December 4, 2021

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The boom in India’s hemp industry seems to be an alternative to plastic

A jute factory in Jagatdal, India on March 19, 2021 afp_tickers

This content was released on 06 October 2021 – 10:05

(AFP)

Experts say that the natural fiber of jute, which is the world’s leading manufacturer, is being caught globally and will create significant demand as a durable alternative to plastics.

They believe the stock market alone could add up to 2.5 billion euros ($ 3 billion) by 2024.

But Jute Nor appeared as the protagonist in the clothing line of the best Indian stylists like Ashish Soni and Pawan Aswani, in the luxury shops of brands like Christian Dior and at the wedding of Megan Markle and the prince. . Enrique, where guests were presented with handbags stamped with the initials H&M.

Hemp is, in fact, increasingly fashionable.

Most of the world’s hemp crops are found in West Bengal (East India) and Bangladesh, where they benefit from humid climates.

Everything in the hemp plant is usable: the outer layer produces fiber, the inner stem is used to make paper, while the leaves are edible.

– Environmental Plant –

Hemp is appreciated by ecologists because its crops recycle carbon.

“One hectare of jute crops absorbs 15 tonnes of carbon dioxide per season and releases 11 tonnes of oxygen, thus reducing greenhouse gas emissions,” said Swati Singh Ash, a New Delhi-based economist.

Before hemp, the world’s most abundant natural fiber cotton needed twice as much arable land and more water and chemicals.

The British East Indies Company was responsible for the discovery and exploitation of hemp fiber in India in the 18th century, and was then introduced to Europe, where it began to succeed only from the 1860s, with excuses for carrying food grains.

In the hope of harnessing dissatisfaction with plastics, India today seeks to promote jute as the textile of the future while respecting the environment.

According to a recent research and market report, the global jute bag market is expected to reach $ 1.7 billion by 2020 and reach $ 3 billion by 2024 due to the abandonment of consumer disposable plastics.

– Change the production chain –

The Government of India should now pack all food grains and 20% sugar in jute bags.

But to meet the global demand for jute-based products, Indian experts say the aging industry needs to shift the entire production chain on a large scale.

It is about modernizing agricultural practices, improving employee skills and introducing new products, evaluates Kauranga Kar, director of the Central Research Institute for Jute and Joint Fiber.

“This is a major issue that worries us,” he admits.

“Our scientists have developed several varieties that yield more than 40 quintals per hectare, but the average (current) yield is 24-25 quintals per hectare,” he laments.

However, Supriya Das, head of Magna Jude Mills, one of the 70 factories in West Bengal, told AFP, “Jute has a bright future … so the government should focus on this sector.”

Hundreds of workers work tirelessly every eight hours on old machines that emerged from the Industrial Revolution.

“Jute has enormous potential in the international market,” says the head of the factory, but warns: “The industry would not be possible without the introduction of value-added products.”

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