Jute Corporation of India (JCI), a nodal agency of the central government, is looking to procure more than four lakh quintals of raw jute in 2017-18, a top official said on Thursday.
“During the last crop year 2016-17, the Corporation procured raw jute both under minimum support price and commercial operations to the tune of four lakh quintals. In the current year, hopefully the quantity would increase from last year,” corporation chairman and managing director KVR Murthy told reporters in Kolkata.
He said the central government announced minimum support price of Rs 3,500 (on the basis of TDN 3, a grade of raw jute) per quintal, up by Rs 300 a quintal from last year. However, the MSP varies with different grade of raw jute.
Murthy said that this year, procurement is expected to be better as the production of raw jute is set to be higher.
As per meeting of Jute Advisory Board, production of raw jute is estimated in the tune of 85 lakh bales along with a carry forward of 22 lakh bales and import of five lakh bales from Bangladesh.
Murthy, however, said the agency would procure raw jute having moisture content up to 18 per cent and it would not have interest for procuring raw jute with more than this.
“The procurement has started this year. We have found that raw jute available currently in the market has moisture content to the range of 26-40 per cent,” he said.
The corporation, which has its presence in jute growing states like Assam, Tripura, West Bengal, Bihar, Odisha and Andhra Pradesh, is also introducing direct payment to the farmers for their sale quantity.