An Initiative to Double the income of Jute Farmers

An Initiative to Double the income of Jute Farmers

Improved Cultivation and Advanced Retting Exercise for Jute (Jute – ICARE) which was launched in 2015 and recently developed microbial-assisted retting among farmers intensively in a few blocks in West Bengal and Assam on pilot basis. The improved agronomic practices include: line sowing of jute using seed drill to increase yield by 10-15%; weed management in jute by wheel hoeing/nail weeder instead of hand weeding for reducing the cost of weeding; and distribution of quality certified seeds at 50% subsidy.

Central Research Institute for Research in Jute and Allied Fibres (CRIJAF) developed a microbial consortium called SONA, to enhance the quantity of fibre yield by 20% as well as its quality in terms of grade by at least 1 ½ grades. Also, under the project, regular SMSes are sent in regional languages on improved practices in jute cultivation, to registered farmers. On an average over 50 SMS-es are sent to each farmer at various intervals during the project. Supply of Seed drills and Nail weeders is undertaken for demonstration purpose.

As a result of these interventions, the earnings of jute farmers have increased by more than Rs.10,000 per hectare.

In view of the encouraging results of the Jute ICare pilot project, a joint meeting was held on 22.03.2017 by honorable minister of textiles and minister of agriculture for extending the reach of Jute I-Care programme through the State Agriculture Extension machinery. Representatives from state governments, agricultural research agencies, National Jute Board, Jute Corporation of India etc., participated in the meeting.

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