Reported by Chinmaya Dehury
Bhubaneswar, Dec 5:
The state government has set a target of producing 138.64 thousand bales of jute fibre to be cultivated across 11.50 thousand hectares in 2014-15.
In the current season 2013-14, jute is being cultivated in 11 thousand hectares and the total production is likely to be 132.31 thousand bales.The state had produced 109.51 thousand bales of jute from 10.02 thousand hectares of land in 2012-13, said an official of Agriculture department.
The state had produced 114.66 bales of jute fibre in 2011-12 cultivating 10.50 thousand hectare while 112.75 thousand bales were produced in 2010-11 through cultivating 9.46 thousand hectares.
Raw jute bales are of two types i.e. 150 kg weight and 180 kg weight with or without top portion cutting. The bales are assorted according to end use like Hessiean weft, Sacking wrap, Sacking weft etc.
Jute is mainly cultivated in coastal districts of Balasore, Bhadrak, Cuttack, Kendrapada, Jajpur, Jagatsinghpur and Anandpur sub-division of Keonjhar.
However, the jute farmers have little to cheer about. They have had to suffer losses following poor market price of their produce. While that explains why many farmers are shying away from jute farming.
The production is gradually decreasing also because of other factors .
“The area under jute is shrinking mainly due to invasion of polythene and sythetic fibre as a cheaper and convenient substitute, in addition to the inadequate marketing support,” said a government official.