Improved Cultivation and Advanced Retting Exercise for Jute (Jute – ICARE) was launched in 2015 to popularize/introduce some of the better agronomic practices and recently developed microbial assisted retting among farmers intensively in a few blocks in West Bengal and Assam on pilot basis. The improved agronomic practices include — line sowing of jute using seed drill to increase yield by 10-15%; weed management in jute by wheel hoeing/nail weeder instead of hand weeding for reducing the cost of weeding; and distribution of quality certified seeds at 50% subsidy.
Central Research Institute for Research in Jute and Allied Fibers (CRIJAF) developed a microbial consortium called SONA, to enhance the quantity of fiber yield by 20% as well as its quality in terms of grade by at least 1 ½ grades. Also, under the project, regular SMSs are sent in regional languages on improved practices in jute cultivation, to registered farmers. On an average over 50 SMSs are sent to each farmer at various intervals during the project. Supply of Seed drills and Nail weeders is undertaken for demonstration purpose. As a result of these interventions, the earnings of jute farmers have increased by more than Rs.10000 per hectare.