The Jute Commissioner’s office has recommended a hike in raw jute minimum support price (MSP) by 18.5 per cent to Rs 3,200 per quintal for 2016-17 to encourage jute production.
“In 2015-16, MSP was Rs 2,700, but the current market price is close to Rs 5,000 a quintal owing to a severe crisis in the crop. For the next year, the JC office has recommended Rs 3,200 a quintal to the government for Cabinet approval,” a senior official at the JC’s office said. However, the industry is apprehensive as cost of production is pegged at Rs 3,650 a quintal by the Jute Corporation of India (JCI).
The cultivation area in 2015-16 had shrunk to 7.5 lakh hectares, down from eight lakh hectares in 2014-15.
“Jute is... providing livelihood to 40 lakh farmers of West Bengal, Bihar, Assam, Odisha and is the raw material for jute mills, which are employing 3.75 lakh workers.
“However, in recent years, cultivation of raw jute is declining, which is a matter of concern.
Compared with 8.029 lakh hectares in 2014-15, the area of raw jute cultivation is estimated to have reduced to 7.46 lakh hectares during the current year (2015-16),” Textiles Minister Santosh Gangwar recently wrote in a letter to Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh.
The production projection given by JCI for 2015-16 seems to be most accurate, given the prevailing production trend and market price behaviour.