New Delhi: The government on Wednesday hiked the minimum support price (MSP) for raw jute by Rs300 per quintal to Rs3,500 to boost farmers’ income.

“The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA), chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has given its approval for the increase in the minimum support price (MSP) for raw jute for 2017-18 season in order to protect the economic interests of the farmers," an official statement said.

The CCEA has increased the MSP to a level of Rs3,500 per quintal for 2017-18 season which indicates an increase of Rs300 (9.4%) over the previous year, it added.

During the last three years (2015-16, 2016-17 and 2017-18), the government has increased the MSP for jute by 29.6% from Rs2,700 to Rs3,500 per quintal. In the preceding three years (2012-13, 2013-14 and 2014-15), the increase was 9.1% from Rs2,200 per quintal to Rs2,400 per quintal.

Jute is mainly used as raw material in the packaging industry. “The increase in MSP would benefit the jute industry which supports the livelihood of around 40 lakh farm families and provides direct employment to 3.7 lakh workers in organised mills and in diversified units including tertiary sector and allied activities," the statement said.

Jute farmers are mainly concentrated in West Bengal, Bihar and Assam, which account for over 95% of the sowing area as well as jute production in the country.

The new varieties of jute are being promoted by providing support for seeds production under the National Food Security Mission (NFSM)—Commercial Crops. The National Seeds Corporation Ltd has entered into an agreement for promotion of new varieties of jute seeds in growing states.

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