Jute Industry is the second important agro-based industry in India after the cotton textiles industry. It is one of the principal earners of foreign exchange. It produces gunny bags, hessian, coarse carpets, rugs, and cordage. Jute fibres are also used for packing goods.
Distribution of Jute Industry
The jute industry is mainly centred in the Hooghly region as jute is largely grown in the Ganga Delta and in the Lower Ganga Valley. Other important jute-growing areas in Bengal are Howrah, Titagarh, Jagatal, Map showing major textile industries in India Serampore, Bansberia, and Sibpur. Jute mills are also located in Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, and Madhya Pradesh.
Factors Promoting the Jute Industry around Kolkata
- The Hooghly valley is a part of the Ganga Valley where jute is predominantly grown.
- The Ganga Brahmaputra Delta has fertile soil which gets renewed every year. This has increased jute production.
- Humid climate and rainfall ranging 175–200 cm favour the growth of jute crop.
- Plenty of freshwater for retting and cleaning is available from the River Hooghly.
- Availability of labour from the neighbouring areas of Odisha and Uttar Pradesh has led to the growth of jute industries in the region.
- Kolkata is a port city and is well-connected to the other parts of the country by rail and road.
Problems Faced by the Jute Industry
- After Independence, nearly 70% of jute-producing areas went to Bangladesh. Thus, the industry suffers from inadequate supply of jute.
- The jute industry in India faces tough competition from Bangladesh, Brazil, Egypt and Thailand.
- The industry is equipped with old and obsolete machinery. Costs of production have also risen.
- Products of paper, plastic and hemp are widely used today as substitutes of jute products.
Remedial Steps Taken by the Government
- A Jute Consultative Council has been set up to advice the government on the jute industry.
- Many research programmes have been undertaken to extend the range of jute products. Some new jute products are tarpaulins, jute carpets etc.
- Modern machinery has begun to be installed in jute industries.
- Steps have been taken by the government to stabilise jute prices.
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Geographical and commercial factors affecting the location of industries are 1. Industries are mostly established in areas which are located close to the fields of raw materials