Jute coming back?

11 July, 2020 12:00 AM printer

The state of the country’s jute sector has apparently been in a flux since long with development in both positive and negative directions. The government’s recent decision of closing down 25 state-run jute mills has prompted many to ask whether we were forsaking on our golden fibre in a time when regaining its golden glory was talk of the town. The situation has further been aggravated by Covid-19 pandemic. But against all odds, the jute is shining in silence.

According to our report, a silent revolution is taking place in jute sector, which is evident in its becoming the 2nd highest foreign exchange earner after RMG.  Exports of jute and jute products saw an impressive 8.10 per cent year-on-year growth to $882 million in the fiscal year. The figure is also 7.08 per cent higher than the sector’s annual export target of $824 million.

There is a golden prospect in international market for our golden fibre because the people across the world are increasingly becoming conscious about the benefits of using eco-friendly and biodegradable yarns produced from jute. The coronavirus, which is believed to be a result of climate change, will further accelerate demand for biodegradable jute products in future.

Bangladesh is one of the largest producers of jute which is historically considered as a cash crop. The jute farmers and other stakeholders related to the sector had long been drowned in misery due to wrong policies or indifference of authorities concerned. But the present government from the beginning has been giving due importance to jute by considering it as a thrust sector.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Thursday mentioned her government’s plan to modernise the closed state-run jute mills to tap the opportunities of jute products worldwide. We welcome the government’s plan to reopen the closed jute mills under public-private partnership and reemploy the jute mill workers who recently lost their jobs after giving them necessary training. This should be done urgently to retain and expand the global jute market. A strong research and development sector is needed for innovation and manufacturing of high quality jute products. If the plans can be implemented effectively, jute will certainly regain its golden days.