As per the Agriculture Ministry data, area sown under jute is lower at 8.40 lakh hectare so far in the ongoing Kharif season, against 8.92 lakh hectare in the year-ago period. Jute is cultivated in seven states" West Bengal, Bihar, Odisha, Assam, Tripura, Meghalaya and Andhra Pradesh.
In fact sowing of most kharif crops, both food and cash crops, are lagging behind due to poor rains. Monsoon rains were deficient by 20 per cent till July this year.
Jute is normally cultivated as an inter-crop between the two main agricultural seasons, kharif and rabi in India. About 5-6% of the total production is used for making 1.6 million tonnes of jute goods every year.
Farmers use the remaining fibre for manure and fuel. The jute industry, which employs about 4 million people directly and indirectly, has been mainly focusing on making gunny bags.