Diverse, innovative and environmentally friendly jute products are in high demand among customers and visitors at the Dhaka International Trade Fair (DITF) 2018, which began on January 1.
Speaking to the Dhaka Tribune on Monday, many visitors to the fair said they preferred the pavilions and stalls selling jute products for the variety on offer, the environmentally friendly nature of the material, and internationally standards of quality.
Laboni Hassan, a resident of Uttara, praised the quality and prices for jute goods at DITF.
“I bought a carpet as well as some good quality floor and table mats at cheap prices from the jute stalls here. It is echo-friendly and looks trendy too,” she said.
Moreover, Rafiqul Alam, a resident of Shewrapara, said he was in wonder of the variety of jute products on display, which included jute bags to be used an alternative to polythene and jute fibreglass.
BJMC’s Innovation and diversification
The Bangladesh Jute Mills Corporation (BJMC), under the Ministry of Textiles and Jute, has been displaying their diversified and innovative products, including the jute-made “Sonali Bag,” at pavilion number RP 2A at DITF 2018. Samples of jute fibres were also on display at the Innovation Corner of the pavilion.
BJMC Scientific Advisor Dr Mubarak Ahmad Khan said the Sonali Bag is made of jute cellulose, which is a completely biodegradable and environmental friendly material. Jute cellulose is stable in water for up to 5 hours and decomposes in soil within 5 to 6 months. In addition, the material has a tensile strength 1.5 times higher than that of polythene bags, and could be used as packaging material for ready-made garments and food items.
“The Sonali Bag project is still under experimental processing and it’ll hopefully come to the market in June or July,” he added.
Another innovative product on display was the Jute Leaf Drink. DITF scientists said the drink contains numerous essential minerals and nutrients including antioxidants, iron, calcium, choline and vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, B6, C, E and K.
Furniture and kitchen accessories made from jute fibreglass were also on display, as were jute made shoes, wallets, and clothing.
The prices of the products varied from Tk3o to Tk9,000, officials said.
BJMC Manager (Marketing) Md Zakir Hossain Khan told the Dhaka Tribune: “We set the pavilion at the international trade fair mostly to introduce the innovative and diversified jute products to the public to encourage people to buy echo-friendly jute products.”
“All the jute made products were made following global standards, although the price is still cheaper than other artificial products in the market in our country,” he added.
Zakir further said such products were the result of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and other ministers concerned placing priority on Bangladesh’s jute industry.
BJMC not the only place for jute products
In addition to the BJMC pavilion, 24 stalls of the Jute Diversification Promotion Centre (JDPC), also under the Ministry of Textiles and Jute, were displaying their products at pavilion number RA 2.
Products including bags, mats, carpets, shoes, and household ornaments were displayed at the stalls, at prices ranging from Tk20 to Tk6,500.
“We don’t have a showroom or stall in Bangladesh, we only export all the jute products to the markets in the United States, and are trying to sell to some other first world countries such as in Europe and Australia,” said Kabir Hossain, manager of stall no 23 at the JDPC pavillion.
Furthermore, Rangpur based brand Shatoranji of Karupannyo Rangpur Limited opened a separate pavilion, number GP 17, to display their handcrafted jute products.
Mohammad Sumon Sarkar, pavilion in-charge of Shatoranji, told the Dhaka tribune they have more than 20 items all made to global standards.
“We have 20-50% discounts for buyers at the fair. We also offer a ‘buy one, get one free’ package. All of our products are handcrafted,” he said.
Sumon further said they have three showrooms – one at Shurabad in Dhaka and another two in Rangpur, and they export their products globally to 50 countries.