Union Minister for Textiles and Women & Child Development, Smt. Smriti Zubin Irani has called upon the farmers to use certified seeds to increase their income and productivity and contribute to the country in Jute diversified and Technical textile products. Inaugurating, virtually, the Certified Jute Seeds Distribution Plan and Jute Farmers Awareness Workshop, organised at ICAR-CRIJAF Institute at Barrackpore, West Bengal, Smt. Smriti Zubin Irani said that the ICARE Initiative which started in 2015 with only about 60 MT Certified Jute Seeds and 20,000 Farmers got a remarkable leap in just one and half years and the certified jute seeds distribution increased to over 600 MT in 2017. She informed that so far, Government has supported 2.60 lakhs farmers under ICARE Program. Expressing her sincere gratitude to the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare and all the Jute Organizations for taking forward the Jute-ICARE Initiative in its earnest spirit, she said that sincere efforts and efficient coordination has brought the desired results.
Ministry of Textiles through its field offices viz; O/o Jute Commissioner, National Jute Board, Jute Corporation of India and the ICAR-CRIJAF under Ministry of Agriculture &Farmers Welfare has organized the Jute Seeds Distribution Program and Jute Farmers Awareness Workshop on Jute ICARE Initiative. The Programs were attended by Jute Farmers from West Bengal, Shri Upendra Pratap Singh, Union Secretary (Textiles); Shri Sanjay Agarwal, Union Secretary (Agriculture & Farmers Welfare), Sr. Officers from Ministry of Textiles, Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare, O/o Jute Commissioner, National Jute Board (NJB), Jute Corporation of India (JCI), ICAR-CRIJAF, ICAR-NINFET, National Seeds Corporation (NSC), Industry Bodies.
The minister informed that in January and March, 2017, on the proposal of the Ministry of Textiles, the Ministry of Agriculture invited concerned officers from all jute growing States for participation in the ICARE Program wherein Officers from Ministry of Textiles, Jute Organizations, Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare, Organizations under, MOA&FW and Representatives of the Jute Growing States had participated. She stated that it was a very live example of synergy and coordination among different Departments of Govt. of India.
The Minister informed that in August 2020, Government had taken a Resolution to exponentially spread the distribution of certified jute seeds through commercial seed program for the benefit of a much larger number of Jute Farmers wherein JCI would be
distributing 10,000 qtls of certified jute seeds. She stated that the move would benefit about 5.00 lakh Jute Farmers.
The minister further stated that the Union Government under the leadership of the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi is committed for the welfare of the Farmers. She said that government increased the MSP for Jute from Rs. 2400 in 2014-15 to Rs. 4225 in 2020-21. Talking about the Retting Tanks, She added that Government of India has approved construction of 46000 Retting Tanks for increasing productivity, quality and income of Jute Farmers which will be done by the convergence of Central Govt. Schemes like MNREGA, PMKSY, RKVY and ICARE. This will not only reduce retting time by 7 days but will also result in creation of 46 lakh man-days of employment for rural mass of Jute Growing States particularly West Bengal. The Minister informed that the Government follows the vision of the Hon’ble Prime Minister to work in coordination and not in silos. She said that Retting Tank Initiative is a live example of coordination among Ministry of Textiles, Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare, Ministry of Rural Development, Jute Organizations, ICAR organizations, and State Govts.
Smt. Irani also stated the ICARE Initiative is benefitting Jute Farmers by improving productivity by 15% and increase in farmers’ income by about 10,000/hec. Through JPM Act, Government is protecting the interest of about 4 lakh workers and 40 lakh farm families.
The Minister further informed that Government has approved a Technical Textiles Mission which includes Jute Geo-Textiles. She said the BIS has approved standards for Jute Geo-Textiles (JGT) which will help promotion of JGT under the Technical Textile Mission.
She further added that 2.4 km road of NH 34 at Berhampore West Bengal has been constructed with Jute Geo-Textiles, 450 KM of rural roads using JGT constructed in West Bengal and about 195 rural roads under PMGSY have been sanctioned across the country using JGT. The Minister desired that the Jute Farmers be informed about the applications of JGT in rural road through awareness programs by JC and NJB.
The Minister also advised the Jute Commissioner, National Jute Board, JCI and CRIJAF to extend the good wishes of the Hon’ble Prime Minister to the Jute Farmers, Jute Workers & Jute Artisans and organize awareness workshops on Jute Diversified Products and Jute Geo-Textiles Products for Jute Farmers and Jute Workers to make them aware about the scope and potential for the Jute they produce.
Speaking on the occasion, Secretary Textiles, Shri U. P. Singh said that this initiative has been taken keeping in view the growing demand for Jute in the country and to improve the quality of Jute.He further stated that the initiative will increase the production of Jute and reduce our dependence on imports from Bangladesh. He also said that these efforts will go a long way in improving the conditions of the farmers and doubling their income.
In his address, Secretary Agriculture Shri Sanjay Agrawal said that finer variety of fibre will be ensured by the quality Jute seeds. He also said that the inclusion of Jute in the National Food Security Mission will help to increase the income of the Farmers.