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Tuesday, November 28, 2023

Vocal for Local: Doubling of income of jute growers

Jute is the second most important fibre crop of Bharat. West Bengal, especially the Hooghly basin of the state, is the leading jute-producing area of the country on account of the well-drained fertile soil of the floodplain which are renewed every year. The climatic conditions with high temperature during time of growth and sufficient availability of water have favoured jute cultivation in the Hooghly basin of West Bengal.

A study by Mondal and Bandyopadhyay, 2014 inferred that in the non-progressive jute growing areas of the Nadia district of West Bengal stated that the factors like mass media exposure, personal cosmopolite sources, age, education and extra village contact are found to have influenced to significant extent the knowledge and awareness of the newer technology among the jute growers.

Another study undertaken by Sarkar et al., 2018 in the North 24 Pargan district of West Bengal with a sample of 150 jute cultivators after wealth ranking revealed that majority of the Jute growers belonged to poor family (50%) followed by middle class (40%), rich (7%) and very rich (3%) families. The growers had stated that pre-monsoon water shortage, poor retting water quality, labour shortage etc are the major problem.

Other than development of sacs and hessian there are also diversified usages of jute like development of handlooms, home textiles, ornaments, shoes and bags. However exploring the use of jute non-woven in the thermal insulation sector can widely diversify the application of jute. It will also increase in the demand of jute and invite farmer producer collaborations. The growers will get greater price for their growth and the golden era in Jute cultivation may be renewed.

Several researchers have reported thermal insulation of non woven produced from natural fibres. Nonwoven material from natural fibre has good formability, low cost, and low environmental impact. The thermo mechanical properties of the blended fibre nonwoven composites largely depend on the selection of the mechanism of bonding fibers.

Best mechanical properties were found in blended jute and hollow polyester fibre composite having 5 % total weight of low melt polyester fibre added on the batt before the needle punching process. Homogeneously bonded jute and hollow polyester fibre gives good tensile strength but the bond strength made by low melt polyester over on fibre to fibre adds further to increases the mechanical strength of nonwoven blended composite.

Porous and fluffy non-woven material developed from natural fibre consists of fiber and air and has low thermal conductivity. The total heat transfer through fibrous fabrics consists of conduction, free and forced convection, through the fibers, convection and radiation through the voids Ghermezgoli et al., 2021.

Zakriya et al., 2018 used fixed weight (3280 g/m2) and ratio (50/50) of Jute and Hollow Conjugated Polyester fibres and developed non-woven using needle punching technique. The authors pointed that mechanical locking of the spongy fibre batt, bulkier structure and high thickness (7.12 mm) are responsible for poor thermal conductivity value 0.0197 W/mK in the best sample. In most of the remaining works needle punch non-woven technique is used.

The material developed has low thermal conductivity but a wide range of density. In some of the works mechanical properties are reported while in others the authors focussed on the thermal and acoustic insulation properties only. From these studies it is evident that jute and wool based non woven has the potential to be developed into low cost thermal insulation material. Its application should in parallel studied to make this technology more popular.

  • Jute is second after cotton in the world’s production of textile natural fibres.
  • The average production of raw jute and jute goods are about 8300 thousand bales and 1600 thousand tones per annum.
  • The main jute growing states of Bharat are West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh.
  • Number of running jute mills in Bharat are 76 with about 6,65,000 spindles and 45000 looms
  • It is mostly used in making packaging and carpet-backing fabric
  • Total turnover 10 thousand crore
  • Workmen engaged 3.5 lakhs
  • Farmers involved 4 million


Sarkar, S., Maity, A., Mondal, T., Jose, S., Sangma, R.C., Mondal, A., Khan, S.K. and Jha, S.K., 2018. Participatory Agro-ecological and Socio-economic Analysis of Jute Cultivation in West Bengal. Journal of Community Mobilization and Sustainable Development13(1), pp.43-51.

Mondal, D. and Bandyopadhyay, A.K., 2014. Adoption of jute production technology in West Bengal. Econ Aff59, pp.701-709.

Ghermezgoli, Z.M., Moezzi, M., Yekrang, J., Rafat, S.A., Soltani, P. and Barez, F., 2021. Sound absorption and thermal insulation characteristics of fabrics made of pure and crossbred sheep waste wool. Journal of Building Engineering35, p.102060.

Zakriya, G.M. and Ramakrishnan, G., 2018. Insulation and mechanical properties of jute and hollow conjugated polyester reinforced nonwoven composite. Energy and Buildings158, pp.1544-1552.

– by Dr. Sanchita Biswas Murmu

(Featured image source:

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