National, Front Page

High-end jute products coming

With cutting edge technology

Published : 13 Sep 2019 09:31 PM | Updated : 07 Sep 2020 01:22 PM

The government has taken various projects to modernize production of jute products with cutting edge technology to bringing about a revolutionary changes in the sector. Once known as the ‘golden fiber,’ the fresh initiative would greatly improve the quality of jute products for the its international market.

Focused on enhancing quality of jute products, the government has already invested huge amounts of fund to improve the sector and boost export potentials. Besides, effective initiatives have also been taken to expand export of jute and jute goods as their demand is increasing across the world gradually.

Jute and jute goods export maintained a steady growth in the last few years. But the jute export saw a declining trend in the last year, causing a serious concern among the policymakers of the government. “There is huge demand of jute and jute goods of Bangladesh in around 81 countries including England, France, Japan, Korea, Italy, Canada, Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Sudan,” Mohammad Belayet Hossain, Secretary, Textiles and Jute Ministry told Bangladesh Post on Friday.

He said that he also held a series of meetings with the foreign secretary to expand the export of jute and jute goods. ““We have already placed the issue before the prime minister. Besides, the government is also working through diplomatic channel to increase the export of raw jute and jute products,” he said.

The jute secretary also said the current government, under the dynamic leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, has already made mandatory the use of jute bags for packaging a total of 19 products in the country. “Bangladesh exported jute worth taka two thousand and five crore to Sudan while taka 172 crore to Iraq. But these two countries have not paid the money to Bangladesh yet,” he added.

But the country is failing to exploit this huge export potentials properly because as it is lagging behind in production and diversification of jute and jute products. The government has formulated the Export Policy 2018-2021 and in the light of this, it has already invited investors from home and abroad to invest more in setting up product-specific industrial areas or special zones so that it can develop the jute sector further and tap into a plethora of new export markets.

In this regard, the officials said the government has already put emphasis on fixing the quantity of the jute production by determining the demand so that farmers and manufacturers do not count any losses. According to him, the government has also taken special measures to produce quality jute and diversify jute products. The government also working to expand the jute market across the world through diplomatic channel.

Along with extending policy support, the government has increased cash incentive for diversification of jute products, the officials said adding initiatives have also been taken to bring variation in the jute and jute goods. The jute ministry also held a series of meeting with the foreign ministry to expand the export of jute and jute goods.

The officials aid Bangladesh is facing serious difficulties in increasing the export of jute and jute product as neighbouring country has imposed anti-dumping duties on jute. Country’s business delegations who visited different foreign countries have already identified that where the jute and jute products demand are increasing.

Bangladesh produces the best quality of jute in the world and is the third largest jute producing and first in exporting raw jute in the world. Once, the country had ranked the first position in exporting jute and jute goods in different foreign countries. But export earnings from jute and jute goods continued declining in the global market due mainly to the sluggish trend.

According to the Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) data, jute and jute goods fetched USD 695.52 million in FY2018–19 (July-April), down from USD 889.74 million recorded during the same period in FY2017-18 (July-April). This marks a negative growth of 21.83 per cent. Following the downward trend of jute and jute and jute goods export, the government high commands and policymakers discussed the issue why the export of jute and jute goods is increasing day by day.

According to the sources, jute and agriculture ministers and high ups of the ministries, exporters and research have already chalked out plans that how and in what way export of jute and jute products can be expanded. On the other hand, the farmers are also getting frustrated as even they are not realising their production cost.

In this regard both the jute and foreign ministries are constantly maintaining communications with these two countries through diplomatic channel. The jute ministry is trying its level best to expand jute market in some countries including Sudan of Africa, Brazil, Chile and Argentina of Latin America.

Besides, the government has also taken initiative to purchase raw jute from the farmers directly. On the other hand, country’s exporters said the jute and jute goods are passing through a critical juncture due to increase of production const and imposing anti-dumping duties on jute by India.

They also requested the government to modernise the machineries of country’s all jute mills in order to produce quality jute products. Besides, the authorities concerned will have to conduct research on jute and constitute statistic and development councils As the second largest jute producing country in the world, the government will have to focus more on the diverse usage of jute.

Bangladesh also needs to invest more in the research of this sector and tap into more export markets for the fiber. However, the sector faced a crisis period partly due to the advent of artificial fibers and the step-motherly attitude to the sector by the military dictators who grabbed power illegally after Bangabandhu’s assassination.