Why in News?
- The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved that 100% of the foodgrains and 20% of the sugar shall be mandatorily packed in diversified jute bags.
- The decision to pack sugar in diversified jute bags will give an impetus to the diversification of the jute industry.
- The approval will benefit farmers and workers located in the Eastern and North Eastern regions of the country particularly in the states of West Bengal, Bihar, Odisha, Assam, Andhra Pradesh, Meghalaya and Tripura.
- The jute industry is predominantly dependent on the Government sector which purchases jute bags of value of more than Rs. 7,500 crore every year for packing foodgrains.
Government Initiatives provided for the Jute sector
- In order to improve the productivity and quality of raw jute through a carefully designed intervention, called the Jute ICARE, the Government has been supporting close to approx. two lakh jute farmers by disseminating improved agronomic practices such as line sowing using seed drills, weed management by using wheel-hoeing and nail-weeders, distribution of quality certified seeds and also providing microbial assisted retting.
- Recently, the Jute Corporation of India has entered into MoU with National Seeds Corporation for distribution of 10,000 quintals of certified seeds on commercial basis also.
- The intervention of Technology up-gradation and distribution of certified seeds would increase the productivity and quality of jute crops and also increase the income of the farmers.
- Promotion of Jute GeoTextiles and Agro-Textiles has been taken up with the State Governments particularly those in the North Eastern region and also with departments such as Ministry of Road Transport and Ministry of Water Resources.