Jute-ICARE Initiative of Government

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Improved Cultivation and Advanced Retting Exercise for Jute (Jute – ICARE) was launched to popularize/introduce some of the better agronomic practices and recently developed microbial-assisted retting among farmers intensively in a few blocks in West Bengal and Assam on pilot basis.
The improved agronomic practices include: line sowing of jute using seed drill to increase yield by 10-15%; weed management in jute by wheel hoeing/nail weeder instead of hand weeding for reducing the cost of weeding; and distribution of quality certified seeds at 50% subsidy.
Central Research Institute for Research in Jute and Allied Fibres (CRIJAF) developed a microbial consortium called SONA, to enhance the quantity of fibre yield by 20% as well as its quality in terms of grade by at least 1 ½ grades.
Also, under the project, regular SMSes are sent in regional languages on improved practices in jute cultivation, to registered farmers. On an average over 50 SMS-es are sent to each farmer at various intervals during the project. Supply of Seed drills and Nail weeders is undertaken for demonstration purpose.

As a result of these interventions, the earnings of jute farmers have increased by more than Rs.10,000 per hectare.

In view of the encouraging results of the Jute ICare pilot project, a joint meeting was held in 2017 for extending the reach of Jute I-Care programme through the State Agriculture Extension machinery.

All the Chief Ministers have been advised to take up Jute ICARE programme under Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY) and create awareness amongst farmers for use of certified jute seeds through Krishi Vikas Kendras (KVK). States have also been requested to supply farm implements under the Sub-mission in Agricultural Mission (SMAM) and construct Retting Tanks under MGNREGS and RKVY.

The popularity of Jute-ICARE project can be judged from the fact that the number of farmers who registered during the Year 2017 under the project had increased by 147% approximately; that is, 1,03,122 farmers were registered against 41,616 farmers last year.
The area covered under the project for 2017 is approximately 70,328 hectares covering 26 Blocks in 6 jute growing states– an increase of 167% as compared to 2016.
Action Plans for undertaking Front Line Demonstrations by CRIJAF and National Institute of Research in Jute and Allied Fibres (NIRJAFT) in Coordination with NJB, have been approved.
Krishi Melas are being held to support farmers.

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