Jute producing countries

The top Jute Producers are: Bangladesh, India, Brazil, Vietnam, and Thailand. 


Jute is a natural fibre with golden and silky shine and hence called The Golden Fibre. It is the cheapest vegetable fibre procured from the bast or skin of the plant’s stem and the second most important vegetable fibre after cotton, in terms of usage, global consumption, production, and availability. It has high tensile strength, low extensibility, and ensures better breath ability of fabrics.

Jute fibre is 100% bio-degradable and recyclable and thus environmentally friendly.  It is one of the most versatile natural fibres that has been used in raw materials for packaging, textiles, non-textile, construction, and agricultural sectors. It helps to make best quality industrial yarn, fabric, net, and sacks. 

Jute, the golden fibre, is the raw material for one of Bangladesh’s oldest industries. The first jute mill started production in Bangladesh in 1850. After more than 150 years, the jute industry is now challenged by competition from alternative materials, by the recession in the international markets and by low awareness among consumers of the versatile, eco-friendly nature of jute fabric itself. Yet this industry still provides a livelihood to more than 250,000 mill workers and more than 4 million farmers’ families. It is a golden bond with the Earth, Its use is a statement about ecological awareness as it is a fully bio-degradable and eco-friendly fibre. It comes from the earth, it helps the earth and once its life is done it merges back into the earth. 

Advantages of jute include good insulating and antistatic properties, as well as having low thermal conductivity and moderate moisture regain. It includes acoustic insulating properties and manufacture with no skin irritations. Jute has the ability to be blended with other fibers, both synthetic and natural, and accepts cellulosic dye classes such as natural, basic, vat, sulfur, reactive, and pigment dyes. While jute is being replaced by relatively cheap synthetic materials in many uses, but jute’s biodegradable nature is suitable for the storage of food materials, where synthetics would be unsuitable.

Dundee Jute Mill in Scotland. In 1833, Jute fiber was spun mechanically in Dundee, Scotland


Period from 17th century 

The British East India Company was the British Empire Authority delegated in India from the 17th century to the middle of 20th century. The company was the first Jute trader. The company traded mainly in raw jute during the 19th century. During the start of the 20th century, the company started trading raw jute with Dundee’s Jute Industry. This company had monopolistic access to this trade during that time. Margaret Donnelly I was a jute mill landowner in Dundee in the 1800s. She set up the first jute mills in India. The Entrepreneurs of the Dundee Jute Industry in Scotland were called The Jute Barons.

In 1793, the East India Company exported the first consignment of jute. This first shipment, 100 tons, was followed by additional  shipments at irregular intervals. Eventually, a consignment found its way to Dundee, Scotland where the flax spinners were anxious to learn whether jute could be processed mechanically.

Starting in the 1830’s,  the Dundee spinners learned how to spin jute yarn by modifying their power-driven flax machinery. The rise of the jute industry in Dundee saw a corresponding increase in the  production and export of raw jute from the Indian sub-continent which was  the sole supplier of this primary commodity.

Dundee Jute Mill in Scotland. The Entrepreneurs of the Dundee Jute Industry in Scotland were called The Jute Barons


Period from 1855

Calcutta (now Kolkata) had the raw material close by as the jute growing areas were mainly in Bengal. There was an abundant supply of labor, ample coal for power, and the city was ideally situated for shipping to world markets. The first jute mill was established at Rishra, on the River Hooghly near Calcutta in 1855 when Mr. George Acland brought jute spinning machinery from Dundee. Four years later, the first power driven weaving factory was set up. 

By 1869, five mills were operating with 950 looms. Growth was rapid and, by 1910, 38 companies operating 30,685 looms exported more than a billion yards of cloth and over 450 million bags. Until the middle 1880’s, the jute industry was confined almost entirely to Dundee and Calcutta. France, America, and later Germany, Belgium, Italy, Austria, and Russia, among others, turned to jute manufacturing in the latter part of the 19th century.

In the following three decades, the jute industry in India enjoyed even more remarkable expansion, rising to commanding leadership by 1939 with a total of 68,377 looms, concentrated mainly on the River Hooghly near Calcutta. These mills alone have proved able to supply the world demand.

The earliest goods woven of jute in Dundee were coarse bagging  materials. With longer experience, however, finer fabrics called burlap, or hessian as it is known in India, were produced. This superior cloth met a ready sale and, eventually, the Indian Jute Mills began to turn out these fabrics. The natural advantage these mills enjoyed soon gave Calcutta world leadership in  burlap and bagging materials and the mills in Dundee and other countries turned to specialties, a great variety of which were developed.

Jute Mills concentrated on both sides of Hoogly river in 1894


The rise of the jute industry in Dundee and export of raw jute from the Indian sub-continent.
Dundee & The World – Exhibition London


Jute Industry after 1947

After the fall of British Empire in India during 1947, most of the Jute  Barons started to evacuate India, leaving behind the industrial setup of the Jute Industry. Most of the jute mills in India were taken over by the Marwaris businessmen. 

In East Pakistan after partition in 1947 lacked a Jute Industry but  had the finest jute fiber stock.  As the tension started to rise between Pakistan and India, the Pakistani felt the need to setup their own Jute Industry. Several group of Pakistani families (mainly from West Pakistan) came into the jute business by setting up several jute mills in Narayanganj of then East Pakistan, the most significant ones are: Bawanis, Adamjees,  Ispahanis and Dauds. After the liberation of Bangladesh from Pakistan in 1971, most of the Pakistani owned Jute Mills were taken over by the government of Bangladesh. Later, to control these Jute mils in Bangladesh, the government built up Bangladesh Jute Mills Corporation (BJMC).

Adamjee Jute Mill

Adamjee Jute Mills Entrance 1950


Adamjee Jute Mills was set up by Pakistan’s foremost industrialist, and scion of the wealthiest family in the country. Initially, the said project was a partnership between the Adamjees and the PICIC (the government’s industrial arm). The Adamjee family, however, soon took control of the project, and eventually built it into the largest jute mill in the world. In 1947 when India was partitioned there were 108 jute mills in Bengal but all were located in West Bengal which went to India. After the Independence of Pakistan, Muslim entrepreneurs were asked by the government of Pakistan to create proposals for a jute mill in East Bengal. The Adamjee Group in December 1949 presented the government of Pakistan a proposal for the jute plant.The capital for the mills were to be provided by Adamjee Brothers and the 50-50 equally. Siddhirganj was chosen as the site of mill due to the good river, road, and rail communication facilities. The mill was established in December 1951.

Abdul Wahid Adamjee with King Bhumibol


The Adamjee family lost control of the mill in 1971 during the and it was nationalized after the Independence of Bangladesh. During the war Bengali workers were replaced by Bihari workers in the. After the war ended, the Bihari workers in the factory were protected by the Indian Army. It employed over 25,000 workers when it was closed on 30 June 2002. Since the nationalization the mill had accumulated 12 billion taka in losses. 

Jute trade

Jute trade is currently centered around the Indian subcontinent. Bangladesh is the largest exporter of raw & producer jute goods, and India is the largest consumer of jute products in the world. The local price of Jute Goods in Indian subcontinent is the international price. Nearly 75% of Jute goods are used as packaging materials, burlap (Hessian), and sacks. Carpet Backing Cloth, the third major Jute outlet, is fast growing in importance. Currently, it consists of roughly 15% of the world’s Jute goods consumption. The remaining products are carpet yarn, cordage, felts, padding, twine, ropes, decorative fabrics, and miscellaneous items for industrial use.

Jute has entered the non-woven industry as it is one of the most cost effective high tensile vegetable fiber. Therefore, the demand for Jute has made its way into the automotive industry. Jute is now being used to manufacture more eco-friendly interiors for cars and automobiles.

Jute Organizations

The International Jute Study Group (IJSG) is an intergovernmental body set up under the aegis of UNCTAD to function as the International Commodity Body (ICB) for Jute, Kenaf and other Allied Fibers.

The creation of the IJSG was negotiated in 2000 and 2001 in Geneva and was agreed to in multilateral treaty known as the Agreement establishing the Terms of Reference of the International Jute Study Group. The IJSG was intended to replace the International Jute Organization, which had ceased to exist. The agreement was ratified by Bangladesh, The European Union, India & Switzerland and the IJSG came into existence on 27 April 2002, with headquarters in Dhaka, Bangladesh.

In Bangladesh, the government built up Bangladesh Jute Mills Corporation (BJMC), to control their Jute mills. Bangladesh Jute Mills Corporation (BJMC), a public corporation in Bangladesh, is the largest state owned manufacturing and exporting organization in the world in the jute sector

The Central Research Institute for Jute & Allied Fibres (CRIJAF) formerly known as Jute Agricultural Research Institute (JARI) started functioning after the partition of India in 1947. 

Role of Jute sector in Bangladesh:

The contribution of jute sector to economy of Bangladesh is enormous. This sector has been generating employment to a large segment of total population of the country, directly and indirectly over the years. Bangladesh produces 5.5-6.0 million (55-60 lakh) bales of raw jute every year of which some 3.2 million (32 lakh) bales are used in the existing 148 jute mills. The country exports 2.4 million (24 lakh) bales of jute.

Some 1,60,000 employees of the country are directly employed in the jute mills. The total demand for jute goods in the international market is 0.75 million (7.50 lakh) tonnes. Bangladesh exports 0.46 million (4.60 lakh) tonnes of jute goods while India enjoys a share of 0.285 million (2.85 lakh) tonnes in the international market.

Dhaka controls 62 per cent share of the total jute goods market of the world and earn Taka 20.125 billion (2012.5 crore) by exporting jute goods. Bangladesh is the lone exporter of raw jute. In recent year the country exported 2.4 million (24 lakh) bales of raw jute valued at Taka 9.77 million (977 crore). In total Bangladesh fetched Taka 29.395 billion (2939.5 crore) by exporting raw jute and jute goods. (Yusuf, 2007) As jute industry is economically an important industry of Bangladesh, any problem this industry faces should be studied carefully and should be removed as early as possible.

At present, the industry faces some serious problem both in public and in private sector. Some of these problems are; ever-increasing need of subsidies and rise in cost of production, share increased in idle looms, managerial vacuum, lack of effective operating policies, alleged gross mismanagement in procurement of raw jute, shortage of varied nature of orders received from the buyer, imbalance, obsolete and worn out equipment’s and some other problems like these. All these problems have converted this industry into a heavily loosing industry and hence needed generous subsidies from government.

But it is being observed that recently different organizations organizing seminars, symposium etc. and publishing various articles in newspaper regarding present ailing situation on jute industries. All are concerned how to overcome this situation and salvage the jute industry (Yusuf, 2007). So the authors of this paper make a study on the jute industry of Bangladesh.