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Bangladesh - 3 weeks ago

Jute sector still poses high export potentials

Mahfuja Mukul: Jute industry is the single largest industry in Bangladesh. Bangladesh earns huge amount of foreign currency by exporting about 90 percent of raw jute and 60 percent of jute products in the world market. According to the Jute Directorate, 85 lakhto 90 lakh bales of raw jute are being produced annually in the country.
Bangladesh now accounts for 72 percent of the global export earnings of the jute sector. According to the data of the Export Promotion Bureau, in the fiscal year 2021-22, the export of jute and jute products earned $112.76 crore. Out of this, $21.62 crore came from export of raw jute
Jute, known as the country’s golden fiber, was once one of the main export earning sectors of the country. In the 1980s, the rise in the use of plastic and polythene around the world hampered the progress of jute. After various ups and downs, it is returning to the old tradition.
Global climate change is causing environmental damage. Therefore, the use of natural fibers has increased to protect the environment.
As an alternative to polythene, eco-friendly golden bags, healthy drinks made from jute, jute-geo-textile (soil saver) and multi-purpose jute products have created huge demand for jute in domestic and foreign markets.
In 2016, March 6 was declared as ‘National Jute Day’.
‘National Jute Day’ has been celebrated across the country on March 6, 2024 under the theme ‘Bangabandhu’s Sonar Desh, Smart Jute Industry Bangladesh’ to accelerate the revival and modernization of jute industry. This year, 11 individuals and organizations were awarded in 11 categories on Jute Day for their special contribution.
Also, the demand for jute bags alone in the domestic market of the country has increased from Tk 10 crores to Tk 70 crores and the demand for other jute products is around Tk 717 crores.
Various steps have been taken by the government to revive jute. In order to ensure the mandatory use of jute wrapping in the sale, distribution and supply of 17 products including fertilizer, sugar, paddy, rice to protect the environment, the ‘Compulsory use of jute wrapping in products Act-2010’ has been enacted. Jute is the raw material of most of the products manufactured by the entrepreneurs of the SME industry. It is very accessible and more productive.
So, entrepreneurs can easily become self-reliant by producing jute products. Eco-friendly special gold bags from cellulose from jute and jute waste, jute jeans (denim), special yarn (vesicle) made of jute and cotton blend, jute cuttings and jute geotextiles prepared by combining low-quality jute with coconut husk in certain proportions, printing presses produced from jute. Herbal drinks made from special kali (charcoal) and jute leaves have managed to attract the attention of local and foreign traders.
Jute sarees, lungis, salwar-kameez, punjabi, fatwa, bahari bags, toys, showpieces, wallmats, alpnas, scenes, nakshikanthas, shoes, sandals, ropes, door-window curtain fabrics, jewelery and jewelery boxes including 235 types of attractive and Valuable products are being marketed at home and abroad. Bangladeshi jute is now used in the western world in car manufacturing, paper and pump, insulation industry, geotextile healthcare, footwear, aircraft, computer body making, electronics, marine and sports industries.
Due to the topography and soil of this country being particularly suitable for jute production, there is a demand for jute and jute products of Bangladesh in about 60 countries of the world. Using jute as an alternative to plastic and polythene products will save the environment on the one hand and the jute mills on the other hand. In the national and international reality, there is a need to take concerted initiatives by government and private entrepreneurs for the development of jute cultivation and multi-purpose use of jute fiber under changing conditions.
There is no alternative to modernization of jute to ensure its versatile use. In addition to adding modern equipment to the government jute mills for product diversification, it is necessary to fix the minimum market price of jute to keep the production stable. About 4 crore people of the country are directly and indirectly dependent on the jute sector. Jute and jute products are not only eco-friendly and easily biodegradable, but also protect the environment from natural calamities.
As part of the climate movement, public opinion has formed around the world against the production and use of plastic bags that pollute water, soil and air. Moreover, as the year 2009 was declared and celebrated by the United Nations as the ‘International Year of Natural Fibers’, the use of natural fibers increased worldwide. According to the data, more than 100,00.00 crore per minute and about 1 trillion tons of polythene per year are used in the world, affecting a large number of birds and aquatic animals besides humans.
According to the Ministry of Forest and Environment, around 41 crore polybags are used in Dhaka alone every month. Considering these losses, the World Health Organization has recommended the use of eco-friendly jute sacks or bags for packaging food grains and sugar. The use of polythene bags was banned in Bangladesh in 2002. Increasing concern about the global environment is driving the demand for biodegradable and renewable materials.
Countries around the world, including Italy, Bhutan, China, Brazil, Rwanda, Somalia, Kenya, Taiwan, Tanzania, Australia, the United States and the United Kingdom, are turning away from synthetic bags and other environmentally destructive materials. Leaning towards the use of natural fibers. Bangladeshi scientists are discovering the life secret of jute. It is also known as the country of golden fibers in the outside world. So, it is not difficult at all to bring back the golden days of jute in this country.
Along with quality jute production and product diversification, effective branding of indigenous jute products in the international market is needed. At the same time necessary steps should be taken to remove legal hurdles in export. In the reality of rising global temperature, green economy and green earth, the new potential of jute and jute products in the world market should be exploited. The world currently has an annual demand of around 500 billion jute bags and 32 million food grade jute bags. If you can capture 10 percent of the market, you can earn Tk 50 thousand crore annually.

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