The strong threads made from jute fibre are used worldwide in sackcloth - and help sustain the livelihoods of millions of small farmers.
Jute is known as the ‘Golden Fibre’ due to its golden brown colour and its importance. In terms of usage, production and global consumption, jute is second only to cotton. It is the fibre used to make hessian sacks and garden twine. Jute is environmentally friendly as well as being one of the most affordable fibres; jute plants are easy to grow, have a high yield per acre and, unlike cotton, have little need for pesticides and fertilizers. Jute is a bast fibre, like flax and hemp, and the stems are processed in a similar way. Jute is extracted from the bark of the white jute plant, Corchorus capsularis and to a lesser extent from tossa jute (C. olitorius). Jute fibres are very long (1 to 4 metres), silky, lustrous and golden brown in colour. In contrast to most textile fibres which consist mainly of cellulose, jute fibres are part cellulose, part lignin. Cellulose is a major component of plant fibres while lignin is a major component of wood fibre; jute is therefore partly a textile fibre and partly wood.
What actions do you propose?
The actions are:
- First 1month, jute awareness program in local level, regional level and national level of the country.
- Then, small landholder farmers offered an opportunity to join jute fibre group.
- Formation of the jute fibre farmers groups, at least 25 person/group.
- Trained these groups 7 days about the knowledge of jute plant cultivation, harvesting, fibre production and its market where they sell jute fibre.
Jute is extracted from the bark of the white jute plant (Corchorus capsularis) and to a lesser extent from tossa jute (C. olitorius). It is a natural fibre with golden and silky shine and hence called the Golden Fibre. Jute is an annual crop taking about 120 days (April/May-July/August) to grow.
It thrives in tropical lowland areas with humidity of 60% to 90%. Jute is a rain-fed crop with little need for fertilizer or pesticides. Yields are about 2 tonnes of dry jute fibre per hectare. Jute is one of the most affordable natural fibres and considered second only to cotton in amount produced and variety of uses of vegetable fibres.
The environmental impacts of jute production are much less harmful as compared to the production of synthetic fibers. Jute growers use fairly small amount of chemical fertilisers and herbicides. Jute yields 5 -10 MT of dry matter per acre of land. About 1 MT of dry matter is put back to the soil in the form of leaves. About 3 MT of roots remain in the soil. Jute cropping system enhances soil organic matter through leaf shedding during the growing season and improves nutrient availability in the soil. Jute is commonly rotated with other food crops like rice and other cereals, vegetables, oilseeds or pulses, all of which are moderately or heavy feeders of nutrients from the native source, but do not normally return them to soil, except in case of legumes, as jute does. Jute-based multiple cropping thus not only increases agricultural production, but may also sustain the fertility level of soil mainly through leaf fall and organic waste decomposition under jute, if the inputs throughout the rotation are used judiciously. Cultivation of jute needs tropical rainfall, warm weather and high humidity.
- Alluvial sandy loam, clay loamy soils are best suited for jute production.
- Capsularis jute can grow even in standing water especially towards the latter part of its growth.
- Olitorius jute will not thrive in standing water. The latter is more drought resistant and is therefore grown on lighter soils.
Land Preparation: Fine tilth is required since the seeds are very small.
Manures and fertilizer application:
- Five tonnes of well decomposed farm yard manure is to be applied during last ploughing.
- Besides 20 kg per ha each of N, P2O5 and K2O are to be applied basally.
- Beds and channels are formed depending on water resources.
Capsularis JRC 212, JRC 321, JRC 7447
Olitorius JRO 524, JRO 878, JRO 7835
Crop duration : 120 to 140 Days
Seed rate and sowing: Seeds can be sown either by broadcasting or by line sowing.
Hand weeding twice on 20 - 25 DAS and 35 - 40 DAS. Fluchloralin can be sprayed at 3 days after sowing at the rate of 1.5 kg per hectare and is followed by irrigation. Further one hand weeding can be taken up at 30 - 35 DAS.
Top dressing of fertiliser: Apply 10 kg of N at 20 - 25 days after first weeding and then again on 35 - 40 days after second weeding as top dressing. During periods of drought and fertilizer shortage, spray 8 kg of urea as 2 per cent urea solution (20 g urea in one litre of water) on jute foliage on 40 - 45 as well as 70 - 75 DAS.
Water Management: Jute crop requires 500 mm of water. First irrigation is to be given after sowing and life irrigation on fourth day after sowing. Afterwards irrigation can be given once in 15 days.
Harvest: Jute crop can be harvested from 100 to 110 DAS but can be extended from 120 - 135 DAS depending on local cropping systems. Jute plants are left in the field for 3 - 4 days for leaf shedding. Then thick and thin plants are sorted out and bundled in convenient size.
- Green plant weight yield is 45 to 50 tonnes per hectare
- Fibre yield is 2.0 to 2.5 tonnes per hectare.
On average, jute yields four times more fibre per acre than flax. The fibres lie beneath the bark around the woody core or ‘hurd’. To extract the fibre, the jute bundles are submersed in water and left for a few days until the fibres come loose and are ready for stripping from the stalk, then washed and dried.
Who will take these actions?
Government, Jute Companies, Local NGO, INGOs and concerned stockholders.
Where will these actions be taken?
India, China, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Uzbekistan, Nepal, Thailand, Vietnam, Sudan, Egypt, Brazil, Cambodia, Zimbabwe, Bhutan, Peru, Pakistan and Cameroon.
What are other key benefits?
In the 100 days of the jute-growing period, one hectare of jute plants can absorb about 15 MT of CO2 from atmosphere and liberate about 11 MT of oxygen, the life-supporting agent. The CO2 assimilation rate of jute is several times higher than that of trees.
What are the proposal’s costs?
Proposal cost based on Nepal
1 month jute awareness program US$10000/-
Farmers 7 days training cost US$5000/-
Jute cultivation cost per hectare of the land in Nepal
Fertilizer NPK(40:20:20) US$30.03/-
Human labour US$450.41/-
Others = US$200/-
Currency exchange rate 4/18/2016 (1US$=106.57 Nepalese rupees)
Total Cost = US$15815.56/-
Below 1year baseline survey of production of jute.
1-2 years jute awareness program, formation of group and cultivation of jute.
2-5 years evaluate the outcomes.