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Message From Director
          Central Research Institute for Jute and Allied Fibres (CRIJAF), Barrackpore undertakes basic, strategic and applied research for the development of a productive and resilient jute and allied fibre agriculture in the country.
          The institute with its four regional research stations along with All India Network Project on Jute and Allied Fibres (AINPJAF) and a Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVK) has immensely contributed towards enhancement of productivity as well as improvement in fibre quality of jute and allied fibre crops namely mesta, ramie, flax, sunnhemp and sisal. CRIJAF has so far developed 61 high yielding varieties of jute and allied fibre crops. Adoption of new jute varieties having superior fibre quality has resulted in doubling the fibre yield from 12 q/ha to 24 q/ha, along with considerable reduction in crop duration from 150 days to 120 days which allowed jute crop to fit in the paddy based cropping system predominantly followed in eastern India.

Dr. P. G. Karmakar, Director
          New weed management technologies developed by the institute reduced dependency on human labour and decreased cost of production by Rs.3000 to Rs.5000 per ha. Improved and efficient machines enabled better crop geometry and reduced seed requirement, increased fibre recovery, diminished labour cost and also improved fibre quality. To improve the conventional retting process in stagnant water, a microbial consortium trade marked as ‘CRIJAF Sona’ has been developed which reduced retting duration by 6-8 days, improved fibre quality by at least 2 grades resulting an additional income of Rs.6000-9000 per/ha to the jute farmers. CRIJAF has also made substantial impact in promoting jute seed production in West Bengal through participatory seed production programme to promote new jute varieties and timely supply of quality certified seeds directly to the farmers’ doorstep under trade mark of ‘CRIJAF Seed’.
          Our future strategies for development of technologies are focussed on improvement of jute and allied fibre crops to cope them in changing climatic situation and also to suit for diversified uses through application of biotechnological / genetic engineering tools, mechanization in cultivation of jute and allied fibre crops in view of increasing paucity of labour and to reduce human drudgery, cost effective production technology for increasing profitability, and improved retting of jute and allied fibresconsuming relatively lower volume of water without compromising fibre quality.
          Jute and allied fibre crops like mesta and ramie also have several virtues especially cherished in the present day global context like high carbon sequestration ability, accumulation of high biomass and maintain soil health, enrich the soil and saves the environment. It is worthwhile to mention that one hectare of jute crop is able to purify air by consuming the whole amount of carbon dioxide generated during production of four tonnes of polypropylene bags. Besides, during the crop growth duration of 120 days, jute adds 15 tonnes of green matter culminating addition of 53 kg nitrogen, 9 kg phosphorus and 58 kg potassium in the soil of one hectare.
          Jute, ‘The Golden Fibre of India’ also has much greater socio-economic role for the eastern part of the country as it provides livelihood to more than 4 million farm families. At this juncture, all the stakeholders should join hands to provide needed support for integrated development of a persistently productive and resilient jute and allied fibre agriculture.

Central Research Institute for Jute & Allied Fibres, Indian Council of Agricultural Research, Barrackpore, Kolkata 700120, West Bengal (India)

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