Jute is a rainy season crop, growing best in warm, humid climates. Almost 85% of the world's jute cultivation is concentrated in The Ganges delta. This fertile geographic region is shared by both Bangladesh and India (West Bengal). China also has a dominating place in jute cultivation. In small scale, Thailand, Myanmar (Burma), Nepal, Pakistan, and Bhutan also cultivates jute.

To grow jute, farmers scatter the seeds on cultivated soil. When the plants are about 15-20 cm tall, they are thinned out. About four months after planting, harvesting begins. The plants are usually harvested after they flower, but before the flowers go to seed. The stalks are cut off close to the ground. The stalks are tied into bundles and retted (soaked) in water for about 20 days. This process softens the tissues and permits the fibres to be separated. The fibres are then stripped from the stalks in long strands and washed in clear, running water. Then they are hung up or spread on thatched roofs to dry. After 2-3 days of drying, the fibres are tied into bundles.

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