Tirupur knitwear-dominated industry takes its first step towards diversification of the knitwear capital from cotton to jute products. The National Jute Board (NJB) in collaboration with NIFT-TEA College of Knitwear Fashion offered the 49-day training for 20 people, who are now equipped with knowledge of making 25 different jute products. The first batch of trainees has just completed their training in jute product manufacturing.

NIFT-TEA College is one of 20 collaborative agencies of NJB for providing Jute Integrated Development Scheme (JIDS). Among the 20 trainees, most of them were women. With the aim of developing opportunities for business diversification in the knitwear hub, NIFT-TEA College has been conducting training programs on different textile products. Jute product training is one among them. The board believes that Tirupur can easily contribute in the jute product manufacturing along with cotton goods. The industrialists hope that jute products could be a supporting product, so that the dollar city’s projected annual target of Rs. 1 lakh cr in exports is met.

T Ayyappan, Market Promotion Officer, Southern Region, NJB, said that as a part of JIDS, some of the trainees will be selected for training-cum-production center, where they can make jute products as they are export oriented product. These products will be marketed with the help of NJB, which will also help the beneficiaries maintain a jute raw material bank.

N Viswanathan, Project Coordinator, skill development initiative of the college said that most people are not aware about jute products and so, they get missed out on a booming market. JIDS would provide three stages of training -basic, advance and design training. After completion of the training, the trainees can develop into entrepreneurs. Now with increasing awareness about ill-effects of plastic bags, jute bags could be good alternative. An enterprising jute product also does not involve huge investments, Viswanathan said. Many areas in and around Tirupur could be developed as jute product cluster.