With a growing demand in the international market coupled with product diversification, country’s jute goods producers and exporters are hoping for a bright future for jute, which is fondly called the golden fibre of Bangladesh.
They said international orders for jute products are increasing gradually due to the growing emphasis on green items by different countries and various steps and policy support extended by the government to diversify products and boost the export.Amid such a scenario, the National Jute Day will be observed in the country today.
“The demand for new types of diversified jute products like gardening items, shopping bags, geo-textile, pulp and paper, home textiles, household products, floor covering and non-woven textiles is very high at the consumer level in the international market,” said Director of Bangladesh Jute Goods Exporter Association (BJGEA) Md Siraj-ud-Daulla.
“In such a situation, we needed government’s support to enrich our export basket and we’re currently getting it. Therefore, we’re dreaming to revive the lost glory of our jute sector,” said Siraj, also owner of Jute Heaven.
The Ministry of Agriculture and the Ministry of Textiles and Jute have jointly prepared a five-year roadmap to make Bangladesh self-sufficient in quality jute seeds.
This will help increase the jute production in the country and jute goods exporters will get raw jute in more affordable prices.
According to the Jute Act 2017, any jute product except hessian, sacking, CBC, six counts or more than that of jute yarn, where jute has been used at least 50 per cent as raw material, will be categorised as diversified items.The Ministry of Textiles and Jute implemented the Mandatory Jute Packaging Act 2010, enacted the Jute Act 2017 and framed National Jute Policy 2018 to revive and modernise this sector.
The government on October 6, 2020 declared 282 jute products as diversified items to expand the export basket and increase both local and international sale.
And the impact of these measures is visible in the export earnings.
Export earnings from jute and jute goods increased 30.56 per cent year-on-year to US$668.11 million in the July-December period of the 2020-21 fiscal year, which is also 19.29 per cent higher than the target.
Md Rashedul Karim Munna, former BJGEA president and managing director of Creation Private Ltd, said, “Export earnings from the jute sector have been hovering around $1 billion over the last few years. We believe that the sector has the potential to export $4 billion worth of products within the next five years.”
He urged the government to stop exporting raw jute as it increases the price of jute products and disrupts the earning potential.
Raw jute export in the 2019-20 fiscal year was 15.48 per cent higher compared to the previous year, according to the Export Promotion Bureau.
As a result, Bangladesh Jute Mills Association and Bangladesh Jute Spinners Association sent letters to the Prime Minister’s Office and the Ministry of Textiles and Jute in September last year, demanding that restrictions be put on raw jute export.
Bangladesh is the second highest producer of raw jute and the largest exporter of jute and jute products in the world. The country’s jute output is above 1.4 million tonnes (8.0 million bales) annually.