The present government has played a crucial role in increasing jute’s significance and uses in a bid to revive the golden fibre.
Jute is turning out to be an important thespian as its demand is increasing abroad against the backdrop of the world’s inclination towards to ‘green’ solutions. In addition, jute’s diversified use is expanding its market size.
To promote jute globally, the country’s jute diversification centre has now 233 types of jute products.
Various consumer goods like shoes, handkerchiefs, bed sheets, caps and other items are now being made using jute. Since 2009, diversified jute products have started gaining a foothold in markets worldwide. To increase demand for jute, the government also made jute packaging mandatory for 17 products, fostering domestic support for the industry.
Bangladesh started enforcing the mandatory packaging rule for commodities–mainly rice, wheat and maize–from the last quarter of 2015 to limit the use of environmentally harmful plastic bags.
The country has started producing viscose from jute as an alternative to cotton. Viscose is used to make yarn in cotton yarn spinning mill.
Bangladesh imports viscose amounting to $700-800 million every year and this item is made of wood. The country has the potential to produce viscose from jute.
To this end, a factory is set up in Ghorasal of Narsingdi district for producing it under the government’s initiative. It will be possible to produce 35 tonnes of viscose in the factory annually. The project is a boon for the country’s jute economy since value addition to the raw material, when converted into viscose, will be substantially more than when either used in traditional jute mills or exported.
Export of jute and jute goods, another top earner, jumped 6.56 percent to $1.03 billion. In the category, jute yarn and twine saw their earnings rise 6.55 percent.

Dr Mahmudul Hasan, chairman of Bangladesh Jute Mills Corporation (BJMC), told Bangladesh Post that there was huge demand for jute and jute goods of Bangladesh in around 90 countries.

According to BJMC and Indian jute mill association, Bangladesh has 65 per cent share in global export earnings from jute whereas India’s earnings stand at around 25 percent. The remaining 10 percent share goes to China, Nepal, Pakistan and other countries.
In 2016-17 fiscal, the total export of jute goods was worth $79 crore whereas India earned $32 crore during the time.
In the last fiscal, the country’s earnings stood at $74.60 crore while next-door neighbour India fetched $29.60 crore.
The fabric is mainly exported to Australia, China, Turkey, Vietnam, some African and European Union countries.
Apart from jute goods, Bangladesh also exports raw jute. The country is earning megabucks from the sector, albeit most of the jute mills here are running with old machinery. Therefore, there is a bit lack of diversity in jute products compared to its competitors.
The country has all the possibilities to strengthen its position in the global market by enhancing its skilled manpower.
The global market based on jute products will stand at $260 core by 2022 as many EU countries imposed a ban on plastic bags. Jute product producing countries like Bangladesh, India and China have great opportunities to enter the market, according a study of Research and Markets.
To redeem the advantage, the government has taken many steps to develop the jute industry, said secretary to jute and textile Fayzur Rahman.
Diversified jute products are being produced given its global demand, he also said.
Farmers are provided with incentives and financial assistances for boosting production. The non-government sector is also getting all the facilities as well, he mentioned.
Besides, the government organisation BJMC is also working more actively than any other time, he added.
For the first time the government has initiated bale-based sales of jute as well as digital buying system, he maintained.

Zahid Hossain Biplob