a small portion of the plant (approx 4-6%) is utilised for extracting its fibre. The fibre is separated from the plant by tying the plants in bundles and immersing them in running or stagnant water for a sufficient period. The process is called retting. It is a photo reactive plant which needs 120 days for its harvesting.
Temperate, wet and humid climate are conducive for its growth. Being 100% natural, eco-friendly, renewable, biodegradable it causes very little environmental pollution.
INDIAN JUTE INDUSTRY
Jute is an integral part of the Indian Textile Industry. It is one of the major industries in the eastern region, particularly in West Bengal. It provides direct employment to about 2.61 lakh workers and supports the livelihood of around 4million farm families and around 1.4 lakh people engaged in the tertiary sector and allied activities.
Moreover, the Jute Industry also contributes to exports. The Government has included the Jute Sector for special attention in its National Common Minimum Programme. The production process in the Jute Industry goes through a variety of activities, which include cultivation of raw jute, processing of jute fibres, spinning, weaving, bleaching, dyeing, finishing and marketing of both raw jute and its finished products.
Currently production of fibre in India is around 100 lakh bales and about 73 jute mills are operating in the country. Besides, there are small scale industries in the decentralized sector producing handicrafts, decorative, twines, pulp & paper from jute and allied fibres and particle board from jute stick. As per the latest Exim Bank report on the Jute industry, the world market for GTs, currently dominated by synthetics is over 40 million sq m. Immense potential also exists in the USA and Europe.
Components of Jute
WHY JUTE ?
Jute, known as the “Golden fibre”, is a long, soft and golden silky shining fibre extracted from the Corchorus family. Jute is a rain-fed plant thriving in humid climate and requiring minimal use of pesticides, fertilizers or other chemicals. The fibre extracted from the jute is used in making sacking, hessian bags, yarns and other diversified products.
Features of Jute
Jute Import / Export
The jute trade is centered mainly around Bangladesh and the Indian State of West Bengal. The major producing country of jute is Bangladesh, due to its natural fertile soil. Bengal Jute was taken to Europe early in the 17th century by the Dutch and the French and later by the East India Company to Britain. By the 1790s a much larger trade had developed in the Scottish city of Dundee, the European home of jute spinners. Introduced to the British by the East India Company, crude fibre was the bulk still exported from Bengal after 1790, but a thriving trade did not really begin until after 1850 through mechanised processing, to meet rising demand.
Raw jute was imported from Bengal by the British East India Company. British Jute Barons grew rich processing jute and selling manufactured products made from jute. Dundee Jute Barons and the British East India Company began to set up jute mills in Bengal and by 1895 jute industries in Bengal overtook the Scottish jute trade. Many Scots emigrated to Bengal to set up jute factories. More than a billion jute sandbags were exported from Bengal to the trenches during World War I and even more during WWII and also exported to the Americas, especially the United States southern region to bag cotton and coffee. It was used in the fishing, construction, art and in the arms industry. India, China, Thailand, Myanmar also produce Jute in low quantities. India is one of the largest importers of Jute in South Asia and also produces processed jute products in the world, while Bangladesh is the largest producer and exporter of raw jute. Therefore, the local price of raw jute in Bangladesh is the international price. Ironically, the local price of jute goods produced in India set their own price.
As an input to the jute manufacturing (goods) industry, the supply for jute is derived from the demand. Nearly 75% of jute goods are used as packaging materials, burlap, gunny cloth, (hessian), and sacks. Carpet Backing Cloth, the third major jute outlet, is fast growing in importance. Currently, it consists of roughly 15% of the world’s jute goods consumption. The remaining products are carpet yarn, cordage, felts, padding, twine, ropes, decorative fabrics, and heavy duty miscellaneous items for industrial use.