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Govt working to restore lost glory of jute

  • Published at 07:59 pm March 10th, 2017
Govt working to restore lost glory of jute
The Ministry of Textiles and Jute has organised the fair at KIB in Dhaka’s Farmgate area to mark National Jute Day on March 6, observed for the first time this year. The aim of observing such a day is to promote the jute industry and its significance in the country’s economy, said ministry officials. In line with that vision, the ministry has organised the fair where 60 companies and entrepreneurs are showcasing the wide array of jute-made products. During the inauguration of the fair on Thursday, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said her government was making constant efforts to reclaim its reputation of being the Golden Fibre of Bangladesh, BSS reported. “We want to restore the lost glory of jute as we want our local products to flourish,” she said. “Work is underway for modernisation and diversification of jute products, which used to be the only foreign currency earning sector in Bangladesh.” Hasina said her government had already revived many jute mills which had been shut down years ago. “After we came to power in 2009, about 21,000 jute mill workers found their jobs in the jute mills after they resumed operation,” she said. The prime minister said her government has prioritised research on jute products which has led to the production of 35 new products from jute. She said the demand of jute products is growing across the world and Bangladesh has the opportunity to enter into the global market like RMG and ICT sectors to meet that demand. Md Abdul Jalil, director (jute) at the Department of Jute, reiterated the prime minister’s statement. [caption id="attachment_51815" align="aligncenter" width="800"]Zakir-(5) An exhibition of jute products was organised at a fair on National Jute Day. The three-day jute fair began on Thursday at the Krishibid Institution in Dhaka SYED ZAKIR HOSSAIN[/caption] “Bangladesh is developing and diversifying jute products, in addition to the usual ones, to boost its use worldwide,” he told the Dhaka Tribune on Friday. He said export of the new products, such as jute charcoal and jute tea, would begin as soon as they receive the Harmonised System codes required for traded goods. Jalil said many of the 24 jute mills in the country, which had been closed for many reasons, have resumed operation because of the enactment of the Mandatory Jute Packaging Act. The act has also created a demand of around 100 crore jute bags as it has made the use of jute bags mandatory for the packaging of 11 products, he added. Quoting statistics, Jalil said Bangladesh exported jute products worth $800 million and jute bales worth $135.18 million in the 2015-16 fiscal year. According to Jatiya Sangsad data, Bangladesh exports jute products to 118 countries and raw jute bales to 13 countries. Jute goods fair draws large crowds Shaila Akhter came all the way from Uttara with her toddler in her arms to visit the  Diversified Jute Goods Fair. “It is frustrating to think that jute has lost its past glory,” she said. “It is so useful; for example, it can easily replace plastic.” She said raising awareness about jute’s usefulness would help restore its value. Elias Haider, owner of Full Fashion Handicrafts, has come from Kaliganj upazila in Gazipur. He said the fair was an excellent opportunity for him and his 39 workers to showcase their products. He said his company, which was founded in 2012, manufactures belts, bags, pot holders, bangles, necklaces and many other products. The once-thriving jute industry may be revived if people become aware of how useful jute can be in day-to-day life, he added. Vashkor David Costa, senior marketing officer of Corr The Jute Works, spoke about the limited access that locals have to jute products. “We export every jute product that we make. Our own people, who make the product, are not able to use them,” he told the Dhaka Tribune. “But people generally do like jute products. They have been coming here [the fair] and buying the products without bargaining.” More local industries should be established, he added. The fair will end today at 8pm.
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