Jute is the important natural fiber useful for clothing. It is also utilized in paper industry and cottage industry for making baskets package bags, etc.

Climate and Soil
Warm and humid climate is favorable condition for jute cultivation. The temperature should be between 24 degree C to 37 degree C. It grows well in alluvial or sandy loamy or clay loamy soil.

Field Preparation

The land should be ploughed several times after harvesting of previous crop. Seed bed is prepared by repeatedly drilling, ploughing and leveling so that soil is finely macerated and well aerated. Seed bed should be completely clean and clod free. Manuring may be done during ploughing.

Sowing

Sowing is done manually by hand or by sowing machine in rows. Sowing of seeds is usually done during June before the arrival of first monsoon rain. After getting the sufficient moisture or light rainfall, seeds germinate and seedlings arise. Then the field is leveled. After getting the sufficient moisture or light rainfall seeds germinate and seedlings arise.


Weeding and Manuring

It is done during seedling stage. Field should be completely free from weeds. Herbicides may be applied for weed control. Compost or firm yard manure, Phosphorus and Potash, Nitrogen fertilizers can be used as a fertilizer. Urea is usually used at intervals.


Pest control

Various pesticides may be applied to the crop for controlling insect pests and fungal pests.


Harvest

Jute is harvested between 120 - 150 days when the flowers have been shed. Early harvesting gives good healthy fibers. Harvesting is done by cutting plants from 8 to 12 feet high from its base or by uprooting. In flooded land, plants are uprooted. The harvested plants are left in field for 3-4 days for the leaves to get dried and defoliated. The stems are then made up into bundles for steeping in water. Steeping is carried out immediately after harvest.


Retting

Retting is a process in which the tied bundles of jute stalks are taken to the tank by which fibers get loosened and separated from the woody stalk. The bundles are steeped in water at least 60 cm to 100 cm depth. The retting process is completed in 8 to 30 days, when the barks separate out easily from the stick or wood and the fibers are ready for extraction.


Stripping (Fiber extraction)

Stripping is the process of removing the fibers from the stalk after the completion of retting. Fibers are removed from stalk by one of the following methods.

i) Single plants are taken and their fibers are taken off.
ii) Taken off a handful of stalks and breaking it in a to and fro motion in water.
iii) Washing the stalks first by standing in waist deep water and then stripping afterwards.
When there is a plenty of water, bundles of stalks are laid in the pond ditches or slow moving streams and left for 5-15 days under water. The bunch of stem is held in one hand and the root end tapped lightly with a mallet. After the rest of the fibers loosens, the fibers are extracted and washed.


Washing and Drying

Extracted fibers are washed in clean water. The dark color of fibers can be removed by dipping them in tamarind water for 15 to 20 minutes and again washed in clean water. After squeezing excess water, the fibers are hung on bamboo railing for 2-3 days for sun drying.


Bailing and Packing

The jute fiber is graded into tops, middles, B, C and X-bottoms. Then they are transported to jute market or direct to jute mills.


Economic value of Jute

Jute fibers are commonly used in making ropes, bags, carpets, curtains.
Fine quality fibers are used for making paper boards.
Oil is extracted from seeds used in manufacturing sopa paints, etc.
The stalks can be used as fuel.