Before independence, most of the area under jute cultivation was in the East Bengal (Now Bangladesh) whereas most of the jute mills were situated on the bank of Hooghly River in West Bengal. Due to the partitioning of the nation it was essential to increase either area or productivity of jute to cater the need of jute fibre of the jute industries. The domestic demand of jute fibre could be fulfilled partly by increasing jute areas from 5.70 lakh ha in fifties to 9.40 lakh ha in seventies and partly by improving productivity by evolving high yielding jute varieties namely, JRO 632 (Baisakhi tossa) in tossa jute and JRC 321 in white jute as it was more remunerative than that of rice crop. Due to evolvement of short stature high yielding variety of rice which led Green Revolution in the country, the area under jute started declining in seventies as either rice or jute could be grown. The multiple cropping sequence demands that jute should be harvested by mid-July to facilitate transplanting of ‘aman’ rice thereby allowing only 90 days of growth for’ JRO 632′ against optimum requirement of 120 days growth for remunerative yield. Thus it was felt essential to develop jute varieties which could be sown earlier than mid-April without the risk of premature flowering.
To mitigate this problem, hybridization work initiated in 1960 between elite Indian varieties JRO 632 and exotic strain ‘Sudan Green’ having premature flowering resistance gene led to release of 3 varieties ‘JRO 878’, ‘JRO 7835’ and ‘JRO 524’ during seventies which revolutionized jute production in India because these varieties could fit well in multiple cropping system without replacing the rice crop. Jute farmers adopted these varieties which improved the national productivity of jute by 50% within a decade from their release. After seventies, 13 high yielding jute varieties were released by the end of twentieth century within a span of 20 years which could further enhanced the average jute fibre productivity by 10-15%. The most popular jute varieties during the period were JRO 66 (Golden Jubilee tossa), JRO 8432 (Shakti tossa) and JRO 128 (Surya).
During the last (12th) Plan period, 19 varieties of jute and allied fibre crops were developed which are not only high yielding, premature flowering resistant but possesses finer fibre quality as an essential trait for product diversification and production of value added products. Few of them popular varieties are JBO 1 (Sudhanshu), JRO 204 (Suren), AAU OJ 1 (Tarun), JBO 2003 H (Ira) and CO 58 (Sourav). Now jute fibre productivity has attained a quantum jump to 250% over the base year of 1950 due to the adoption of recently released high yielding, fertilizer responsive disease and pest resistant varieties of jute.
The trend of area under jute in the country has been either declining or remained constant (≈ 8.0 lakh ha) since nineties but, the trend of production of jute fibre has been increasing over decades owing to the remarkable improvement in the productivity of jute in India. A marginal production of 24.2 lakh tons jute fibre has been noted during the year 2012-13 (MSP Rs. 2200/q) over the base year of 1990-91 (MSP Rs. 350/q) which fetched an additional amount of Rs. 4719.0 crore merely due to the improvement in the productivity of jute crop in the county by evolving and adoption of high yielding prematuring flowering, disease and pest resistant varieties suitable for different agro-ecological zones and location specific improved production and protection technologies of jute and allied fibre crops developed through multidisciplinary research and multi-location evaluation approaches of All India Network Project on Jute and Allied Fibre.