IJSG News>    

Jute, coir to reinforce roads in State soon


Davangere, February 1, 2013: Roads wearing out fast will be a thing of the past as jute and coir will be used as raw materials, along with sand, gravel and cement in the construction of roads in the State. This method of road construction, which is in vogue in Kolkata, will be adopted for 32 roads in the districts of Kolar, Tumkur, Haveri, Belgaum, Bidar, Shimoga and Mysore this year at a cost of Rs 40 crore.
The road will have a one-inch thick base layer of sand. Above this is laid a jute sheet. This is then topped by another layer of sand of one inch thickness. It is then strengthened by two layers of metalling of 3.5 inch thickness. Ramesh, executive engineer of the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana, told Deccan Herald that the California bearing ratio (CBR), a measure of the soil strength, is increased by adopting the new technology. While the CBR of?black soil is two, that of red soil is eight. One layer of jute sheet increases the CBR of the soil by a three points.
Normal roads wear out fast soon after rains. But roads constructed using this technology helps them last longer. Ramesh said officials of the Central jute and coir boards will inspect the quality of roads constructed.He said the contractors have to maintain the roads for five years. Maintenance for a further period of 15 years will help them last that much longer. Three roads are being constructed using this method in Harapanahalli taluk of the district. The jute and coir boards have been requisitioned to supply 29,950 square metres of jute sheets for the purpose. The work will be taken up at Honnapura, V?Koracharahatti and Nandibevur thandas at a cost of Rs four crore as soon as the jute consignment arrives from Kolkata and the work will be accomplished in a year, Ramesh said. Source: deccanherald.com



February 07 2013





Visakhapatnam hosts jute fair


The National Jute Board (NJB) is hosting a week-long fair here to promote the sale of eco-friendly jute products and to provide a market for the small artisans. A variety of jute products, including colourful mats and carpets, clutches, handbags, shopping bags, slippers, men''s wallets,tablemats, file folders are on display at the fair. Jute, which is also known as the Golden Fibre is considered to be the second most important fibre after cotton due to its reasonable price and eco-friendly attributes. customer, Vishal, said that such exhibitions should be held more often, as they provide an insight about eco-friendly products. "Such kinds of exhibition should be held in all states of India, especially in capital and metropolitan cities, so that people can know about it and can purchase these products and commodities, as they are more eco-friendly," said Vishal.Participating craftsmen expressed their delight over the increase in sales of their products. A shopkeeper, Abhijit Ghosh, said: "Earlier, our financial condition was not good and the National Jute Board is supporting us. It was getting difficult for us to sustain our livelihood. With this particpation of the National Jute Board, our economic condition has improved," said Ghosh.
In all, 23 stalls have been put up by jute artisans and manufacturers. Such fairs not only bring the craftsmen into limelight, but also provide an opportunity to the people to find out more about the arts and crafts of other regions of the country.



February 07 2013



Lack of quality output, high price affecting jute goods' export


Local jute millers, especially the spinners and raw jute exporters, are facing a shortage of quality jute that is seriously affecting production and export of jute goods.Lower production of the natural fibre has also fuelled up raw jute price, taking toll on overall production cost of jute goods in a competitive export market, businesses said.According to the Department of Jute (DoJ), jute industries need nearly 7.2 million bales of raw jute this fiscal year (FY 2012-13) to meet local and export demands.But, significant fall in jute-cultivated land and lack of quality jute have caused a grave concern among the jute-millers and jute goods exporters.Jute cultivation area has reduced by about 7.0 per cent to 0.67 million hectares this fiscal, as many farmers switched to production of other crops due to its low price in the FY 11 and FY 12, said a key official at the Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE).He said the DAE had targeted to procure 7.1 million bales (1 bale = 180kg) of jute from the achieved acreage, but failed.Besides, drought in some areas in the country's South-West and Western regions was another reason behind the falling acreage, he added. The official, however, acknowledged that the final data of jute production in the FY 13 is yet to be finalised.The state-run Bangladesh Jute Mills Corporation (BJMC), Bangladesh Jute Spinners Association (BJSA), Bangladesh Jute Mills Association (BJMA), and the raw jute exporter - Bangladesh Jute Association (BJA) - targeted to purchase 1.22 million, 2.8 million, 1.0 million and 2.2 million bales of raw jute respectively this fiscal.According to the DoJ, the four market players bought around 6.9 million bales of jute last fiscal, when its total production was around 7.6 million bales.Meanwhile, jute prices that showed a downward trend in its harvesting season, have now increased significantly.Raw jute of higher grade (tossa variety) was sold at Tk 1,950- Tk 2,200 per maund (40 kg) and lower grade (desi variety) at Tk 1,500-1,600 in the markets in Faridpur, Rajbari, Khulna, Kustia, Tangail, Sirajganj and Rangpur."Despite offering higher prices we are still looking for quality jute for the spinning mills," said Iqbal Haider, managing director of Usha Jute Spinners Ltd."Our mill needs nearly 0.7 million maunds of higher quality jute to process yarn. But, the price of raw jute is much higher, and we lack good quality jute, which are hampering production in the peak time," he added."Farmers have no or meagre amount of seeds of their own that forced them to use lower quality Indian seeds. As a result, we are deprived of our local varieties of jute, considered as the best in the world," managing director of Faridpur Jute Fibres Ltd Shabbir Yusuf said.BJSA chairman Muhammad Shams-uz Zoha said the government has to provide incentives to the farmers for preserving local jute seeds for ensuring a sustainable jute sector.He said BJSA's 92 mills exported 0.916 million bales of yarn in July-December period of this fiscal. The volume could be higher if they had adequate supply of quality jute. BJA chairman Mahfuzul Haque also expressed his concern over the sharp fall of jute production this fiscal though the demand for raw jute has been increasing gradually in the global market."We need supply of quality jute to increase the export volume significantly," he added.

Agriculture expert M A Sobhan said the country needs 4,000 tonnes of jute seeds annually, of which it now imports 3,000 tonnes at a cost of Tk 2.0 billion.The government should take projects on pilot basis in the country's jute growing hubs to boost preservation of jute seeds.
The government has to provide incentives to the farmers, and assure profitable prices for their produces. Then it would take three to four years to make the country self-sufficient in jute seeds through the projects," he added.Despite the global downturn, raw jute export increased to nearly 2.1 million bales in the FY 12 against 1.7 million bales in the FY 11. Raw jute exporters made a shipment of 0.832 million bales in the first five months of the current fiscal (FY 13).
However, in terms of value the exports of raw jute and jute goods declined by 13 per cent to $967 million in the FY 12 from $1,114 million in the FY 11, according to the Export Promotion Bureau (EPB).



Two BJMC mills re-opened to revive jute production


CHITTAGONG, Jan 26: The government has re-opened two jute mills in Chittagong in a bid to revitalize country's jute industry. Karnaphuli Jute Mills and Forat-Karnaphuli Carpet Factory produce jute goods especially carpet backing cloths, hessian cloths and sacking.Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today inaugurated the mills which will now be operated under state-run BJMC after it was transferred to the government by Saad Musa group, a local industrial conglomerate that ran the mills for about four years and a half.Meanwhile, the government has allotted a sum of Tk 410 million from the climate trust fund initially to Bangladesh Jute Mills Corporation to meet the operational expenditure for Karnaphuli Jute Mills and Forat Karnaphuli Carpet Factory, said officials adding that local MP Dr Hasan Mahmud, also Minister for Forest and Environment took special initiative to run the mills under BJMC management.Production in the two factories remains suspended for the last three months since the 1st of November 2012, officials informed.BJMC officials said the government wants to revive the lost glory of the golden fibre and full scale operations of the mills will create jobs for over two thousand people directly and enhance BJMC's total annual production capacity.Saad Musa group took lease of the mills located at Rangunia upazila of north Chittagong for five years on July 31, 2008 during the last caretaker government but handed the same to Bangladesh Jute Mills Corporation as Awami League in its election (2008) manifesto was committed to run all public sector jute mills of the country to boost up export and local consumption of the 'golden fibre' of Bangladesh.The lessee company handed over the mills, raw materials and assets to the BJMC on November 1, 2012 as asked by Ministry of Jute and Textile. A senior official of Saad Musa group said they were running the mills successfully and earning profit for the last two years by employing about 900 workers in two mills.BJMC had 24 jute mills, 11 of them in Chittagong, but some of them were closed in the year 2007 on grounds that the factories had undergone continuous financial loss due to mismanagement and corruption by officials and workers plus reduced production in factories burdened with age-old machinery.MM Jute Mills and RR Jute Mills - another pair of Jute Mills in Sitakunda of Chittagong was supposed to resume production in December 2011 but it did not happen, the official said adding that production is continuing in both mills on a test basis.Manager (admin and liaison) Mohammed Mohiuddin Sadek told the FE that production will resume soon in Karnaphuli Jute and Forat-Karnaphuli Carpet by recruiting workers. "We have required officials to run the mills but we need to recruit workers, the process of which is likely to start at the earliest, but it will be done by our head office in Dhaka as per BJMC employment rules," he said.Both the mills had some three thousand workers but they were paid off following closure of the mills in the fiscal year 2006-07.Karnaphuli Jute Mill was set up by Daud Group of Pakistan on an area of 52.14 acres of land at Rangunia in the year 1968. The mill was taken up by the government of the then Prime Minister Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in 1972. In 1980, the Forat-Karnaphuli Carpet factory was set up on the same land with financial support from the Government of Iraq.
BJMC officials in Chittagong said production in most of the factories came down below 60 per cent. "Age-old machinery requires to be replaced by new ones and some of them even need to undergo BMRE (balancing, modernization, rehabilitation and expansion)," a senior official said.

Sunday, 27 January 2013



Reopening of Bangladesh jute mills to create 4000 jobs


Around 4,000 direct job opportunities are likely to come up in Bangladesh jute industry, as the Government plans to soon restart three closed jute mills to rejuvenate the country’s jute sector.

Aiming to re-establish the industry at its past glorious position, the Government is planning to reopen Khulna-based Daulatpur Jute Mills, Chittagong-based Forat-Karnaphuli Carpet Factory and Karnaphuli Jute Mills.  

Of these, the Daulatpur Jute Mills has been carrying out test run for jute production since April 2012, and is ready for launch of commercial operations, according to the state-owned Bangladesh Jute Mills Corporation (BJMC). 

Upon reopening, the three mills would function under the BJMC, and boost the Corporation’s annual production capacity from the present 230,000 tons to 250,000 tons at optimum levels. 

BJMC, which owns 24 jute mills, 18 of which are operational, has already developed a project for modernization and expansion of these mills. The project includes replacing of obsolete machinery, refurbishment of old factory premises, developing new premises and replacing cables. 

During last fiscal, BJMC produced 176,000 tons of jute as compared to its previous fiscal’s production of 160,000 tons. 

BJMC exported Tk 10.58 billion worth of jute items during last fiscal, which is higher than its previous year’s exports of Tk 9.43 billion.


January 12, 2013



EU underlines jute’s role in regional integration


Jute can play an enhanced role in regional integration between Bangladesh and the European Union, an EU official has said.European Union External Action Service (EEAS) director Seamus Gillespie advised Bangladesh to raise this subject to the EU. He said EU is ready to support Bangladesh in this issue.Gillespie was speaking at a meeting in Brussels on Friday on the prospect of Jute fibre titled “Golden Fibre in the Green Development” at Chambers of Commerce and Industry (BECI), Brussels, according to a PID handout received in Dhaka on Saturday.

Bangladesh Embassy in Brussels and International Jute Study Group (IJSG) arranged the meeting that was moderated by the Bangladesh Ambassador Ismat Jahan.The ambassador highlighted the growing importance of jute particularly in the context of its increasing significance in “green development”.Unless it is strongly supported internationally, the world will be deprived of a valuable eco-friendly fibre, she added.IJSG's Secretary General Bhupendra Singh, presented a paper on the prospect of jute fibre describing the various aspects of innovative use of jute goods and the comparative advantage of using jute fibre.A four member Bangladesh delegation by Major General Humayun Khaled, Chairmen, BJMC also attended the forum.The event was participated among others by European Commission officials, members of Federation of the Belgian Textile, Wood and Furniture Industry (Fedustria), jute & jute goods traders both from Europe and Bangladesh, environment groups, think tanks located in Brussels and Embassy officials.


Source: NB Connect Bangladesh

November 17, 2012

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Jute packing mandatory norms for sugar eased:


Now 40 % of sugar output to be packed in jute material.In a relief to the sugar sector, the government has relaxed the compulsory jute packing norms by allowing mills to pack only 40 per cent of their sugar output in jute bags this year, instead of 100 per cent.Under the Jute Packaging Materials Act (JPMA), 1987, the government had made 100 per cent mandatory reservation for jute bags for packaging of sugar and foodgrains.“Forty per cent of sugar production will be required to be packed in jute material manufactured in India from raw jute produced in India,” a Textile Ministry notification said.Not only sugar, the government has relaxed mandatory jute packing norms for foodgrains to 90 per cent of total production, the notification said. However, the new mandatory jute packing norm would not be applicable to sugar fortified with vitamins, packing for export of commodities, small consumer packs of 25 kg and below and bulk packaging of more than one kilogram, it said.Sugar packed for export but which could not be shipped may be exempted from this order after assessment by the Food Ministry, it added.The new jute packing norms would be applicable during the 2012-13 crop year (July-June).In case of short supply of jute bags, the notification said, “The Textile Ministry may in consultation with user ministries, relax these provision further, up to a maximum of 30 per cent of total production of foodgrains and sugar.” Welcoming the notification, Indian Sugar Mills Association Director-General Abinash Verma said, “The government has finally accepted. There is an inadequate availability of raw jute and lower capacity of jute mills to take care the demand from foodgrains and sugar sectors.”


Source: The Hindu

November 2, 2012


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Bangladesh decodes genome of crop-killer fungus


[DHAKA] Bangladeshi scientists who decoded the genome of the fungus Macrophomina phaseolina are confident that the breakthrough will help tackle an organism that blights valuable crop plants such as jute, rice, cotton, maize and soybean.

Work on sequencing the M. phaseolina genome was described in BMC Genomics, published last month (19 September), by lead scientist Maqsudul Alam and his team members from the Bangladesh Jute Research Institute (BJRI) and the University of Dhaka.

"We can now design rational strategies for plant disease control and develop fungus-resistant crops," Alam, who is also director of advanced studies in genomics, proteomics and bioinformatics at the College of Natural Sciences, University of Hawaii, told SciDev.Net.

Genome sequencing helps ready identification of genes responsible for an organism's characteristics, allowing scientists to modify the genes to either reduce or enhance features, according to desirability.

Alam said that M. phaseolina uses a "diverse arsenal of enzymatic and toxin tools to destroy host plants. The M. phaseolina genome lays the foundation to elucidate the specialised mechanism that helps the fungus infect more than 500 plant hosts."

"The overall impact of this fungus on the global agricultural economy is devastating," said Alam pointing to seedling blight, root rot and charcoal rot it causes to many crops and non-crops.

Mohd Kamal Uddin, director-general of BJRI, told SciDev.Net that what was remarkable about the research on M. phaseolina was that it was completed ahead of schedule. "We now need to translate the findings into action."

Alam said there was potential in Bangladesh for similar research in the future. “Bangladesh with its ecology is a Mecca for agro-based research, with benefits for the ‘bottom billion’ in the areas of rice, seasonal fruits and herbs.”

The main aim of research at BJRI was to "deliver to Bangladeshi farmers disease-resistant, stress-tolerant and high-yielding jute varieties," Alam said. M. phaseolina destroys 30 per cent of annual jute crops worth about US$ half-a-billion.

Cracking the M. phaseolina genome was the extension of work on decoding the jute genome that Alam and his team had achieved two years earlier.

Bangladesh, the world’s second largest producer of jute, after India and the largest exporter of the 'golden fibre', has filed for several patents against its jute and fungus genome sequencing work.

Source: Science and Development Network

October 09, 2012


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Crafts from Kolkata


Swayambhar NARI (Non-formal Action Research Institute), a Kolkata-based voluntary organisation, is organising a seven-day exhibition of handicrafts from Shantiniketan from West Bengal, beginning from tomorrow.


West Bengal is known for its handlooms, handicrafts, patachitra and jute products. On display will be a range of products developed and created through the Integrated Design & Technical Development Project, sponsored by Office of Development Commissioner (Handicrafts), Govt. of India, Ministry of Textile Department.  Jute chappals, bags, patachitra, different types of handicrafts from Santineketan - Patochitra, Madur (mat), besides men and women’s silk and cotton kurtas, dress materials, cotton, silk and tussar printed saree, fancy and stone ornaments from Kolkata will be on sale.


The highlight of the exhibition will be a live demonstration by artisans from various parts of West Bengal, majority of them from Shantiniketan showcasing Kantha embroidery, weaving, potachitra, floor mate making etc. The exhibition will be on from 11 am to 8 pm everyday at YWCA, West Marredpally Road, Secunderabad from October 9 to 15.


Swayambhar NARI was started in 1988 essentially for women but over the years, male craftsmen too have become a part of it. Started as a voluntary group for providing marketing facilities to craftspersons, it has grown to more than 1,000 members. The organisation runs two craft schools at Midnapore and Birbhum, Shantiniketan besides schools in rural areas for the craftspersons’ children. Swayambhar NARI activities are supported by NABARD, NID and NIFT for skill upgradation and product diversification.


Source: IBNLive.

October 09, 2012

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  New invention promises dramatic turn for farmers' fortunes.  

Atiqur Rahman, a farmer in the northwestern Naogaon district, knows all too well how a deadly fungus known as pachamina can destroy crops and undermine his livelihood.Pachamina is responsible for causing huge damage to jute crops in Bangladesh and around the world. Now a team of Bangladeshi scientists says it has decoded the genome, opening the door to new ways of fighting the deadly scourge. [Photo courtesy of BJRI]."It infects one plant after another," he told Khabar South Asia. "I incurred huge losses last year due to the outbreak of the disease. No pesticide could stop the rotting of the plants."

A September announcement by a team of Bangladeshi scientists, led by Maqsudul Alam, professor of Microbiology at the University of Hawaii, promises to bring relief to farmers like him. Alam's team said it has decoded the genome of the deadly fungus, also known by its scientific name, macrophomina phaseolina. The announcement has rekindled hope for countless farmers like Rahman – both in Bangladesh and around the world – who struggle against blight caused by the fungus. It has long wreaked havoc on global jute and soybean production, causing billions of dollars in losses each year. In the Bangladesh jute industry alone, it is responsible for around Tk 4,000 crore ($490.6m) in annual yield losses. "Macrophomina phaseolina can reduce the yield of jute production by at least 30%," Monjurul Alam, a researcher at the Bangladesh Jute Research Institute (BJRI), where the decoding was done, told Khabar. Maqsudul Alam, the lead scientist, said the gene sequencing could help in several ways.

"This (the decoding) will serve in designing appropriate strategies for disease control [and] the development of fungus-resistant crops, essential to ensure healthy agricultural production and food security," he told Khabar. Mohammad Kamal Uddin, director of the project, also pointed to the potential benefits. "Now we can easily develop a new variety of jute resistant to the fungus. This will save farmers from huge economic losses," he told Khabar. Bangladesh is the world's second-largest producer of jute, behind India, and the biggest exporter of the natural fibre. Abdur Rahman, a farmer in Modhukhali, Faridpur, told Khabar that combating the fungus effectively would be a major boon. "This will be a great relief for the farmers if the fungus can be killed before it infects the plants," he said. The breakthrough was big enough news in Bangladesh that Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina interrupted scheduled parliamentary proceedings to personally make the announcement. "This is a great day for all of us. We used to gain knowledge from all over the world but now we're in a position to provide new knowledge to the rest of the world," she told Parliament, announcing the breakthrough to thunderous applause.

Source: South Asia in Dhaka

October 10, 2012


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  Indian curbs on jute goods worry exporters  

Export of jute goods to India might decline in the current fiscal year as the neighbouring country has imposed new tariff and non-tariff barriers, sources said. The Indian government has imposed four per cent countervailing duty on jute goods and also has set a condition which requires Bangladeshi exporters to put the 'country of origin' tags on their jute bags.

The industry insiders said sticking the labels measuring 10 cm X 8 cm each on the jute bags would just raise the production cost by three per cent. The Indian government set such a condition in 2009 also, requiring the exporters to mention the words "Made in Bangladesh' on each bale of jute bags, containing 300, 400 and 500 pieces each.

The industry insiders feared that allowing the restrictions to linger long would only widen the trade deficit between the two countries. India solely depends on Bangladeshi jute bags. And imposition of such tariff and non-tariff barriers by the country will only leave a negative impact on export of jute bags.

The Indian measures have come at a time when the political chaos in the Middle East and some African countries has led to a sharp fall in export of the country's jute goods driving down raw jute prices in the local market.

Following imposition of the Indian restrictions, the jute goods exporters in the country's private sector have long been requesting the government to persuade the neighbouring country to review the decisions.

On September 25 last Bangladesh Jute Mills Association (BJMA) submitted recommendations to the ministry of commerce (MoC) for discussion with the Indian government. "We call upon the government to negotiate the matter with the Indian government for the sake of smooth jute goods export there," BJMA Secretary A Barik Khan told the FE.

The private sector accounted for 79.74 per cent of the total export of jute goods during the 2011-12 fiscal year. Both the private and public sectors earned Tk 50 billion from export of jute goods. Bangladesh exported jute goods to India worth Tk 8.5 billion during the period.


Source: The Financial Express, Bangladesh

October 01, 2012

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  Funding constraints put damper on jute market  

Fund constraints held jute millers and traders back putting a damper on demand for the golden fibre to the utter deprivation of farmers. Farmers saw a significant fall in prices of the world's most adorned biodegradable natural fibre, as the jute millers and traders could not go for purchase of the cash-crop as targeted because of their fund constraints, sources said.

If the situation was allowed to linger long, it would cause an adverse impact on overall production in the country's jute industry, they feared.

Leaders of Bangladesh Jute Mills Corporation (BJMC), Bangladesh Jute Mills Association (BJMA), Bangladesh Jute Spinners Association (BJSA) and Bangladesh Jute Association (BJA) said they were yet to achieve even half of the jute purchase targets.

BJMA officials said their miller members planned to procure 1.0 million bales of raw jute this season. But so far they could meet only 10 per cent of the total target due to the fund constraint. Same was the situation with the BJMC, as it was not able to buy the targeted volume of raw jute because of their fund scarcity.

The state-run mills have so far procured 535,000 bales of raw jute against the target of 1,220,000 bales in the ongoing fiscal year. BJA chairman Mahfuj-Ul-Haque said they had a plan to buy 2.5 million bales of raw jute in the current year. But they so far could buy only one bale.

Mr Haque said nearly 95 per cent of raw jute exporters could not procure jute this season. In such a situation the farmers emerged losers as they were not getting prices up to the expectation.

According to the jute traders, the prices of raw jute at the field level stood at Tk 900 to Tk 1700 per maund this year, down from last year's Tk 1500 to Tk 2200 depending on quality.

According to the leaders in the sector, if the traders cannot purchase jute within the next 15 days, the market will be under the full control of hoarders. Then they would be compelled to buy the commodity at much higher prices from the hoarders while the farmers would incur heavy losses, they said.

They also said if the banks at least give them assurance about availability of loans during the period, they can place orders for purchase of jute from the farmers. Recently the Textile and Jute Ministry in letters to four state-run banks asked them to provide loans to the jute sector to overcome the funding crisis.

The ministry also suggested disbursement of Tk 1.0 billion by each of the four state-owned banks immediately to the jute mills and raw jute exporters for the sake of running their business smoothly, sources said. The banks are Sonali Bank, Janata Bank, Agrani Bank and Rupali Bank.

Earlier in a meeting Textiles and Jute Minister Abdul Latif Siddique said, "The prices of raw jute decreased recently following a scarcity of money in the market". "If the banks and the finance division do not cooperate, the jute industry cannot remain stable," he also said. The managing directors of four state-owned banks who attended the meeting evinced keen interest in extending loans to the jute sector.

The millers said though the concerned minister asked the some state-owned banks to give loans to the jute sector, there was no notable progress yet in this regard. The jute purchasers said despite the jute ministry's decision, the banks were not cooperating with them and said also it was the matter of the finance ministry and that they should contact that ministry.


Source: The Financial Express, Bangladesh

September 30, 2012

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  Aspiring entrepreneurs urged to manufacture jute-based products  

Manufacture of value-added products from jute is likely to be dovetailed into National Rural Livelihood Mission (NRLM) implemented in Tamil Nadu through Mahalir Thittam programmes.In Tiruchi district, manufacture of organic and eco-friendly products under NRLM was being carried out in select panchayats in Thottiyam, Thathaiyengarpet, Marungapuri and Mannachanallur blocks, R. Ganesan, Project Officer, Mahalir Thittam, said on Friday, after inaugurating a day-long awareness programme on jute diversified products at Jamal Mohamed College.


Jute Service Centre, Sri Jothi Kanniga Universal Service Trust, Coimbatore, and National Jute Board, Ministry of Textiles, conducted the programme in coordination with the College’s Entrepreneurship Development Cell and Gender Club, Tamil Nadu Corporation for Development of Women (Mahalir Thittam), District Industries Centre, and Women Entrepreneurs’ Association of Tamil Nadu (WEAT). The objective of the programme was to educate participants on jute products and motivating them to manufacture.


Participants constituted members of women self-help groups, non-governmental organisations, craftswomen, weavers, artisans, entrepreneurs and government officials. Mr. Ganesan assured the support of Mahalir Thittam for conduct of training, production, marketing, and sourcing of raw materials.


Tiruchi district, he said, has been chosen as a model for implementing the NRLM. Manufacture of jute-based value-added products could be taken up under Unemployed Youth Employment Generation Programme, he suggested.


While about 40 lakh families in the country were dependent on jute products, value addition was made only to 15 to 20 per cent of the annual produce of 160 lakh tonnes, M. Ramaswamy, officer in-charge, Jute Service Centre, Coimbatore, said. Up to 30 interested beneficiaries will be chosen for basic training followed by two specialised trainings, after which buyer-seller meets will be organised for marketing support, he said.


College principal R. Khader Mohideen spoke of the importance of sensitising student community to the imperative need for using eco-friendly products in the context of global warming. A.K. Khaja Nazeemudeen, college secretary and correspondent, said jute, owing to its weightlessness, was traditionally sought after material for packaging.


N. Manimekalai, professor, department of women’s studies, Bharathidasan University, said marketing base for jute products could be enlarged through increasing frequency of exhibitions by women self-help groups in colleges, and putting up of stalls at times of seminars and conferences.


Speakers explained how jute could be converted into garments, decorative items, table cloths, curtains, floor mats, handicrafts items, phone mats, wall decorative pieces and dolls. The products were in high demand. Jute was cost-effective and not easily burnable, participants were told.


Aspiring entrepreneurs among them were encouraged to approach Jute Service Centre along with SSI registration certificate. For details, contact T. Ayyappan (044-28224967/ 28224463), Market Promotion Officer, NJB, Chennai, or M. Ramasamy (0422- 2591530/ 9443743020), Chief Coordinator, Jute Service Centre, Coimbatore, or visit www.jute.com or www.indianjjute.blog spot.com.


Source: The Hindu, India

September 29, 2012

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  4,000 lose job as Howrah jute mill shuts down  

SANKRAIL: Low production has forced yet another jute mill in the state to shut down operations. Around 4000 employees of Delta Jute Mill in Howrah were left jobless after the company made the announcement on Tuesday.


SDO (headquarters) Bani Prasad Das said, "I have spoken to the jute mill authorities, who informed me that low production had forced them to suspend work and issue a notice." Howrah district INTUC president Rabindra Nath Mondal said, "They held no talks with union members. The authorities closed the unit on their own."


INTTUC president Arupesh Bhattacharyya added, "It is unfortunate. Labour minister Purnendu Basu has been informed about the closure. He has assured of assistance." The jute mill was opened only nine months ago.


Source: The times of India

September 26, 2012

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  Genetic code of harmful fungus cracked  

Dhaka: A group of Bangladeshi scientists has sequenced the DNA make-up of a fungus which reduces yield of more than 500 species of crops including jute. "Our scientists, led by Dr Maqsudul Alam, have discovered the genome sequence of a fungus which is harmful to plants," Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina told Parliament on Wednesday.

The fungus, Macrophomina Phaseolina, cuts down the production of many crops like jute, soybean, cotton, tobacco, maize and sunflower. At a press conference on Wednesday, the research team's head Dr Alam spoke about their breakthrough. He said the fungus alone reduces 30 percent production of tossa jute and globally costs billions of dollars in lost production.

"With this invention, we can design rational strategies for disease control and develop fungus-resistant crops," he said. However, he did not say when the fungus-resistant jute would be available. Dr Alam said the price would be "cost effective" and farmers would be immensely benefited. "When we do our research we keep in mind that the invention does not prove expensive to poor farmers," he said.

The Prime Minister told Parliament that the discovery was indeed a great achievement and set an example that Bangladesh could also contribute to the global quest for knowledge. "An article on decoding has been published in BMC Genomics today," Alam said and added that Bangladesh applied for three provisional patents for it. Dr Alam also headed the research project that unveiled the genome sequence of jute in 2010.

"This time, the scientists have unveiled the genome sequence of the fungus," Hasina said and added that the feat will certainly enrich world knowledge. Deputy Speaker Shawkat Ali, who was presiding over the session at the time, also congratulated the scientists on behalf of Parliament.


Source: bdnews24.com

September 19, 2012

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  1.06m bales jute produced in Rangpur zone  

RANGPUR, Sept 12 (BSS): The farmers have achieved bumper production of jute and produced 10,65,213 bales of the fibre in eight districts under Rangpur Agriculture Zone (RAZ) this season, official sources said. Horticulture Specialist of the Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE) Khandker Md Mesbahul Islam said the farmers just completed jute harvest after cultivating the crop on 5.35 percent more land than the fixed farming target this season.

The farmers had cultivated jute on 95,461 hectares land against the fixed target of brining 90,608 hectares land under its cultivation and produced 10,65,213 bales against the fixed production target of 9,65,184 bales fibre in RAZ this time. According to DAE sources, the farmers had cultivated local variety jute on 11,353 hectares land to produce 1,01,786 bales fibre and Tosha variety jute on 84,108 hectares to produce 9,63,428 bales jute in RAZ this season.

Talking to BSS, Deputy Director of the DAE here said jute cultivation has started regaining its past glories as a result of various effective steps taken by the government in recent years. Principal Scientific Officer of Rangpur Regional Station of Bangladesh Jute Research Institute (BJRI) Dr Aiyub Khan said farmers are cultivating jute using the latest agro-technologies including ribbon retting to get the best quality fibre even amid drought-like situation.

They urged for expediting jute purchase through the purchasing agencies and jute mills of Bangladesh Jute Mills Corporation to ensure fair price as they are selling jute at rates between Taka 800 and 1,500 per mound (every 40kg) now in the local markets.


Taking advantage of slower purchasing pace by the government agencies and mills, local syndicates are making stocks after buying at lower rates to earn windfall profits after few months when farmers would not have jute in their possessions, they apprehended.


Source: The Financial Express, Bangladesh

September 13, 2012

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  Cloth and jute bags good replacements for plastic  

NEW DELHI: With plastic bags now banned, the biggest concern for residents and traders is the lack of sufficient and cheap alternatives to plastic. Several small units have mushroomed in the city that manufacture cloth and paper bags, but with over 10 lakh plastic bags used in the city daily, these units are not producing enough to meet the city's needs.


"Big brand and retail stores still find it easy to use paper bags due to their volume of sales and price of products. However, how can a small shopkeeper, selling items worth Rs 10-20, invest in paper or cloth bags? It is not just shortage of alternate bag manufacturers but a major lack of suitable options for many traders," said Praveen Khandelwal, secretary general of the Confederation of All India Traders.


Government officials believe that a change in attitude is all that is required for the ban to become effective. "People were used to carrying their own bags to the market. Many had cloth bags or big baskets that were a permanent fixture in each household. Plastic is just a convenient option and has become a habit, but if these bags are not available, people will move back to other resources," said an official. In 2009 the environment department had issued an exhaustive list of cloth, paper and jute bag manufacturers but traders say that small vendors and shopkeepers will not find it viable.


In the congested lanes of Mandawali in east Delhi, NGO Amba Foundation has been making paper and cloth bags for six years now. "People donate cloth and newspaper which is recycled and then made into bags and sold through stalls that the NGO puts up at various public events across the city. Women from the slums surrounding Mandawali area are involved in making these bags," Jyoti Sarwal, general secretary, Amba Foundation, said.


Sarwal points out that cloth bags are any day more popular than paper as people find them durable for a price. When the ban on plastic bags was announced in 2009 ago, Sarwal said paper bags caught the fancy of people, but when enforcement became lax, people started getting back to their old ways.


For St Stephen's Hospital, the blanket ban on plastic bags vindicates its stand against use of plastic bags for the past four years. The hospital doesn't allow plastic for packaging inside the premises. Muslin cloth bags made especially to cater to the hospital and its patients are supplied to the pharmacy. "Shifting to cloth or paper bags may cost more but then protecting the environment is a priority," said Dr Amod Kumar, head of department (community health department). The cloth bags at St Stephen's are made by a group of 20 women from the Sunder Nagri slums in northeast Delhi. They make bags in their spare time and are paid the minimum wages.


Source: Times of India, India

September 12, 2012

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  West Bengal govt approves Rs 450mn for two sick jute mills  

The Government of West Bengal, a state in eastern India, has approved a Rs. 450 million relief package for workers of two sick mills under the National Jute Manufacturers’ Corporation (NJMC).


The rehabilitation package for Kennison Jute Mill and Khardah Jute Mill, both located in Hooghly district of the state, was approved at a meeting of the state Cabinet Chaired by Chief Minister Mamta Banerjee.


The two mills, which together employ over 5,000 workers, would be granted status of relief undertakings for six months, the Chief Minister said.


Panchayat Minister Subrata Mukherjee said as the two mills are located in the state, the state government felt it was its moral duty to formulate a rehabilitation package for the workers of the two sick mills.


Of the total sanctioned sum, Rs. 270 million would go to Khardah Jute Mill, while the Kennison Jute Mill would be given Rs. 180 million, he added.


The two mills were sick since 1983, and they approached the Board of Industrial and Financial Reconstruction (BIFR) in 1992.


Source: Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

September 10, 2012

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  Farmers disgruntled over low jute price in Kurigram  

KURIGRAM, Sept 8 (UNB): Low prices of jute in the local market have frustrated growers of the district this year. Local farmers cultivated jute with great enthusiasm in nine upazilas of the district this year as there was good harvest as well as satisfactory price of jute last year. However, now they have been gripped with anxiety as the market price of jute is much below their expectation.

Local Department of Agriculture Extension sources said about 21,111 hectares of land were brought under jute farming in the district this year. Of the total land, jute on 3,059 hectares was damaged due to flood.
The government fixed the rate of per maund jute at Tk 2,200 but the local big businessmen, licensed by the government, refused to buy jute at the official rate, said farmers.

The farmers alleged that the businessmen are buying jute at low prices in a bid to get more profit, which affected them badly. The farmers said they have been deprived of getting fair price from June this year as a syndicate of middlemen remained active in the market.

At present, per maund jute is being sold between Tk 700 and Tk 1,600 depending on quality, which is lower than that of the previous year. Though the price of jute was less this year, the cost of jute processing has increased much, farmers said. Farmers Mostafizur and Mohammad Ali of Gorai Raghura village in Sadar upazila said they cultivated jute on six bighas of land with a big hope. But they said they were frustrated due to low price in the local market.

They accused the middlemen for sorry state of the jute market. When asked to comment on low price, Matiur Rahman, a jute trader of Durgapur, said the demand of jute at wholesale depots fell. "Hence, we are compelled to buy jute at low prices," he said.

Protip Kumar Mondal, deputy director of Department of Agriculture Extension, said jute on 3,000 hectares of land was damaged due to flood. Though the market price of jute was fixed at Tk 2,200, the growers failed to sell their produce at such rate, which frustrated them very much.

However, he declined to give reasons for the downfall of jute price. The farmers may be benefited if the market monitoring system is strengthened, said the official.


Source: The Financial Express, Bangladesh

September 08, 2012

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  Rs 45-cr relief package for 2 jute mills  

Kolkata, India: The West Bengal Government on Thursday granted ‘relief undertaking’ status to two jute mills - Khardah Jute Mills and Kinnison Jute Mill – for six months.


Both the mills are located at North 24 Parganas district of the State. This apart, a relief package of Rs 45 crore will be provided for these two mills.


The two mills are currently under the Board for Industrial and Financial Reconstruction (BIFR), Subrata Mukherjee, State Panchayat Minister, told reporters after a cabinet meeting here.


Source: The Hindu, Business Line, India

September 07, 2012

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  Magura farmers disheartened over drastic fail in jute price  

Magura, Bangladesh: Jute price has fallen abnormally disheartening the farmers of Magura.

Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE) of Magura said, a total of 30,000 hectares of land was brought under jute cultivation in four upazilas of the district this year and a total of 1, 65000 bales of jute has been produced. At present jute is being sold in the local market at Tk 1000 to Tk 1200 per maund which was at Tk 1600 to Tk 1800 last year. In this situation tension has gripped the farmers as they are facing losses by selling their proiduce.

Abdul Hoque, a farmer of Nalidanga village under the sadar upazila said, "I have got 18 maunds of jute this year cultivating two bighas of land and sold the produce at Tk 19 thousand. But the production cost was above Tk 20 thousand.

Another farmer Mokhlesur Rahman of village Vina under the sadar upazila said the, production cost of jute has increased at a large scale this year, but price fallen abnormally. At present at per maund of jute is being sold Tk 1000 to 1200 against Tk 1600 to 1800 last year.

Abul Kalam, another farmer of village Parla under the upazila said, government has fixed up the maximum price of jute at Tk 2200 per maund this year. But farmers are being deprived of the rate as there are only four government jute purchasing centres in the district. The number is quite inadequate compared with the necessity of farmers.


Source: The Financial Express, Bangladesh

September 07, 2012

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  India declines to import jute bags from Bangladesh, Nepal  

The Government of India has turned down proposals from Nepal and Bangladesh to supply gunny bags in 2012-13 for packing sugar and food grains.


The Jute Packaging Materials Act (JPMA)-1987, a Central legislation, provides for 100 per cent mandatory reservation for jute bags for packaging of sugar and food grains.


Since both sugar and food grains are under the reserved sector, the Union law ministry has expressed reservations over import of gunny bags from Nepal and Bangladesh.


According to law ministry, there are serious technical, legal, supply and policy problems in allowing import of jute bags from Nepal. The law ministry, however, has allowed such imports in the unreserved sectors other than food grains and sugar.


Moreover, jute bag prices in India are fixed on a price formula of the Tariff Commission of 2001 and procured by Directorate General of Supplies and Disposal (DGSD) or through National Competitive Bidding (NCB). DGSD has no jurisdiction on inspecting quality of jute bags in Nepal or Bangladesh.


Says Manish Poddar, chairman, Indian Jute Mills Association (IJMA), “There was a proposal for import of gunny bags from Nepal and Bangladesh but it has been struck down by the Centre. In any case, the domestic jute industry is more than self-sufficient and is in a position to meet the requirement of packing sugar and food grains.”


While one million tonnes of jute sacks are needed to pack food grains, 0.2 million are necessary for packing sugar. The jute industry has the capacity to churn out 1.5 million tonnes of sacks and sacking capacity is almost 0.55 million tonnes higher than peak government demand.


Source: Business Standard, India

Septembet 06, 2012

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  Rajshahi jute growers denied fair price for middlemen  

RAJSHAHI: The jute growers are being reportedly deprived of fair price due to domination of the middlemen gang at different hats and bazaars in the district.

Concurrently, the farmers are failing to recoup the production cost amidst the adverse situation.

Jute farmers and agriculturists told BSS separately that the farmers cultivated jute on more than 2,364 hectares of land than the target of 11,671 hectares as they got satisfactory price of the jute fiber.

Expressing their grave concern over the present situation the farmers demanded immediate interference of the government to ensure legitimate price to the growers. Otherwise, they apprehended that the farmers may turn back from jute cultivation which, in turn, may affect the national economy.

Deputy Director of Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE), Rajshahi Nurul Amin told the news agency that 14,035 hectares of land were brought under the jute farming.

Ekabbar Ali of Shreepur village under Paba upazilla said the farmers have rotten their jute plants using water from deep tubewell as all the nearby ponds, canals and ditches remain dry due to scanty rainfall this season.

In addition to the suffering, the jute fields the growers also had to spent more money for the harvesting and fiber segregation purposes after facing a labor-crisis situation, he informed.

He demanded legitimate price of jute for the sake of boosting its output through making the farmers more interested towards the cash crop farming.

With hope of gaining better price the farmers have stored their golden fiber costing more money coupled with crop losing due to the adverse situation. But, now they have become disappointed with the present market price.

Ekabbar Ali said the jute is being sold at Tk 900-1100 per mound whereas the price was Tk 1,300-1,500 in 2011 while Taka 2000 in 2010. "The present market price is very much less than production cost of around Taka 13,000 per bigha," said Asad Ali, a farmer of Tema village under Mohanpur upazila.

Abu Bakker Ai, former president of Rajshahi Chamber of Commerce and Industry, urged the public and private sector jute mills authorities to purchase jute from the farmers directly and at mill get instead of the middlemen.

The farmers, in large, were seen bringing jute to different hats and bazaars with the hope of meet up their family needs by the sale proceeds. But taking advantages of the situation the middlemen gangs are seen forcing the growers to sell their produced in less price.


Source: The Financial Express, Bangladesh

Septembet 05, 2012

  India National Fibre Policy has been formulated  

The National Fibre Policy has been formulated with a decadal perspective of 2010-20 for developing Cotton, Man Made Fibres, Jute, Wool, Silk and specialty fibres through fiscal and non fiscal incentives. The National Fibre Policy deals with fibres covered under the allocation of business to the Ministry of Textiles. Coir is not covered under the National Fibre Policy as it falls under the allocation of business of Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises. Various schemes are implemented by the Coir Board for the promotion and development of the coir industry.

A Knitwear Technology Mission (KTM) has been established at Tirupurfor enhancing capacities and expertise in the knitwear sector. This project would be on PPP mode and provide various support services to the industry including knowledge service, testing & certification, research, training & education, design services etc. It would function as an autonomous self-sustaining organization on no-profit-no-loss model. The Government has given grant of Rs. 5.00 crore to Apparel Export Promotion Council (AEPC) for this project.

This information was given by Smt. Panabakka Lakshmi, , Minister of State for Textiles , in a written reply in the Lok Sabha.


Source: Press Information Bureau, Government of India

Septembet 03, 2012

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  Harvested jute drying up for poor rain in Rangpur, Bangladesh  

Thousands of farmers in Rangpur division are facing problem to rot their harvested jute this season due to lack of sufficient water in rivers, ponds and canals.


The situation has arisen as this monsoon saw inadequate rainfall.


Big farmers are using shallow machine to draw water from underground to fill the dried up canals and ponds for rotting jute fibre while many others taking their produce to distant water bodies for the purpose. Both the ways add to the production cost.


Farmers fear degradation of the quality and colour of this season's jute fibre as a large quantity of the harvest has already dried up in the fields.


The DAE distributed a good number of ribbon retting machines among the jute cultivators in the division to peel off fibre from the sticks.


Farmers, however, have termed the method too costly.


If the drought-like situation continues for a few more days, production of raw jute fibre in the region will decline by around 25 percent, agriculture experts said.


Source: The Daily Star, Bangladesh

August 28, 2012

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  Slow buy at 'free' rates by govt mills adds to dull jute price - Bangladesh  

Jute markets in eight northern districts remains awfully dull as assigned jute mills under Bangladesh Jute Mills Corporation (BJMC) have continued purchasing jute at a very slow pace, reports our Nilphamari correspondent.

Amid falling trend of jute prices, farmers fear huge losses as nearly 90 percent of this season's harvest has already completed.


Eight mills under BJMC, namely, Bangladesh Jute Mills, Crescent Jute Mills, Amin Jute Mills, Latif Bawani Jute Mills, Star Jute Mills, Platinum Jute Mills, UMC Jute Mills, Gul Ahmed Jute Mills, Rajshahi Jute Mills, Hafiz Jute Mills, Karim Jute Mills and Eastern Jute Mills started purchasing jute in mid-July.


But unlike in case for food grains like rice, the authorities have not announced any minimum price for purchasing jute, and the mills are buying the item in an unusually very slow pace. Visiting several big jute markets like Golna and Mirganj in Nilphamari district, Baura and Mohishkhocha in Lalmonirhat district and Sakoa in Panchagarh district, this correspondent found that the mills are buying jute at 'local market price' that often varies at different places and times.


Purchase centres of the 12 jute mills of BJMC mostly buy jute in eight northern districts for last couple of years, said sources at the regional office of the jute directorate in Rangpur. Ten privately owned jute mills and a number of exporters and stockists also purchase jute regularly in the region. The jute mills under BJMC have purchased only a little over 10% of raw jute by the last week of August this year compared to last year's purchase by this period, Saifur Rahman, additional director of the regional jute office in Rangpur.


In last year, average price of a maund (40 kg) of high quality jute was Tk 1850, that of medium quality was Tk 1500- 1550 and low quality was Tk 1300, said sources in the regional jute office. But this year a maund of the three categories of jute are selling at Tk 1600, Tk 1350 and Tk 1100 respectively, they said.


"I produced medium and low quality jute, like most farmers in the area. So I have to incur loss as my production cost per maund stood at about Tk 1500," said Ataur Rahman of Angarpara village in Nilphamari Sadar upazila. Sources in different district jute offices in the region said nobody received any new license for jute purchase while only a limited number of people have applied for renewal of their old licenses for supplying jute to jute mills, traders, exporters or stockists till August 22.


"I have a huge stock of last year's jute as I did not sell it due to its low price," Mahmudar Rahman, a jute trader in Jaldhaka upazila, said. Farmers Entazul Islam of Gayabari village in Nilphamari and Aktarul of Pathanpara village of Panchagarh said they sold jute for low prices as they needed money to prepare land for transplanting aman paddy.


This year jute was cultivated in 90,608 hectares of land in Rangpur, Dinajpur, Gaibandha, Kurigram, Lalmonirhat, Thakurgaon, Panchagarh and Nilphamari districts and the production target is 7 lakh 70 thousand and 168 bales (1 bale = 187.5 kg), said sources at the divisional office of the Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE) in Rangpur.


Our Dinajpur correspondent reports: Despite good yield this season, jute growers of Dinajpur and Joypurhat districts have continued incurring loses for the third consecutive year as the market of the 'golden fibre' remains down. During visits to a jute market in Khansama upazila of the district and another in Panchbibi upazila of Joypurhat, this correspondent found that a maund (40kg) of jute was selling for Tk 600 to Tk 700, depending on quality.


"I spent Tk 25,000 for producing jute in an acre of land and got 40 maunds of yield. I barely recovered the production cost by selling the whole amount. Why should I put so much effort for jute cultivation on my land?" Nur Islam, a jute grower of Khansama upazila of Dinajpur, said.


Source: The Daily Star, Bangladesh

August 28, 2012

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  West Bengal jute growers seek fair returns for produce  

In spite of good crops, jute growers in eastern Indian state of West Bengal, who contribute over 60 percent of the country’s total jute output, are concerned over getting fair prices for their produce this season.


It is because the cost of cultivation has gone up considerably, while there was a decline in world jute prices last year.


Farmers in the state, who mainly depend on agriculture, say they have reaped good produce, but are not getting fair prices for the same. Besides, environmental issues are also becoming a cause of concern.


Jute cultivators in West Bengal say prices of essential commodities are rising continuously, which has badly affected their livelihood. Hence, they are seeking remunerative prices for their produce to sustain in the midst of inflationary pressures.


Next to West Bengal, Orissa and the north-eastern states are the largest contributors to the country’s total jute output.


Source: Fibre2fashion News Desk, India

August 29, 2012

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  Jute Bag Makers Losing Rs 200 Cr Every Year On Outdated Pricing Formula - India  

Jute bag manufacturers are losing over Rs 200 crore every year due to non-revision of an 11-year-old pricing formula of the Tariff Commission.

Adding to the woes of the ailing jute industry is the recent decision of the Jute Commissioner’s (JC’s) office to strike down the industry’s demand for revising jute bag prices — a move that is bound to affect all 55 working jute mills in West Bengal.

“All jute bag manufacturers in West Bengal are running into losses because of the obsolete pricing formula and our mill is losing around Rs 5,000 a tonne. If jute bag prices are not revised, it will only push the industry into further sickness,” said Sanjay Kajaria, owner of Hastings Jute Mill and former chairman, Indian Jute Mills Association (Ijma).

“The jute industry is supported by the government but it seems the government is not willing to revise jute bag prices. The industry has already approached both the Central and state governments, but our concerns have not been addressed”.

Jute bag price, which is currently at Rs 55,979 a tonne, is determined as per Tariff Commission’s price formula of 2001.

“Obviously, we are making losses. On two earlier occasions, the Union textiles ministry has rejected the push for price revision. But, the industry should not lose hope as a new study is under way. The study is being done by the Tariff Commission. Once it is done, the recommendations will be submitted to the Union ministry of textiles, which will take a call on revising jute bag prices,” said Manish Poddar, chairman Ijma, who owns the Budge Budge jute mill.

The jute industry is protected under a central legislation, the Jute Packaging Materials Act, 1987, that provides for mandatory packaging of sugar and foodgrain in jute bags by procurement agencies to an extent of 100 per cent.

On the recommendation of the Tariff Commission, the Union ministry of textiles recommended a formula change to the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA). According to the JC office, there is no requirement of a price revision at this stage. According to the estimates of the JC office, wage cost has reduced by Rs 1,596 a tonne and hence, current prices of jute bags are remunerative.

Data from the JC office reveals that to produce one tonne of jute bags, 38.32 man days are needed. The price calculation is based on the productivity norms of the erstwhile Jute Manufacturers’ Develo-pment Council which had estimated that 42.9 man days were needed to produce a tonne of jute bags.

Moreover, data furnished by 13 jute mills showed that on an average, 40 persons are required to produce a tonne of jute bags.

The industry, however, holds the Tariff Commission’s formula of 2001 as obsolete.

It may be noted that on February 9, 2011, the Union ministry of textiles had instructed the JC office to recalculate the fixed price components of the 2001 Tariff Commission Report, linking it to inflation. The Central government had earlier set aside a revised report of the Tariff Commission submitted in June 2009 as it was allegedly found to be manipulated.

A section of the industry has already moved the court against the government for non-implementation of the Tariff Commission's price formula of 2009. The JC office had carried out the revised calculation on the Wholesale Price Index (WPI) series of 1981-82, 1993-94 and 2004-05, gathered from the Economic Adviser’s office of the Union commerce ministry.


Source: Business Standard, India

August 28, 2012

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  Business success is in the bag  

One of the UK's leading suppliers of sustainable carrier bags, Jutexpo, is proving that sustainability and commercial success can go hand in hand


When Sam Turner and his father, Barrie, launched Cotswold-based Jutexpo in 2002, their jute bags offered an environmentally friendly alternative to plastic bags, responding to a change in priorities among both companies and consumers.


Ten years on and the importance of making sustainability a key part of business for all SMEs has grown. Society as a whole has become more ethically aware, consumers increasingly want to know that their spending power is being re-invested in the people, environment and infrastructure responsible for creating the products they buy. For companies prepared to innovate, such as by promoting carbon-reduction measures or ensuring suppliers are paid a fair price, new opportunities are rife.


Right from the beginning, offering ethical solutions was essential to Jutexpo's success. "Sustainability is very important – but people don't always understand what sustainability is," says Sam. "It's not just about the environment – it's also about jobs and social changes. It's about consumers who are proud to be seen with our bags as it's something they've invested in."


Years spent in India meant Sam's father had worked closely with the jute industry and had developed strong relationships and a supply route with the mills. "My dad had been working in India near Kolkata and planned to come back to the UK to retire. At the time Ireland had just introduced a plastic bag tax and we recognised the opportunity for jute bags," says Sam.


Jutexpo now has operations in both the UK and India where the jute plant is grown by the company's exclusive supply partner, Ganges Jute PVT Limited, based in Bengal. Through the partnership Jutexpo looks after the whole supply chain, from bales of jute through to the finished product, and employs more than 5,000 people. By working closely with its Indian partner in this manner Jutexpo aims to make the biggest difference, recognising that social and economic sustainability is a global issue.


As jute is traditionally farmed in India, the plant is grown in similar conditions to organic farming. There is crop rotation, no pesticides and nothing is genetically modified.


For Jutexpo, then, being truly sustainable has enhanced its commercial strength. From small roots the business now has a turnover of more than £6m and supplies its reusable carrier bags to supermarkets such as Asda, Sainsbury's, Tesco and Waitrose, as well as independent retailers and charities including The National Trust and Red Cross.


Source: http://www.guardian.co.uk/small-business-network-partner-zone-lloyds-tsb/business-success-juxtepo?newsfeed=true

August 28, 2012

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  Farmers for expediting jute purchase to ensure fair price  

RANGPUR: The farmers have called upon the government for expediting jute purchase through the jute mills and the purchasing agencies of Bangladesh Jute Mills Corporation (BJMC) to ensure fair price of the fibre.

Talking to BSS, the farmers said that they are selling the fibre at rates between Taka 1,000 and 1,600 per mound (every 40kg) now in the local markets when harvest of the crop is nearing completion.

Jute growers Echahaq Ali, Majibar Rahman and Abul Hossain expressed disappointments over the lower market price of jute and said they sold the fibre at rates up to Taka 2,200 per mound to earn good profits in previous years.

As a result of slower pace of jute purchase, local syndicates and fariahs are stockpiling jute after buying from the local markets at the rates between Taka 1,000 and 1,500 per mound, they said.

Market price of jute might rise up to Taka 2,200 per mound like in the previous years if purchasing agencies of BJMC would start buying the fibre with their full capacities to fulfill the fixed purchasing targets, they said.

The farmers requested the government for instructing all purchasing agencies to buy jute of all qualities at different rates to ensure fair price and maintain the farmers' trend for increasing jute farming onwards.

According to Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE) sources, farmers exceeded jute cultivation target by about 10.50 percent this season and over 85 percent harvest has so far been completed on an average in northern region.

The farmers have cultivated jute in 2,25,476 hectares land, which is higher by 21,403 hectares (10.50 percent) than the fixed target of bringing 2,04,073 hectares to produce 21,73,309 bales jute this season in the region.

They have cultivated Tosha variety jute in 2,02,831 hectares against the fixed target of 1,77,895 hectares, local variety in 72,822 hectares against 25,298 hectares and Mechhta in 4,823 hectares against the fixed target of 880 hectares land, the DAE sources added.


Source: Financial Express, Bangladesh

August 28, 2012

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  Indian govt releases Rs. 577mn subsidy for jute mills  

Smt. Panabaaka Lakshmi, Minister of State in the Ministry Of Textiles, has informed that there are 83 composite jute mills in the country. Out of the total 83 jute mills, 64 jute mills are located in West Bengal, 3 each in Bihar and U.P., 7 in Andhra Pradesh, 2 each in Assam and Orissa, 1 each in Tripura and Chhattisgarh. State-wise data about production and export of jute bags is not readily available and shall be laid on the table of the house in due course of time.


During the last year, the average price of jute bags has shown a decline with respect to the previous two years when there was a substantial increase over earlier years. This trend, however, is in sync with the Government price for the jute bags procured through the Directorate General of Supplies & Disposals (DGS&D).


Out of 83 composite jute mills, 6 mills are under Government of India’s Public Sector Undertaking, 1 mill (Tripura) is under State Government, 2 mills (Assam Co-op. & New Central) are in the co-operative sector and 74 are privately owned mills. As per the decision of Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, out of the six Government jute mills, three are to be modernised.


The process of modernisation has been initiated. The onus of modernisation of private mills is on their respective owners. However, under the Jute Technology Mission, subsidy is given to the jute mills/jute units for modernisation and upgradation.


The upper limit of subsidy is Rs. 3.50 croreper jute mills for the existing units and Rs.4.00crore for mills at North Eastern States and for setting up new units. As on 31st March, 2012, a subsidy of Rs.57.71 crore has been released against investment for modernisation of Rs.283.06 crore.


Source: Fibre2Fashion, India

August 27, 2012

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  Bengal jute producers worried over fair price  

Siliguri (West Bengal): Jute growers here are apprehensive over the fair price of jute, despite its adequate production in the region.


Speaking to media on Sunday, M. D. Hussein, a farmer, expressed his concern for not getting appropriate prices of jute.


“We are dependent on agriculture. We cultivate jute but we don’t get the proper prices for our produce, and apart from that there are environmental issues as well,” he said.


Hussein added that rising prices of essential commodities has severely affected their livelihood.


“The cost of cultivation is high these days and the rate of labour has also increased. Also the prices of all the essential commodities are increasing. If we get high price for our produce, we shall benefit,” he added.


The commodity prices of jute last year had crashed internationally had also affected trade figure.


West Bengal accounts for over 60 percent of the country’s total jute output, while the rest is produced in Orissa and the northeastern states. (ANI)


Source: www.truthdive.com

August 26, 2012

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  Jute rotting faces problem for want of adequate water in Bangladesh  

Jute farmers of several northern districts are facing problem to rot and process the natural fibre as water bodies have dried up due to scanty rainfall during the last one month. Jute farmers in Natore district, who got poor yield due to insufficient rainfall during the cultivation season, are now upset as huge amounts of the harvested crop are getting dried and turning reddish, reports our Natore correspondent Bulbul Ahmed.

Jamal Uddin of Bangabaria village under Tebaria union in Natore Sadar upazila cultivated jute on his 200 decimals of land this year and got a poor yield. Now he is facing problem to rot the plants due to lack of water.

"As there is scanty water in local water bodies, we have to manage water with shallow machine to rot jute plants. Insufficient rainfall and unplanned construction of several sluice gates in the area has led to the situation," said Nantu Mian, a jute grower of Chaugachhi village under Kafuria union in Sadar upazila. Many other jute growers in the area are facing the same problem.

According to local Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE), jute was cultivated on 18,500 hectares of land in six upazilas of the district this year while it was cultivated on 19,855 hectares last year. Rahmatullah Sarker, deputy director (DD) of Natore DAE, said they have introduced 'ribbon retting' method to the jute growers for rotting the plants with much less water. But the farmers are hardly following the suggestion for rotting jute using ribbon retting method, said SM Mostafizur Rahman, crops production specialist of DAE office at Natore.

Jute growers, on the other hand, said it is not possible to rot jute plants in large scale with ribbon retting system. Besides, the jute sticks cannot be used for purposes other than burning after rotting jute plants using ribbon retting method, they said.

Jute offices of different districts informed that a maund (40 kg) of good quality jute is selling from Tk 1200-1400, depending on the quality. Many farmers said just before the beginning of current harvesting season, jute kept at traders' godowns was sold at Tk 1600 but the price drastically fell as soon as the harvesting began.

Our Gaibandha Correspondent KM Rezaul Haque reports: Growers in Gaibandha district could not process raw jute by rotting, as pools or marshy lands have dried up due to scanty rainfall during the last one month. Piled up jute stalks on the field are drying up under the open sky.

District DAE introduced ribbon retting process for rotting raw jute during last two years for ensuring better quality of jute. The DAE officials meanwhile supplied 1,500 ribbon retting machines among the farmers of Sadar, Gobindaganj, Palashbari, Sadullapur, Sunderganj, Saghata and Fulchhari upazilas in Gaibandha district and provided training to one lakh 50 thousand jute growers in the district for the purpose.

The farmers, however, are showing reluctance to use ribbon retting process, Despite water crisis, they are still adopting traditional method of jute rotting, and so, they are not getting expected quality of jute and deprived of its fair prices, DAE officials said. "I have placed jute stalks for rotting in a canal seven days ago, but the water dried up before the rotting completed. If there is no rain within next few days I will have to bear additional cost for carrying the jute to a water body elsewhere," said Atowar Rahman a jute grower of Ghegar Bazar in Sadullapur upazila.

It will take some more time to motivate jute growers for using ribbon retting process that will undoubtedly enhance the quality of fibre and ensure its sale for higher prices, said Mir Md Abdur Razzak, deputy director of DAE in Gaibandha.


Source: The Daily Star, Bangladesh

August 24, 2012

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  Business with a heart - Dharti Jute Emporium, India rides on the twin causes of women empowerment and spreading eco-awareness  

Wooden toys, abacuses, jute bags, floor carpets, Warli jute paintings, clocks, terracotta jewellery, jute jewellery and busts are some of the handmade products available at Dharti Jute Emporium that recently opened a shop in Chetpet. It’s Dharti’s fifth showroom, after one each in Alwarpet and Coimbatore and two in Puducherry.


For K. Srikanth and his family, who have been in the jute business for over a couple of decades, this showroom is a means of spreading awareness about sustainable products. “All the products are made by women self-help groups from across the country,” says Srikanth. “Everything here is made of wood, cloth, jute, paper or other natural products. Through this initiative, we hope to have more people using eco-friendly products.”


The roots of Dharti were sown over a decade ago, when Srikanth opened his first showroom in Alwarpet. “I was into jute packaging till the late 1990s when woven sacks became a popular replacement for jute. People such as me had to find an alternative use for the product. It was around this time that diversified jute fabrics became available. So I set up a showroom. We bought bags from Kolkata, opened a showroom and worked backwards. We trained women to support our growing orders,” he says.


In 2005, he set up the Development of Hessian Articles Research and Training Institution, an NGO based out of Puducherry, to train underprivileged women.


“We train women in knitting, printing, embroidery, bag-making and so on. The trick is to identify what each of them is good at and help them specialise in that area. We have one or two sessions a month, where we teach about 15 techniques or concentrate on one specific style. So far, we’ve trained more than 1,500 women,” he says.


Dharti is also one of the 33 Jute Service Centres of the National Jute Board, and organises training for women registered under them.


Training backwards


“We always train from backwards. We teach them to market a product, which helps them realise what sells, and then train them to meet the requirement of the orders they’ve received. This keeps their interests intact over a longer period of time. We haven’t advertised even once in these eight to 10 years; it’s all through word-of-mouth,” says Srikanth.


“We get products from the other 32 Centres across the country, and they take our products too. This way we make sure all our products have a wider reach.”


The Common Facility Centres he set up in certain pockets also help ensure that different groups can work together for no charge. “Sometimes, after the training is over, women may not find it very useful to have a machine at home. At these common centres they can work alone or together. Not all the women we train work for us. But since we have a continuous demand, we can always provide them with work.”


What began as a business venture eventually took a social twist. I started this as a business, but when I saw how this training improved the lives of these women and their families, I became committed to the cause.”


Source: The Hindu, India

August 23, 2012

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  Bangladesh jute report - Aug 22  

Rates supplied by the Bangladesh Jute Association



(One bale = 180 kg) (Taka per bale)

Ready Position (in taka) Bangla white special (BW special) 14,000 Bangla white A (BWA) 13,700 Bangla white B (BWB) 12,800 Bangla white C (BWC) 11,300 Bangla white D (BWD) 10,850 Bangla white E (BWE) 10,400 Bangla tossa special (BTS) 14,300 Bangla tossa A (BTA) 14,000 Bangla tossa B (BTB) 13,100 Bangla tossa C (BTC) 11,600 Bangla tossa D (BTD) 11,150 Bangla tossa E (BTE) 10,700

WRS/TRS, HABIJABI, CUT ROPES Bangla white rejection (BWR) 9,250 Bangla white habijabi (BWH) 7,300 Bangla tossa rejection (BTR) 9,500 Bangla tossa habijabi (BTH) 7,300

CUTTINGS Bangla white cuttings A (BWCA) 6,800 Bangla white cuttings B (BWCB) 6,600 Bangla tossa cuttings A (BTCA) 7,100 Bangla tossa cuttings B (BTCB) 6,900

MESHTA Meshta special 14,000 Meshta A 13,700 Meshta B 12,800 Meshta C 11,300 Special meshta cuttings 6,800 Ordinary meshta cuttings 6,600 Meshta- SMR 9,000

STATE OF THE MARKET--REMARKS Quality - good Condition - fair Narayanganj imports - About 3,000 Qntl. Daulatpur imports - About 8,000 Qntl. Market trend - As usual

NOTE Raw jute exports during 2011-2012 (01.07.2011 to 31.05.2012) = 2.07 million bales Value 13.98 billion taka ($1 = 81.38 taka) Source: Bangladesh Jute Association, Dhaka +880-2-9552916, Narayanganj +880-2-7630904


Source: http://in.reuters.com

August 22, 2012

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  Ribbon retting helps rotting jute stalks  



RANGPUR: Experts at a farmers’ field day yesterday said the low-cost ribbon retting technology helps rotting jute plants amid droughts and water scarcity to get upgraded quality of the fibre with increased production. Large-scale adoption of the technology would become indispensable in future following adverse climate change impact that affects agriculture sector also creating water scarcity for rotting jute plants, they said.

They were addressing the farmers' field day on 'Extension of Ribbon Retting Technology of Jute at Farmers' Levels' at Paschim Ekorchali village under Taraganj upazila here. Rangpur Research Regional Station of Bangladesh Jute Research Institute (BJRI) organised the function with the assistances of the Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE) for disseminating the technology among farmers at grassroots levels.

With Ekorchali union chairman Mobarak Hossain in the chair, Deputy Director of DAE, Rangpur Golam Sobhani attended the programme as the chief guest.

Horticulture Specialist of the DAE Abdul Wajed, Upazila Agriculture Officer Samir Chandra Ghosh, Regional Field Officer of Seed Certification Agency Md Moniruzzaman and its Field Officer Dr Mustafizur Rahman Pradhan attended as the special guests.

Principal Scientific Officer of Rangpur Regional Station of BJRI Dr Md Aiyub Khan addressed as the Subject Specialist while its Scientific Officer Manika Rani Debnath also spoke on ribbon retting technology.

The experts provided practical and on-spot knowledge to 200 farmers on ribbon retting technology for separating jute fibre from harvested jute plants and rotting those easily adopting the technology.

In his speech, Dr Ayub Khan narrated the lowest-cost ribbon retting technology and its tremendous benefits in overcoming drought-like situation and water scarcity for rotting jute plants to get best quality fibre with maximum prices.

He said increasing multidimensional use of jute products increases jute demand faster in global markets following adverse effects of synthetic fibre on environment ushering a new hope for revival past glory of the golden fibre.

He also elaborated various traditional and low-cost retting ways including ribbon retting during droughts or water scarcity to improve the quality and grade of jute-kenaf/mesta-fibre to ensure higher market prices.

They called upon the farmers for increasing production of quality jute fibre adopting the latest ribbon retting technology as global jute demand has been increasing for its expanded use as construction materials, geo-textiles, bodies of cars etc.


Source: Daily Sun, Bangladesh

August 16, 2012

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  Production and Export of Jute in India  

There are 83 composite jute mills in the country. Out of the total 83 jute mills, 64 jute mills are located in West Bengal, 3 each in Bihar and U.P., 7 in Andhra Pradesh, 2 each in Assamand Orissa, 1 each in Tripuraand Chhattisgarh. State-wise data about production and export of jute bags is not readily available and shall be laid on the table of the house in due course of time. However, the details of production and export of jute bags during the last three years in the country is as under:

                                                                                    (Quantity in ‘000 M.Tons)













During the last year, the average price of jute bags has shown a decline with respect to the previous two years when there was a substantial increase over earlier years. This trend, however, is in sync with the Government price for the jute bags procured through the Directorate General of Supplies & Disposals (DGS&D). The details are as follows:-

(In Rs. / M. Ton)


Govt. Price (Average)

Market Price (Average)




A.Twill (used for sugar packing)










































State participation in supply and distribution of sugar being minimal compared to that in foodgrainslike wheat, paddy/rice, Sugar Sector procures its requirement of jute bags from the open market where availability of jute bags has been adequate. The Government, at the time of determining the percentage of foodgrains and sugar to be packed in jute bags, inter-alia, takesinto account the availability of raw jute and the jute bag making capacity of the mills along with the projected demand for packaging of the foodgrains& sugar. Though, there has been an increase in the prices of jute bags over the years for sugar, it has been generally in sync with the Government price for jute bags procured for foodgrains.


Out of 83 composite jute mills, 6 mills are under Government of India’s Public Sector Undertaking, 1 mill (Tripura) is under State Government, 2 mills (Assam Co-op. & New Central) are in the co-operative sector and 74 are privately owned mills. As per the decision of Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, out of the six Government jute mills, three are to be modernised. The process of modernisation has been initiated. The onus of modernisation of private mills is on their respective owners. However, under the Jute Technology Mission, subsidy is given to the jute mills/jute units for modernisation and upgradation. The upper limit of subsidy is Rs. 3.50 croreper jute mills for the existing units and Rs.4.00crore for mills at North Eastern States and for setting up new units. As on 31st March, 2012, a subsidy of Rs.57.71 crore has been released against investment for modernisation of Rs.283.06 crore.


This information was given by the Minister of State in the Ministry Of Textiles, Smt. Panabaaka Lakshmi in a written reply in the Lok Sabhatoday.


Source: Press information Bureau, Government of India

August 13, 2012

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  Jute Packaging Act needs amendment: Textiles Ministry  

Considering empowerment of the jute, kenaf and allied fibres industry, it is vital to amend the Jute Packaging Act so as to allow introduction of avant-garde technology, Secretary, Ministry of Textiles, Kiran Dhingra, has said.



Speaking at a conference on 'Application and Commercialization of Natural Fibres Composites in Infrastructure, Construction, Housing and Automotive Sectors' in New Delhi, she said about 3.5 million jute mill workers in India are directly engaged in the jute packaging process, and this has always restricted use of high-tech technology in the process of packaging.


Hence, there is a need for amending the Jute Packaging Act to provide a boost to the jute and other allied fibres industry, Ms. Dhingra said.


Aimed at boosting production of raw jute and jute packaging material, and to benefit the people engaged in jute production and other allied processes, the Act ordains compulsory use of jute packaging for supply and distribution of certain commodities.


Ms. Dhingra said jute composites have great potential with high physical properties and deliver exceptional performance at low weight, that is, high toughness, great strength and low density. It is expected that the market size of bio-composites would grow from 2010’s US$ 2.1 billion to US$ 3.8 billion by 2016.


As indicated by a study, there is a scope for use of about 20 kg of natural fibre in each of the around 6,000-7,000 million vehicles being manufactured across the world each year, she added.


Natural fibres, particularly jute, kenaf and allied fibres, find utility in production of automobile and infrastructure across the globe as a preferred alternative of synthetic fibres like glass, aramid, carbon, electrical or e-glass and polyethylene (PE) fibres, the Textiles Secretary noted.


The Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) organized the conference in association with International Jute Study Group (IJSG), Bangladesh and National Jute Board.


Source: Fibre2fashion, India

August 13, 2012

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  Make jute cultivation profitable  

The news item entitled “Last 2 years' losses still haunt jute growers,” published in this daily recently, raised concern over the future of jute cultivation. The report says that jute growers are worried about its market prices, especially against the backdrop of huge losses in last two seasons. By this time, this season's jute harvesting has already started and it is expected that the farmers will get bumper production. In addition, farmers are not facing any trouble this season to rot jute though they faced problem during the last two seasons due to shortage of water.


However, jute cultivation is expanding gradually. For instance, in 2009, the area of jute cultivation in Dinajpur and Joypurhat districts were only 4,578 and 2,095 hectares respectively. This year 10,467 hectares of land was brought under jute cultivation in Dinajpur and 3,450 hectares in Joypurhat. But unfortunately, the rise of jute cultivation area and its better production rather pose a challenge as the country's jute market is shrinking.


It may be mentioned that jute price was around Tk 600 to 800 per maund in 2010 and 2011 while the production cost was around Tk 1,000 per maund.


So if the farmers incur loss this season too, why will they continue growing jute the next seasons?


The government should explore markets of jute at home and abroad with vigorous marketing policy by appointing right marketing professionals. We hope the government would do the needful immediately for the sake of making jute cultivation profitable.


Source: The Daily Star, Bangladesh

August 13, 2012

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  Jute goods worth Tk 500m lying unsold at JJI  

KHULNA, Aug 11: Jute goods worth about Tk 500 million have been lying unsold at the state-run Jessore Jute Industries (JJI) for about one year. For this reason mill authorities are worried over paying salary, wages and bonus to the employees before Eid-ul-Fitr.

Sources said that the mill authority exported jute goods in the last financial year worth Tk 0.36 million in June, Tk 6 million in August, Tk 24.9 million in September, Tk 35.6 million in October, Tk 11.6 in November, Tk 11.6 in December, Tk 23.8 million in January, Tk 25.5 million in February, Tk 56.6 million in March, Tk 29.3 million in April and Tk 38.5 million in May. But at present the mill is in trouble with unsold jute goods.

Project head of the JJI AHM Nazmul Ahsan said that the production fell by about 9 metric tonnes per day due to unrest among the workers. He also said that the wages and salary had been paid to workers and employees by taking loan from BJMC six month ago.

Source said that the mill expended Tk. 495.5 million and earned Tk. 487 million in 2010-2011 financial year.

JJI project head AHM Nazmul Ahsan said that Syria, Iraq, Jordern, Thailand, India and United Kingdom are the main importer of Bangladeshi jute goods. But at present they not buying jute goods due to their internal problems.


Source: Financial Express, Bangladesh

August 12, 2012

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  Shun plastics! Bring back the reusable and recycled cotton or jute bags  

Shun the plastic bag and carry a reusable cotton/jute bag when going shopping! If each one of us can spare a few minutes, we can make the earth a better place to live

Although India is reeling under the depressive conditions of the poor monsoons with most areas having received inadequate rainfall, customary preparations are underway to celebrate the Diwali festival a few months from now.


As a general rule, Indians are resilient enough to overcome the setbacks and are born optimists who always look forward to a better tomorrow than today. Somehow, things will change for the better, is their ‘gut’ feeling all the time.


They are quick to realize their own mistakes but not courageous enough to openly admit their faults. And most manage to not repeat their mistakes. Yet, they are quick to find fault with others, a trait that runs deep in their system, but, again, they would not like to admit it in their own selves!


Often, they are exposed to attend meetings, seminars and workshops or conferences that cover the need to protect the Environment. They hear about how each one can really make a contribution to preserving the environment and saving the earth from untold havoc that plastics can and cause, by careless disposal methods.


It is not about the plastic cards that they carry in their wallets that cause real trouble and havoc in their finances but the bags that they get when they go for shopping, whether it is to buy a kilo of onions or a few home required items of grocery! Soon after they reach home, these plastic bags land in the garbage cans, which, ultimately are dumped here, there and everywhere!


Though the death toll would vary from city to city, it is the stray cattle that become victims when they munch through the garbage and get choked. In many places these dumps are also hunting ground for stray dogs and street scavengers who go through the rubbish to collect recyclable waste.

Unlike the westerners, whom we ape in more ways than one, we have not yet learnt the real civic responsibility is disposing the rubbish we generate every day at home in terms of segregating the usable and the unusable waste.


For instance, most the wet waste, such as the vegetable peels, stems, leaves, etc can be converted into organic manure to start small kitchen gardens and make the earth a better place to live in. After all, more greenery will automatically invite nature's reaction by greater rainfall than we have today. Every city can be a garden city!


We started this issue with Diwali, didn’t we? Yes, most business houses have either placed or in the process of placing orders for their Diwali gift boxes that would carry a variety of sweets, dry fruits and so on. Sometimes, these gift boxes will themselves be recycled and one may pass on the incoming gift to another. After all, what can one do when he/she receives so many gift boxes from well wishers?


Of course, these colourful expensive cardboard boxes, gift wraps, plastic boxes and trays will eventually find their way to the garbage piles, only to be collected by poor scavengers for recycling.

What is the simple step that we can take? Shun the plastic bag and carry a reusable cotton/jute bag when going shopping!


As for the business houses, here is a clarion call—why not make this year, the year of the cotton gift bag and make it an annual issue? Cotton bags, carrying your advertisements will be used over and over again, and remain handy and useful for years to come.


Source: http://www.moneylife.in

August 11, 2012

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  For a change, let’s try jute  

Fashion shows are frequent in the capital city these days, but it witnessed one with a difference on Friday — Street Fashion Show.


Twenty young men, who wore outfits made of jute, turned a stretch of the city’s road into a ramp and sashayed down in style.


“Such shows are common in other parts of India, but a rarity in Kerala,” said Aji Kumar Sudhakaran, an upcoming designer who conceptualised, sponsored, and executed the event. The models, who are mostly fresh faces, donned the attires designed by Aji Kumar himself.


“I preferred jute as it is quite comfortable to wear in our climate, but has not become popular here yet,” the designer said.


Aji Kumar has conducted similar events at Marine Drive in Kochi, and Technopark in the capital in the past. “I am planning more of such shows here, depending on the receptivity,” he said.


Why weren’t there any female models? “First of all, girls here are reluctant to take part in street fashion shows. Introducing non-Malayali models and designing their outfits would be a costly affair and too much for my shoulders to handle,” explained Aji Kumar, who worked as a manager at Reliance Insurance before plunging into the world of glamour.


“I am fashion-crazy, and wanted to make my own little contributions with a difference while developing my portfolio,” he said.


Source: http://www.deccanchronicle.com

August 10, 2012

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  Make Your Home Green and Eco Friendly with Jute Goods  

I want to tell you about a website( http://www.juteproductsindia.com/ ) which manufactures plethora of interesting and eco friendly jute goods and products which can be used in our homes, offices, schools, and other places and all are made form bio friendly jute fiber. You will even find stationery, apparels, footwear, bags, find furniture goods, furnishing products, and decorative artifacts made from jute and that too are so beautiful and enticing and thus also becoming a cool option for eco friendly home decor.


These jute products have great advantages and potential to replace poly bags, and many other products made from plastic and other non eco friendly stuff.


I think these jute made things have great potential in contributing to make our environment clean and green to make it a beautiful place to live. As jute has many many environment friendly properties, like if it replace the plastic bags then we can save billions of tons of petroleum oil which is used to produce plastic and poly bags. And offcourse the litter created produced by the poly bags will be reduced up to a big extent.


If it succeeds in reducing the usage of paper bags then millions of trees can be saved from being lumbered.


If jute textile is also accepted as apparels the cotton usage will be reduced and this way lots of cultivable land can be used for food production(jute requires very less agricultural land and very less time to grow) this way total cultivatable acreage will be increased.


Source: http://www.greenoptions.com

August 10, 2012

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  India’s jute output likely to dip in 2012-13  

India is likely to witness a fall in its jute production for the 2012-13 crop year as the country has received about 20 percent less monsoon rains than usual by July this year, according to the National Jute Board.


Hit by scanty rains in jute growing states, India’s jute output for 2012-13 crop year is expected to plummet by 12 percent from last year’s 10.2 million bales (1 bale=332.5 kg) to 9 million bales, said Atri Bhattacharya, Secretary of the National Jute Board.


He said scanty rains in some states and downpour in Assam could adversely impact the crop condition.


According to the Agriculture Ministry statistics, as compared to last year’s 892,000 hectares, this season by now jute cultivation has been done on an area of only 840,000 hectares.


In India, jute is mainly grown in seven states, namely, Assam, Meghalaya, Orissa, Tripura, Andhra Pradesh, Bihar and West Bengal.


Usually, jute is taken up as an inter-crop during the interval between the two main agricultural seasons – kharif and rabi. Each year, around five to six percent of the total jute output is used to prepare about 1.6 million tons of jute products, while the remaining output is used by farmers for manure and fuel.


Providing direct and indirect employment to around four million people, the Indian jute industry has mainly retained its focus on production of gunny bags, but now the Textiles Ministry wants it to shift its focus to production of items with better value-addition.


Source: Fibre2fashion, India

August 10, 2012

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  Time to re-visit Jute Packaging Act: Kiran Dhingra  

To leverage the jute, kenaf and allied fibres industry it is important to amend the act to enable the industry to induct modern technology, said Kiran Dhingra, Secretary, Ministry of Textiles.

Secretary textiles stated this on Tuesday at a conference on 'Application and Commercialization of Natural Fibres Composites in Infrastructure, Construction, Housing and Automotive Sectors' in New Delhi.

"In India around 3.5 million mill workers are directly employed in the jute packaging process. However, this has invariably led to restricted use of high-end technology in the process of packaging. Hence, to leverage the jute, kenaf and allied fibres industry it is important to re-visit the act," she said.

Jute Packaging Act is an Act to provide for the compulsory use of jute packaging material in supply and distribution of certain commodities in the interests of production of raw jute and jute packaging material, and of persons engaged in the production thereof and for matters connected therewith.

She affirmed, "Jute composites hold out great potential with high physical properties and excellent performance at low weight, i.e., high stiffness, high strength and low density. It is estimated that the market size of bio-composite will increase from USD 2.1 billion in 2010 to USD 3.8 billion in 2016."

"A study indicates that there is scope for about 20 kg of natural fibres to be used in approximately 6,000 to 7,000 million vehicles being produced globally each year," she added.

"Natural fibres especially jute, kenaf and allied fibres are being used in the manufacturing of automobile and infrastructure globally as an optimum replacement of synthetic fibres such as glass, carbon, aramid, electrical or e-glass and polyethylene (PE) fibres," Dhingra remarked in her address.

The conference was organised by FICCI in association with International Jute Study Group (IJSG), Bangladesh and National Jute Board. It focused on strengthening Public Private Partnership (PPP) in the natural fibre sector and exploring real-time approaches for the application and commercialisation of the natural fibre composites especially in infrastructure, construction, housing and automotive sectors.

The Textiles Secretary also pointed out that the infrastructure is another vibrant sector, which can witness niche applications of the natural fibre composites.

"Infrastructure which includes building and construction materials is adopting green technology for moving towards a sustainable environment. Jute-based composites can be focused upon for development as it holds the prospect for application in entirely new areas leading to future development and an increased market share of jute," she added.


Source: SME Times, India

August 08, 2012

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  Jute output likely to decline by 12%  

Jute production in the country is expected to decline by 12% to 90 lakh bales in the 2012-13 crop year due to poor rains in the growing states, the National Jute Board said today.


The country had produced 102 lakh bales of jute last year. One bale of jute is equal to 332.5 kg. "Jute output is likely to be lower at around 90 lakh bales this year," the Board's Secretary Atri Bhattacharya told reporters on the sidelines of a Ficci function here.

He said drought-like situation in some states and floods in Assam could impact crop condition.

As per the Agriculture Ministry data, area sown under jute is lower at 8.40 lakh hectare so far in the ongoing Kharif season, against 8.92 lakh hectare in the year-ago period.

Jute is cultivated in seven states — West Bengal, Bihar, Odisha, Assam, Tripura, Meghalaya and Andhra Pradesh.

In fact sowing of most kharif crops, both food and cash crops, are lagging behind due to poor rains. Monsoon rains were deficient by 20 per cent till July.

Jute is normally cultivated as an inter-crop between the two main agricultural seasons, kharif and rabi. About 5-6% of the total production is used for making 1.6 million tonnes of jute goods every year. Farmers use the remaining fibre for manure and fuel.

The jute industry, which employs about 4 million people directly and indirectly, has been mainly focusing on making gunny bags. The Textiles Ministry wants the jute industry to produce more value-added items.

Stressing the need for diversification of jute products, Textiles Ministry Secretary Kiran Dhingra said: "We need to work for greater value-addition to jute products before you can get the jute industry to be in a frame of mind to shift to low-value added products".

The natural fibres, especially jute, kenaf and allied fibres, are being diversely used in the manufacture of automobiles and infrastructure in the world.


Source: Business Standard, India

August 07, 2012

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  Bangladesh jute report - Aug 5  

Rates supplied by the Bangladesh Jute Association



(One bale = 180 kg) (Taka per bale)

Ready Position (in taka) Bangla white special (BW special) 14,000 Bangla white A (BWA) 13,700 Bangla white B (BWB) 12,800 Bangla white C (BWC) 11,300 Bangla white D (BWD) 10,850 Bangla white E (BWE) 10,400 Bangla tossa special (BTS) 14,300 Bangla tossa A (BTA) 14,000 Bangla tossa B (BTB) 13,100 Bangla tossa C (BTC) 11,600 Bangla tossa D (BTD) 11,150 Bangla tossa E (BTE) 10,700


WRS/TRS, HABIJABI, CUT ROPES Bangla white rejection (BWR) 9,250 Bangla white habijabi (BWH) 7,300 Bangla tossa rejection (BTR) 9,500 Bangla tossa habijabi (BTH) 7,300


CUTTINGS Bangla white cuttings A (BWCA) 6,800 Bangla white cuttings B (BWCB) 6,600 Bangla tossa cuttings A (BTCA) 7,100 Bangla tossa cuttings B (BTCB) 6,900


MESHTA Meshta special 14,000 Meshta A 13,700 Meshta B 12,800 Meshta C 11,300 Special meshta cuttings 6,800 Ordinary meshta cuttings 6,600 Meshta- SMR 9,000


STATE OF THE MARKET--REMARKS Quality - good Condition - fair Narayanganj imports - About 3,000 Qntl. Daulatpur imports - About 8,000 Qntl. Market trend - As usual


NOTE Raw jute exports during 2011-2012 (01.07.2011 to 31.05.2012) = 2.07 million bales Value 13.98 billion taka ($1 = 81.55 taka) Source: Bangladesh Jute Association, Dhaka +880-2-9552916, Narayanganj +880-2-7630904


Source: http://in.reuters.com

August 05, 2012

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  State-run jute-mills' profit plunges again in FY12  

Profit of most of the state-run jute-mills nosedived again in the just concluded fiscal year (FY) 2011-12, statistics show.Out of the 18 jute-mills, run by the Bangladesh Jute Mills Corporation (BJMC), only six could earn profit in the FY12, against nine mills in the previous fiscal.

The mills which could earn profit in 2011-12 were: Latif Bawani Jute Mills, Jatiya Jute Mills, Rajshahi Jute Mills, Gul Ahmed Jute Mills, Bangladesh Jute Mills, and Khalishpur Jute Mills. The BJMC officials said rest of the jute-mills incurred significant loss in the just concluded fiscal, but declined to disclose the amount of loss.

The state-run jute-mills came out of the saga of continuous loss after 29 years in the fiscal 2010-11, creating the hope of regaining the golden fibre's glorious past. Presently 18 state-run jute-mills are in full-fledged operation, three are in the process of starting production, two are given lease to private sector entrepreneurs, and one is closed. Three other non-jute mills of the BJMC are also in operation.

A director of the BJMC told the FE that most of the mills incurred loss due to price hike of electricity and petrol oil and lubricant. He said production cost of the BJMC-run mills has increased significantly following the increased price of power and energy.


Statistics show that production of the BJMC-run jute-mills has increased by 10,000 tonnes to 176,000 tonnes in the fiscal 2011-12 against 166,000 tonnes in the fiscal 2010-11.

Textile and Jute Secretary Ashraful Maqbul told the FE that the demand of jute goods has decreased significantly due to global economic recession and unrest in the Middle-Eastern countries. "Our mills are century-old, and most of their machineries are outdated. So, those mills fail to produce goods at expected level. They urgently need Balancing Modernization Rehabilitation and Expansion (BMRE)."

The secretary said a project worth Tk 10 billion for the BMRE of the state-run jute-mills is now at final stage. "We are hopeful of starting the process soon and expect a positive outcome from it," he added.


Source: Financial Express, Bangladesh

August 4, 2012

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  Rain god blesses jute, cotton and sugarcane farmers  

A day after the government officially declared 15 per cent deficient monsoon this year, sowing of sugarcane, cotton and jute has already surpassed normal levels up to August 3. However, cultivation of rice, coarse cereals, pulses and oilseeds continued to be less than normal, though the deficit has narrowed down in case of rice and oilseeds over the past one week.

Data released by the agriculture ministry on Friday about the area under cultivation of kharif crops showed sugarcane cultivation has gone up 13.2 per cent so far this year at 52.8 lakh hectares, compared with the normal crop area of 46.7 lakh hectares, while jute and mesta cultivation is up 2.2 per cent to 8.4 lakh hectares, from 8.22 lakh hectares. Cotton cultivation, too, has grown a little to 100.14 lakh hectares from the normal level of 99.89 lakh hectares.

Rice cultivation picked up last week, narrowing the deficit from 19 per cent to just 2.9 per cent, with the total area under cultivation rising to 233.68 lakh hectares, compared with the normal level of 240.89 lakh hectares. Cultivation of oilseeds picked up significantly during the week and stood at 145.2 lakh hectares, compared with the normal level of 145.49 lakh hectares, thereby, bringing down the deficit to less than one per cent.

However, cultivation of pulses and coarse cereals continued to be significantly lower than normal, thereby pointing towards a probable shortage of these commodities in the coming months. While cultivation of coarse cereals stood at 135.75 lakh hectares, 19.8 per cent below the normal level of 169.30 lakh hectares in case of a normal monsoon, cultivation of pulses was 13.5 per cent below normal at 72.79 lakh hectares, down from 84.15 lakh hectares.


“The acreage under major crops has fallen by eight per cent year-on-year to 668 lakh hectares, with acreage of cereals and pulses down by 27 per cent and 21 per cent,” it said.

It also said total live storage of the 84 major reservoirs stood significantly lower at 30 billion cubic metres (bcm), compared with 46 bcm last year and a LPA (long-period average) of 30 bcm.

“Full season deficient rainfall would also imply lower reservoir level by end of the season. Hence, there is a risk to both rain-fed kharif and reservoir-dependant rabi production,” the brokerage said.

Meanwhile, the government has included coarse cereals and fodder crops under the National Food Security Mission (NFSM) in the 12th five-year plan along with rice, wheat and pulses.

Under NFSM, the government has set a target of increasing foodgrain production by 25 million tonnes during 2012-17, and has already allocated Rs 1,800 crore to the states this year to raise productivity of these crops through adoption of improved inputs and technology packages. During the 11th plan, foodgrain production under NFSM was 25 million tonnes higher.


Source: http://wrd.mydigitalfc.com

August 03, 2012

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  Jute industry eyes new markets to scale up exports  

Kolkata: In an effort to step up exports, the jute industry is considering geographies such as West Asia and Eastern Europe.


Plans are also afoot to consolidate presence in the US, Canada and Turkey.


Exports currently account for about 20 per cent of the Rs 8,500-crore jute market in the country, said Mr Atri Bhattacharya, Secretary, National Jute Board and the Jute Commissioner of India.


“The industry is likely to clock over 16 per cent growth in exports to $350 million (approximately Rs 1,925 crore at current exchange rate) this year from about $300 million in 2011-12. This will be aided by the industry’s possible foray into new markets,” Mr Bhattacharya said.


The US accounts for about 15-18 per cent of the country’s total exports. “A majority of the exports is in the form of yarn and fabrics. We are planning to strengthen our presence in the US by focusing on diversified jute products such as bags, accessories and apparels,” he said.


Turkey, which was once a traditional market for jute exports, would also be revived, he added. “We have lost our market share in Turkey over the last few years. We plan to revive the market by focusing on value added products,” he said.


According to Mr Bhattacharya, there is a demand for jute products such as shopping bags, furnishings and geotextile in the European markets of Germany and Belgium, West Asian markets of Dubai and Saudi Arabia and the CIS States. There is also a good demand for food grade bags in the African countries of Kenya and Ghana.


Source: The Hindu, Business Line, India

July 05, 2012

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  Jute mills seek more time to reply to antitrust watchdog’s notices  

Jute mills in West Bengal have sought more time to respond to notices issued last week by the antitrust watchdog on complaints from the sugar lobby that these firms artificially raised the prices of jute bags. The Competition Commission of India (CCI) sent notices to eight jute mills in the state seeking details on their supply of jute bags to the sugar industry in 2010-11.


It gave them until 30 June to reply. The jute mills owners have asked CCI for an additional four weeks to reply. The watchdog also asked the jute mill owners to disclose how they priced their bags, said R.K. Poddar, owner of Ganges Manufacturing Co. Ltd (GMCL), who has three jute mills in West Bengal and was issued the CCI notice.


In July last year, the Indian Sugar Mills Association (ISMA) filed a complaint with the CCI that the Indian Jute Mills Association (IJMA) and the Gunny Traders Association (GTA) had formed a nexus and were artificially manipulating prices of jute gunny bags.


Business Standard reported on the CCI notices to the jute mills on 28 June. India manufactures around 1 million tonnes of jute bags a year, mostly for the food and sugar industries. West Bengal has 54 jute mills and accounts for 80% of the total jute production in the country. Jute is therefore a politically sensitive commodity in the state.


“The complaint of the sugar industry that jute bag makers are indulging in monopoly practices is totally baseless and self-defeating as they (sugar manufacturers) are unlawfully using alternative materials and thus evading the Jute Packaging Materials Act,” Poddar said. According to an 11 January notification issued by the textile ministry, all the foodgrain and sugar produced in the country have to be packed in jute bags manufactured by locally produced jute.


Manish Poddar, chairman, IJMA, said the sugar industry was defaulting on this obligation.

Sugar mills are required to use only jute bags for packaging but are meeting 70% of their requirement with plastic substitutes, he said.


GMCL’s Poddar said sugar mills were also dodging directives issued by the Sugar Directorate by using jute bags of 100kg in place of the mandated 50kg bags. An ISMA executive denied this claim. He, in turn, said the jute mills were manufacturing bags of an inferior quality. A jute bag with a capacity of 50kg should weigh 630 grams, but jute mills manufacture bags that are 100-200 grams lighter, he said. “This difference has to be made good by adding extra sugar to each bag to meet weight requirements. On an industrial scale, this counts for a lot of extra sugar,” he said.


ISMA provided data showing that the price of a 100 kg jute bag for packing sugar had increased from Rs.32-42.50 a bag in 2008-09 to Rs.55-61 a bag in 2010-11. IJMA’s Poddar said the price of a 5kg jute bag had increased from Rs.40 four years ago to Rs.60 last year and Rs.50 now and that this was a function of the rising price of raw jute. “Price is determined by the demand-supply situation and whatever fluctuation (in price) took place in recent times was entirely demand-driven,” he said.

Mint could not independently verify these figures.


GMCL’s Poddar said that though the GTA gives out daily indicative price quotations depending on past trends, most jute manufacturers price their products according to their own business dynamics.


Source: www.livemint.com

July 04, 2012

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  West Bengal to have two jute parks by this year  

Kolkata: West Bengal could have two jute parks, one each in Burdwan and North Dinajpur districts, by the end of 2012, am official said on Monday. "We are expecting that at least by the end of this calendar year, wecould have two jute parks in the state," Jute Commissioner in the central textiles ministry and National Jute Board Secretary Atri Bhattacharya told reporters on the sidelines of an event, organised by the Bharat Chamber of Commerce here.

The parks, to be set up at Shaktigarh in Burdwan district and Raniganj in North Dinajpur district, are a part of the four upcoming parks in the country planned by the textile ministry under the Jute Technology Mission. The other two are to be located in Purnea in Bihar and in Silchar in Assam, which are likely to become operational by the end of the current fiscal.

Under the Jute Technology Mission, the government had introduced a scheme for establishing jute parks in the country. The subsidy available under this scheme for establishment of the jute parks is 40 percent of the eligible cost for setting up common infrastructure in the park(excluding the cost of land), subject to a maximum of Rs.7.5 crore. The initial infrastructural investment in the parks is around Rs.50 crore, Bhattacharya said.


Source: www.worldjute.com

July 03, 2012

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  Jute industry needs diversification: Official  

"Jute is an environment friendly fibre and the industry is the second largest in West Bengal. However, without diversification, this Rs.8500 crore industry is not going to survive," said Bhattacharya at an interactive session organized by the Bharat Chamber of Commerce in Kolkata on Monday.

Bhattacharya pointed out that jute is the fibre of the future since it is bio-degradable.

He said that without diversification this industry is going to die especially now that China has entered into jute industry in collaboration with Bangladesh and the quality of Bangladesh jute is better than Indian jute.

But, Bhattacharya rued that the industry spends only Rs. 60 crore for Research and Development in five years.

Listing the problems of the industry like lack of labourers, bad working condition of the mills, dwindling acreage, the Jute Commissioner said that the union government has schemes to support manufacturers and government will also help in advertising and branding of the product.

“We’re to believe in ourselves,” he stressed.


Source: www.indiablooms.com

July 03, 2012

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  Bangladesh jute report - July 3  

Rates supplied by the Bangladesh Jute Association



(One bale = 180 kg) (Taka per bale)


Ready Position (in taka) Bangla white special (BW special) 14,000 Bangla white A (BWA) 13,700 Bangla white B (BWB) 12,800 Bangla white C (BWC) 11,300 Bangla white D (BWD) 10,850 Bangla white E (BWE) 10,400 Bangla tossa special (BTS) 14,300 Bangla tossa A (BTA) 14,000 Bangla tossa B (BTB) 13,100 Bangla tossa C (BTC) 11,600 Bangla tossa D (BTD) 11,150 Bangla tossa E (BTE) 10,700


WRS/TRS, HABIJABI, CUT ROPES Bangla white rejection (BWR) 9,250 Bangla white habijabi (BWH) 7,300 Bangla tossa rejection (BTR) 9,500 Bangla tossa habijabi (BTH) 7,300


CUTTINGS Bangla white cuttings A (BWCA) 6,800 Bangla white cuttings B (BWCB) 6,600 Bangla tossa cuttings A (BTCA) 7,100 Bangla tossa cuttings B (BTCB) 6,900


MESHTA Meshta special 14,000 Meshta A 13,700 Meshta B 12,800 Meshta C 11,300 Special meshta cuttings 6,800 Ordinary meshta cuttings 6,600 Meshta- SMR 9,000


STATE OF THE MARKET--REMARKS Quality - good Condition - fair Narayanganj imports - About 3,000 Qntl. Daulatpur imports - About 8,000 Qntl. Market trend - As usual


NOTE Raw jute exports during 2011-2012 (01.07.2011 to 30.04.2012) = 1.99 million bales Value 13.45 billion taka ($1 = 81.82 taka) Source: Bangladesh Jute Association, Dhaka +880-2-9552916, Narayanganj +880-2-7630904


Source: http://in.reuters.com

July 03, 2012

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  US sanction on Iran: Bangladesh is the loser!  

Many of you may have not thought such, but the truth is US sanction on Iran is hampering Bangladesh economically! Yes, export of jute and jute products from Bangladesh has dropped down sharply due to the sanction., reports fibre2fashion.com.


Quoting the Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) of Bangladesh the website reports that export of jute and jute products to from Bangladesh decreased to US$ 889.45 million during July-May 2011-12 that is 11 percent lower than the corresponding period of previous fiscal year. During the same time frame in 2010-11 fiscal Bangladesh had exported jute goods and products worth US$ 1 billion. According to the fibre2fashion.com “The sanctions imposed by Western countries against Iran, is one of the reasons for decline in Bangladeshi jute exports, as Iran is one of the major importers of Bangladeshi raw jute and jute goods.”


Until fiscal 2010-11, exports of Bangladeshi jute and jute products to Iran increased gradually, says the report. “But post-sanctions, exporters are finding it difficult to realize payments as most of the banks through which the export payments were collected so far have been blacklisted.”

“The financial crisis in Europe, political turmoil in some Middle East countries, floods in Thailand, earthquake in Turkey and fears of global recession are also cited by exporters as the reasons for sluggish demand for Bangladeshi jute and jute items.” Growth of raw jute exports dropped by 26.51 percent in fiscal year 2011-12, which ended on June 30, compared to growth of 53 percent achieved in 2010-11, EPB data showed.


Source: www.ebangladesh.com, Bangladesh

July 03, 2012

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  Bumper jute production on way in Khulna division  

JESSORE, BANGLADESH: The farmers of ten southwestern districts in Khulna division are expecting a bumper jute production in the current season. Ten districts are-Jessore, Narail, Jhenidah, Magura, Kushtia, Chuadanga, Meherpur, Khulna, Satkhira and Bagerhat. The Jessore-based regional office of the Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE) fixed a target to cultivate 1,88,493 hectares of land with production target of 20,82,542 bells of jute in the region.

The district-wise break-up of jute cultivation is 21,446 hectares of land cultivated in Jessore, 22,302 hectares of land in Narail, 21,065 hectares of land in Jhenidah, 30,445 hectares of land in Magura, 34,905 hectares of land in Kushtia, 19,700 hectares of land in Chuadanga, 23,405 hectares of land in Meherpur, 2,140 hectares of land in Khulna, 11,835 hectares of land in Satkhira and 1,250 hectares of land cultivated in Bagerhat district.

Additional director of Jessore Regional Agriculture Extension Department Abdul Mannan said favorable climate, adequate supply of fertilizers and pesticides may help the bumper production of Jute.

Deputy Director of Narail DAE Chabi Hari Das said farmers cultivated high yielding variety of jute in their land with the assistance of Department of Agriculture Extension.

The Bangladesh Krishi Bank (BKB) and other government and on-government banks had disbursed adequate crop loans to make the Jute cultivation a complete success in the region.


Source: The Financial Express, Bangladesh

July 03, 2012

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  Carbon Footprint Assessment  

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A carbon footprint assessment and report starts from around $1,000 for a small organisation. You cannot manage what you haven't measured so a carbon footprint assessment is a critical first step.


Source: Carbon Neutral, Australia

July 03, 2012

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  Delayed rain may dampen jute production  

Jute production is likely to be lower this year on delayed rainfall, according to Mr Atri Bhattacharya, Secretary, National Jute Board and Jute Commissioner, Ministry of Textiles.


Market sources estimate that there could be a 12 per cent drop in production of raw jute to 95 lakh bales (1 bale – 180 kg) this year, as compared with 108 lakh bales in 2011-12.


“Last year we saw a good crop on account of favourable weather and availability of seeds. This year, however, the crop is likely to take a beating due to delayed rain,” Mr Bhattacharya said at an interactive session on ‘Jute and Bengal’ organised by the Bharat Chamber of Commerce here on Monday.


Jute sowing usually starts by the end of March and continues up to the end of May. Sowing requires a hot and humid weather with regular bouts of showers. However, this year, the State did not receive adequate showers that are ideal for sowing.


However, the area under jute production is likely to remain the same, he said.


Source: The Hindu, Business Line, India

July 02, 2012

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  Iran sanction dampens jute exports  

Earnings from jute and jute goods slowed in July-May period of the just-out fiscal year as the sanction on Iran and price cuts bite exporters, industry insiders said Sunday. Exports to Iran, one of major destinations of Bangladeshi raw jute and jute goods, have almost halved during the period as the country has been facing difficulties in clearing import payments in US Dollar since the UN sanction, the Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) data showed.

The country's exports of jute and jute goods amounted to $889.45 million during July-May period of 2011-12 fiscal, down from $1.0 billion in the corresponding period of a year ago, according to the EPB. Exporters also attributed sluggish demand for jute to the political turmoil in the Middle East, economic gloom in Europe and fears of global recession.

"Direct and indirect pressure from the US and the EU on Bangladesh for not doing business with Iran is also seen as a reason for the sluggish shipment of jute, the second biggest foreign exchange earner after apparel. "Export of jute and jute goods to Iran has been increasing gradually till last the fiscal year of 2010-11, but in the current year, export of such products have drastically fallen due to the international pressure," a managing director of a leading Jute mill told the FE preferring anonymity.

He also said what ever goods the local millers have delivered could not yet realize payment as the world leaders have black listed most of the banks with whom local banks would so far collect export payments. "Our exports are facing headwinds in almost all export destinations. Export earnings in terms of value and volume have declined, which has given rise to stockpiling," marketing director for Bangladesh Jute Mills Corporation (BJMC) Shamsul Haque said.

Growth of export earnings from jute and jute goods fell by over13 per cent in fiscal 2011-12 from around 36 per cent in the previous year, according to Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) data. The BJMC official said economic sanctions on Iran and Syria hurt jute exports in those countries, as buyers are unable to pay for a shortage of international currencies.


Industry people said that India consumes most of its production locally as it ensures the compliance of its packaging act.  "If we could ensure implementation of the law, we would not have to sit on stocks of unsold jute goods," said a BJMC high official. Industry people also said any kind of setback in the sector will have a negative impact on thousands of poor farmers of the country.


Source: The Financial Express, Bangladesh

July 02, 2012

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  3 years on, plastic bag use rampant, ban only on paper  

GURGAON: The administration first woke up to one of the major threats to the environment and took action against the use of plastic bags in the city about three years ago. However, the three-year-old ban on the use of plastic bags exists largely only on paper. The bags are still widely used by customers and shopkeepers in blatant defiance of the law.


The Municipal Corporation of Gurgaon (MCG), in a special report in 2010, said that people carrying plastic bags thinner than 40mm and less than 12 X 18 inches would be liable to be challaned. The department declared a challan of Rs 500 on anyone who is caught with a plastic bag of the mentioned dimensions.


The shopkeepers dispensing plastic bags were to be fined Rs 2,500 to Rs 5,000.


Various agencies and non-government organizations (NGO) are trying to make people aware of the harmful effects of plastic bags and encourage them to use bags made of paper, cloth or jute. Vivek Kamboj, founder of an NGO, Haryali, has been distributing jute bags for free to various residents' welfare associations and social activists in Gurgaon.


"The beautiful jute bags are being distributed to people to educate people on the environmental hazards of plastic bags. We are not promoting paper bags because they can be used only once and they are made at the cost of trees. So jute is a good option. These bags also have a layer of plastic, but the layer is very thin. They are reusable and could last for about a year, depending on the usage," said Kamboj.


Many NGOs have come up with the concept of environment-friendly bags which are priced at Rs 25 each and are expecting help from the RWAs, so that people develop the habit easily. These bags are in Tafetta fabric and one can carry up to 5kg to 6 kg of things in them easily. Even washing them is easy. Earlier this month, the Supreme Court had said that the threat of plastic bags was bigger than that of the atom bomb for the next generation.


Issuing notice in a PIL to the Centre and state governments, a bench comprising Justice G S Singhvi and Justice S J Mukhopadhyay said that unless a complete ban was imposed on plastic bags, the situation would get out of hand.


Not only NGOs but also the corporate sector is in the forefront of the fight for the cause. A certain retail chain, for instance, has been focusing on environmentally sustainable initiatives with goals of eliminating waste being powered by renewable energy and selling sustainable products to help people save money and lead a better life.


To maintain environment sustainability, a supermarket chain gives its customers the option of carrying their purchases in eco-friendly cloth bags made from recycled fabric.


Source: The Times of India

July 01, 2012

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  Nilphamari jute farmers losing interest  

It was cultivated on 70,592-acre less land than that of the previous year


NILPHAMARI, JUNE 29: Due to low price and the high cost of production the cultivation of jute has remarkably decreased in Rangpur Agricultural zone this year. Sources said, jute were cultivated on 2,94,394 acres of lands in 2011 and on 2,23,801 acres of lands in 2012 in eight districts of Rangpur Agricultural region. So, jute was cultivated 70,592 acres lesser areas of lands in comparison with the previous year.

A source in the Agriculture Department said, as the farming of some crops including maize has increased due to lack of fair price of jute. Jute cultivation has been decreasing in this agricultural zone. The sources added that this year a total of 2,23,801 acres of lands were brought under jute cultivation in the eight districts of Rangpur division. Out of this, ‘native jute’ was cultivated on 28,360 acres of lands and ‘Tosa’ variety was cultivated on 1,95,441 acres of lands.

The district-wise break-up of jute farming is as follows: this year jute was cultivated on 38,047 acres of lands in Rangpur, on 27,107 acres of lands in Gaibandha, on 42,103 acres of lands in Kurigram, on 20,678 acres of lands in Lalmonirhat, on 29,170 acres of lands in Nilphamari, on 19,170 acres of lands in Dinajpur, on 29,412 acres of lands in Thakurgoan and on 18,161 acres of lands in Panchagarh.

The district-wise break-up of jute farming in last year is as follows : Jute was cultivated on 42,666 acres of lands in Rangpur, on 35,283 acres of lands in Gaibandha, on 57,931 acres of lands in Kurigram, on 17,245 acres of lands in Lalmonirhat, on 32,888 acres of lands in Nilphamari, on 29,686 acres of lands in Dinajpur, on 40,199 acres of lands in Thakurgoan and on 38,492 acres of lands in Panchagarh.

Out of this, the local variety was cultivated on 29,179 acres of lands and Tosa variety on the remaining 2,55,215 acres of lands. The farmers of this zone said that last year as the jute growers did not get the fair price of their produced jute, they have lost their eagerness in jute farming for which the jute cultivation has significantly decreased this year.

On the other hand, the AED sources said, the cultivation of jute is decreasing not only due to low price, but for various other reasons such as increase in cultivation of ‘Rabi’ crops including the maize. Some farmers said that they have lost their interest in jute farming due to low price, lack of timely rainfall for netting the jute and the required number of the labourers for separating the fibre from the jute sticks.

They said if they do not get the fair price of jute they would totally stop the cultivation of jute in near future. Deputy Assistant Agriculture Officer of Rangpur Agriculture office, Md Fazlul Haque, said, they have been trying their best to encourage the farmers to retain the jute farming in this zone but due to abnormal low price they are gradually losing their interest in jute cultivation.

Some conscious people including a good number of agriculture officers expressed their anxiety for decreasing the jute farming in this region. The government should provide the farmers with fair price of their produced crops including the jute, they added.


Source: The Independent, Bangladesh

June 30, 2012

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  CCI serves notice to seven jute mills in West Bengal     

Kolkata Jun 29, 2012: The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has sent notices to seven jute mills in West Bengal for alleged violation of competition rules. The alleged violation of the Section 3(3) (a) and Section 3(1) of the Competition Act, 2002 pertain to manipulation and rigging of prices by jute mills, creating an imbalance in the packaging market.The jute mills will have to answer the notices before June 30, failing which CCI will take penal action against them. Non-compliance in terms of furnishing of false statements and deliberate omission will also draw stringent action as per provisions of the Competition Act.

There are 54 operating mills in West Bengal involving livelihood of around 250,000 industrial workers and four million farmers. The jute industry has an annual installed capacity of producing 2.4 million tonnes (mt) of jute goods, but currently produces only 1.6 mt because of lack of demand. CCI recently fined 12 cement companies for violating the Act and had kept the jute industry and state-run Coal India Ltd, the world's largest coal producer, under its scanner. On June 25, it sent the notices on charges raised by the Indian Sugar Mills Association, the National Federation of Co-operative Sugar Factories and the All India Flat Tape Manufacturers Association against the Indian Jute Mills Association (IJMA) and the Gunny Trades Association (GTA).

CCI has asked the mills for a compulsory furnishing of details on eight specific queries relating to price, actual transactions, quotations, bulletin displays, sale price and production and material cost, prices of twills (100/50 kg bags) and audited profit and loss accounts of the last three years. These bags are used for packing sugar to the tune of around 200,000 tonnes annually and valued at around Rs 1,500 crore. As per estimates, sugar packaging defaults are in the region of 64 per cent by the 450-odd sugar mills. The government is yet to implement Section 9 of the Jute Packaging Mandatory Act (JPMA), 1987, against sugar mills violating the provision. Under the Section, the violation is a cognizable offence and the police will investigate the matter under the Code for Criminal Procedure. The lobby alleged IJMA and GTA were working closely to cartelise the packaging material market by misusing their dominant position. They have accused the jute organisations for alleged rigging and manipulation of prices in the packaging market.

Further alleged is that IJMA and GTA are imposing unfair and excessive prices on jute bags, thereby, limiting the technical development of the market. IJMA has sought protection against the allegation under Article 141 of the Indian Constitution and Section 62 of the Act and is fighting the charge. By an order issued on April 25, 1996, the Supreme Court held the Jute Packaging Mandatory Act, 1987 valid. As by Article 141, any distinction made on this behalf breaches the law of the land. By Section 62 of the Act, the Commission is also bound to perform within the confines of law and not in derogation to the JPM, Act, 1987. Source: Business Standard


Source: www.worldjute.com, India

June 28, 2012

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  Natural Fibre Mission to be launched in West Bengal  

KOLKATA: The Bengal government is going big with the project of a "Natural Fibre Mission", which is expected to help uplift conditions of the poorest artisans in the most backward regions of the state.


The "Natural Fibre Mission" is a rural livelihood generation programme that will help leverage both natural fibre that are common throughout the state, as well as help encourage traditional skill. The approach of the programme is through cluster development.


According to state cottage and small scale industries minister Manas Bhuniya, there have been programmes like the jute mission, coir mission or bamboo mission, but this is possibly for the first time that a state has conceptualized a mission that will help promote thr natural fibre. The Mission aims at production of different value added products from available natural fibre in 11 backward districts of West Bengal. These districts are Jalpaiguri, Uttar Pradesh, Malda, Murshidabad, Birbhum, Purulia, Bankura, West Midnapore, East Midnapore and South 24 Parganas.


The Centre has already approved the Natural Fibre Mission under the Backward Regions Grant Fund (BRGF), for which Rs 247 crore has been approved. The cottage and small scale department has already received Rs 89 crore, which the Centre has sent as part of this project and another one under which rural haats will come up in different parts of Bengal. The natural fibres that will be used under the project are jute, bamboo, coir, mat, sabai grass, cotton and silk. The programme will involve not only developing skill of artisans, but also supply of tools and equipment. That apart, there will also be creating common production centre and common facility centre.


Also, a common natural fibre centre is proposed to come up at Kharagpur. Now that the funds have come and detailed study on all 11 districts is complete, work will begin soon, said Bhuniya.


Source: The Times of India

June 28, 2012

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  Tk 10m jute goods damaged in Khulna downpour  

KHULNA, BANGLADESH: Jute and jute goods worth about Tk. 10 million was damaged following a heavy downpour and tidal surge for last two days in Platinum and Khalishpur Jute Mills under BJMC.

The production was suspended in Platinum Jute Mills for 11 hours, Khalishpur Jute Mills for 5 hours due to waterlogging and production of Crescent Jute Mill was suspended for 3 hours during the period of 24 hours from 006 hours of Monday, concerned source said.

The project head of the Platinum Jute Mill Jahangir Hossain said that the production of Unit No- 1 and 2 of the mill was closed due waterlogging inside the mill which damaged produced jute goods worth about Tk. 1.5 crore. Besides, rain water also entered into the raw jute warehouse. The production resumed on Tuesday noon after removing water round the night. An investigation committee has been formed to assess the damages.

He informed that the situation has been created due to only one drain active for draining out water of the area. He also requested the Khulna City Corporation to take necessary measures about alternative drainage systems.

On the other hand the rain water also entered into the Khalishpur Jute Mills Unite No-1, 2, 3 and damaged jute goods worth about 50 lakh. As a result the production was closed till 10 pm from 5 pm on Monday. The project head of the mill Molla Alamgir said that rain water and river water entered into the Unit No-2.

The project head of the Crescent Jute Mill said that the rain water did not enter into the mill area but the production was suspended on Monday from 5pm to 8pm due to load shedding.


Source: The financial express, Bangladesh

June 28, 2012

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  Why some SMEs succeed and some others fail  

Mohammed Tajul Islam concluding his three-part article on the financing of small and medium enterprises Credit Rating Agency of Bangladesh (CRAB) assigns entity and issuer ratings as well as bank loan rating in the long-term and short-term rating scale to the bank's counterparty under Basel II framework. Basel II is the Risk-based Capital Adequacy Framework introduced in the country by the Bangladesh Bank (BB) in 2010. In case there is no legal entity CRAB does not provide any entity/issuer rating rather CRAB rates them on the scale of long term and short term bank loan rating scale depending on the type of loan. CRAB's rating universe as on December 31, 2011 shows that 42 per cent of their corporate clients only get loan rating; due to proprietorship nature of ownership and legal separation of entity from owner could not be possible. Besides, if we segregate the rating universe based on the bank loan limit, we find that around 20 per cent of loan limit belongs to Tk 50.0 million and below category, around 36.3 per cent of loan limit belongs to Tk 100.0 million and below category and if we consider limit category up to Tk 250.0 million then it captures around 60 per cent and below category. If segregated, the rating universe based on rating category, 42.3 per cent of the corporate rating universe falls BB (Double B) and below category.

Based on the above facts, we found that a large number of corporate rating segment falls under SME (small and medium enterprises) characteristics. As already highlighted, SMEs have several unique characteristics that warrant a customised credit assessment framework and methodology as well as separate rating scale and symbol. Unlike the corporate, the SME sector has no organised information on industries, market shares, competition dynamics, and promoter or management track record.

The credit worthiness of SME unit, therefore, needs to be assessed using tools and methods that are different from those traditionally used for corporates.

Taking this one step forward, it would be optimal to also have a customised rating definition and scale applicable to SMEs. For example, currently all the rating agencies in Bangladesh use rating symbols from AAA to D on a scale of 22 to 26 for corporate and/or bank loan ratings. It is proposed that there should be a separate Rating Symbol and Scale (SME1 to SME8) in order to ensure that there is no confusion among the users of the rating, in that they would know exactly what the rating conveys. In addition, as such, ratings would involve SMEs as a peer group; these would have a better spread across the sector, and provide an effective means of comparing the profiles of different units.

The objective of SME Assessment and Corporate Rating are not identical. SME Rating would not only provide credit information and fill the information gap, but also educate the SME sector entrepreneurs/ managers to enhance its entrepreneurship and managerial skills. In the medium to long term it will ease SME units' access to finance as well as benefit to its business and the economy. Moreover, the credit assessment of SME is also relevant to banks from the perspective of their migration towards Internal Rating Based (IRB) approach.


Read more of this article….


Source: The financial express, Bangladesh

June 27, 2012

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  Rio+20 agreement - a modest step in the right direction  

At last week’s Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, delegates did not agree to any ambitious treaties or deadlines for dealing with pressing issues such as climate change, food and water scarcity. However, there were many positive signs for the future global environment.


On Friday 22 June, heads of state and government signed an agreement on sustainable development called ‘The Future We Want’. This was not as ambitious as the EU had been pressing for and did not include detailed Sustainable Development Goals with fixed deadlines or numbers. Nonetheless, the European Union (EU) managed to get some goals into the final text. It is hoped that these preliminary targets will form the basis for further negotiation within the UN.


On the proposal to make the United Nations Environment Programme a full UN organisation (in line with the World Health Organisation and others) it was instead agreed to strengthen UNEP. This includes universal membership of UNEP – meaning that all countries are now UNEP members.


Another notable step in the right direction was the adoption of the global 10-year Framework of Programmes on Sustainable Consumption and Production. The UN failed to reach agreement in this area in 2011.


The agreement also noted the importance of ‘green economy’, an important objective for EU negotiators during the Rio+20 summit:


Jacqueline McGlade, EEA Executive Director said: “For the first time, governments recognised the importance of green economy as well as the need for knowledge and information. This is good news, but it is only the start – we need to turn this recognition into real environmental improvements.”


Source: The European Environment Agency (EEA)

June 27, 2012

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  West Bengal, Assam, Bihar expect huge jute production boost on rising demand  

Kolkata: The centre’s demand and purchase assurance to West Bengal jute units is expected to boost production in the state. Assam, the other leading jute growing state, is already expecting to register record jute production this year, despite floods affecting about 10,000 hectares of cropland. Assam, according its agriculture minister, expects to produce about 300,000 bales of jute this year, compared to 200,000 bales last year,”

Nilanjan Dey, director, Wishlist Capital, told FC Invest. Jute production in the state is likely to go up compared with last year as per hectare yield has increased greatly this year. As part of its various supportive measures to resolve the problems confronting jute growers/cultivators, the centre launched the jute technology mission (JTM) during the 11th Plan with a total outlay of Rs 355.5 crore. Under the JTM, several schemes are operational under the Mini Mission I, II, III & IV, which benefit jute growers. Mini Mission-I aims to strengthen agriculture research and development in jute to improve yield and quality.

Mini Mission-II is targeted towards transferring improved technology and agronomic practices in production and post harvesting phase. Under Mini-Mission-III, market linkage of raw jute is provided in all jute growing states. Mini Mission-IV provides for the modernisation of the jute industry, upgradation of skills and market promotion. National Jute Board and Jute Corpo­ration of India are also working on projects with National Institute of Research on Jute & Allied FibreTechnology (NIRJAFT) and Central Research Institute for Jute and Allied Fibres (CRIJAF) to develop better jute seeds and to improve agronomical practices for jute cultivation. Source: Financial Chronicle


Source: www.worldjute.com

June 25, 2012

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  Call to use latest tech to boost jute production  

RANGPUR, BANGLADESH: Experts at a training course have stressed for adoption of the latest agri- technologies, including ribbon retting method, for boosting jute production and upgrading quality and grade of the fibre, reports BSS.

The High Yielding Jute and Jute Seed Production and Improved Jute Retting Project of the Ministry of Jute and Textiles organised the training for the farmers at Polashbari upazila parishad auditorium in Gaibandha district on Saturday.

Chaired by Upazila Jute Development Officer Mazedul Islam, Polashbari upazila chairman AKM Moksed Chowdhury Bidyut attended inaugural session of the training course as the chief guest.
Assistant Director (Purchase) of the Directorate of Jute Aminul Islam and Scientific Officer of Jute Research Regional Station, Rangpur of Bangladesh Jute Research Institute Shahjahan Khan attended as the resource persons.

Upazila Senior Agriculture Officer Shawkat Osman and Upazila Agriculture Extension Officer Mofidul Islam conducted the training course participated by 100 jute growers from all over Polashbari upazila.

The experts discussed importance of achieving self-reliance on producing quality jute seeds of high yielding varieties to meet local seed demand for increasing production of quality fibre utilising the latest technologies.

They narrated the latest and low-cost ribbon retting method for the harvested jute plants during droughts or water scarcity in only nine days to improve the quality and grade of jute-kenaf or mesta-fibre to ensure higher prices.

They called for diversification and multidimensional use of jute products as its demand increases fast following adverse effects of synthetic fibre on the environment and ecology in recent decades throughout the globe.

The fibre is also being used as construction materials for earthquake surviving buildings, embankments, geo-textiles, bodies of cars etc for expanding more prospects for increased jute cultivation in the country, they said.


Source: The News Today, Bangladesh

June 25, 2012

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  Neha Dhupia follows an 'organic' life  

Neha Dhupia says she was started on the organic way of life by Katrina Kaif and she has continued to follow it religiously.


Neha Dhupia has gone organic. The actress was introduced to an environmental friendly way of life by Katrina Kaif. Neha recalls, "We were shooting for De Dhana Dhan, when Katrina introduced me to eating only organic products. Ever since then, I've been following it religiously. There are so many benefits of adapting this lifestyle."


Grown without pesticides:

She adds that it has now become a way of life, "I am very clear about what I put in my body now. Organic food is grown in farms without pesticides and in a manner that ensures all of the earth's rich nutrients and minerals are preserved. There are stores and markets all over that provide organic rice, veggies, flour, everything that we need for our meals. Most of the time, vegetables are stripped off their rich properties."


No plastic rule:

Apart from eating right, Neha also has a few rules against using plastic in her house. "I don't understand how people use plastic so blatantly. It's non-recyclable and the fumes are toxic. I use jute bags to pick up my groceries and avoid keeping plastic bags or bottles in my car or house. My yoga pyjamas and mat are made of jute. I love the fabric and we have small industries all over the country manufacturing jute."


Going organic also means not drinking tetrapak juices or eating out of bags. "I don't keep processed chips or juices in my house. A lot of the so-called healthy juices are actually overloaded with sugar.."

Dhupia confesses that being environmental friendly and conserving the ecosystem is a cause close to her heart. "I am extremely passionate about it. I hate it when people waste water, or keep electricity running when not needed. We need to be more aware and careful about how we use these amenities."


Source: The Times of India, India

June 23, 2012

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  Sacking grade jute yarn export to China marks extensive rise  

The shipment of Bangladeshi sacking grade jute yarn to China has increased extensively in recent years due to rising demand and wage hike of labourers in the country, said the industry insiders.

China is a major raw jute importer of Bangladesh, but now-a-days she has started importing a significant volume of sacking grade or low grade jute yarn for meeting up its local demand, said the spinners.

Laxman Jute Mills in Kushtia started operation in November, 2010 and exports almost total quantity of its production to China. Shamsur Rahman, Deputy General Manager of the jute mill said around 2,070 tonnes of sacking grade jute yarn are being produced annually in his mills and presently full volume of the items are exported to the country.

"The production of sacking materials is around 50 per cent of total production capacity of the spinning mill," said the DGM adding that the volume will increase in near future considering its huge demand.

The country of more than 1.3 billion people mainly imports the yarn to make jute bags and sacks for packaging crops and fruits like wheat and apples, said the exporters.

According to Bangladesh Jute Spinners' Association (BJSA), the export volume of lower grade yarn was 2,300 tonnes in 2008-09 fiscal year, 10,200 tonnes in 2009-10 and 37,00 tonnes in 2010-11 fiscal year. But a report of China TexNet, said last year China imported nearly 51,000 tonnes of jute yarn from Bangladesh, up 281.69 per cent year-on-year. The Report said a 15-member delegation of China Bast and Leaf Fibres Textile Association (CBLFTA), which is currently on a three-day official visit to Bangladesh, hoped the Chinese import of jute yarns from Bangladesh would double in 2012 compared to 2011.

During a meeting with representatives of the BJSA, the delegation opined that "Bangladeshi raw jute and jute yarns are of good quality and are relatively low priced".

Bangladesh Jute Spinners' Association (BJSA) Chairman Muhammad Shams-uz Zoha said the Asian county could import raw jute from Bangladesh. But since last two years they are importing jute yarn due to labour crisis. The workers of raw jute processing units face hassle as it is very complicated and the environment of those factories is also dirty. So, now-a-days people of the developed countries are not interested to be employed in such low-standard jobs, he added.

Besides, entrepreneurs can use jute yarn directly to make jute goods, said BJSA chairman


Bangladesh usually exports 350,000 to 380,000 tonnes of jute yarn a year and the products account for over 60 per cent of total export earnings from the sector. Middle East, North African countries and Turkey import 66 per cent of Bangladesh's yarn to use it as a raw material for making carpet. Belgium, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Jordan and Egypt also buy jute yarn and jute goods from Bangladesh.


Source: The financial express, Bangladesh

June 22, 2012

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  Rio+20: protecting the environment is not enough  

A three-dimensional approach to development is now needed – one that combines social, economic and environmental concerns.


Rio+20 is a landmark for the future. As more than 190 countries gather in Rio, we are witnessing a historic moment. The recent global crisis has shown that old-fashioned views about development are misleading. It is now time to rethink the very foundations of how we consider development, wellbeing and wealth.


Over the past four decades, the world has increasingly realised that our natural resources are under serious pressure. A growing awareness of the need to ensure sustainability has led a whole new generation to consider the requirements of sustainable development in its decisions to produce or consume. This is no small achievement. Rio 92 was a major step forward. Important legal texts on key issues were adopted. These conventions ensured important progress that we must maintain and build on.


We now face a complex challenge. Protecting the environment is not enough. We need to encourage public and private decision-makers to incorporate environmental and social concerns into economic planning and growth strategies. This will require a new thinking from policymakers, experts, business people, project managers and many other public and private actors in order to plan and implement sustainable development initiatives.


From now on, a three-dimensional approach to development is crucial, one that combines social, economic and environmental concerns. Rio+20 is endeavouring to become the launch pad for this new development model. This is why one of the main topics of Rio+20 is building consensus around the need for "sustainable development goals". They will offer a blueprint for international co-operation on sustainable development for years to come. Future strategies, be it for governments, entrepreneurs or civil society, must offer a balanced and integrated approach encompassing the three pillars of sustainable development.


In order to achieve this result, Brazil decided to adopt new methods. Innovative tools for multilateral meetings were introduced, bringing national governments and global civil society together. The Dialogues for Sustainable Development, a Brazilian initiative enthusiastically embraced by the UN, opened straightforward means of communication between interested groups and civil society on key aspects of decision-making. Through an online platform, more than 1 million votes were cast, expressing views on 10 issues related to the conference. Topics ranged from energy and water to sustainable cities and food security. During four days in Rio, sharing the venue of the summit, experts, businessmen, activists and journalists engaged in live debates and streamlined the proposals that will be handed to the heads of state and government. The "Rio dialogues" were so successful that the UN is now considering turning this initiative into a standard practice for future summits.


Another key objective of Rio+20 is the strengthening of the UN framework for sustainable development, with a view to greater efficiency and consistency across issues. Rio+20 has launched an important debate on green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication, based on the understanding that there is no one-size-fits-all solution.


Rio+20 involves an assessment of the past 20 years and a look into the next few decades. We are confident that this message will echo through the years, fostering new initiatives which can lead to a more sustainable future for all.


Source: The Guardian, UK

June 20, 2012

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  Export slump hurts jute cultivation in Bangladesh  

The country’s jute cultivation acreage reduced by 2.24 per cent in the current year because of falling demand of the fibre and a slump in export of jute and jute products. Officials of the Department of Agricultural Extension told New Age that acreage for jute cultivation reduced to 7.43 lakh hectares this year from 7.60 lakh hectares last year. They said the farmers were reluctant to cultivate jute this year because of a fall in demand, which led to a price slump.

‘The farmers who cultivated jute last year did not get the fair price for their produce. Farmers cultivated jute heavily on a large scale last year after a bumper 2010-11 season when the country’s jute export boomed,’ said a DAE official. But according to Bangladesh Export Promotion Bureau the country’s jute export decreased by 13.69 per cent in the first 11 months of the year compared with the same period of the last year. They said that 26.03 per cent of the strategic export target for July-May period of the current year has remained unfulfilled, while the performance of last year for the same period marked 3.09 per cent higher than the strategic target.

EPB data showed that jute and jute products export earned $889.45 million against the target of $1,202.51 million in July-May period of the current year, while it was $1,030.57 million against the target of $999.72 million for the same period of the last year.

Raw jute, jute yarn and twine and sacks and bags export fell by 41.48, 17.05 and 21.78 per cent respectively from the target set for the first 11 months of the current year, according to EPB.
As a result of export reduction, the price of jute and jute products decreased in domestic market that compelled many farmers to abandon jute cultivation.

Farmers got Tk 400-1,500 for a maund of jute fibre in late 2011 against the price of Tk 1,500-Tk 2,500 in late 2010. Talukder Firoz Ahmed, deputy director (jute production) of the DAE, said that if the government gives financial incentives and facilities like other corps, jute cultivation could be increased in the coming days. Along with increasing export, fair price of jute has to be ensured for cultivators to restore the golden days of the natural fibre, said Mohammed Abul Kalam Azad, deputy director (marketing) of the DAE.

The exporters blamed political turmoil in Middle East and economic crisis in European states which caused sluggish demand for the natural fibre, the second biggest foreign currency earner after apparel. Middle East, North African countries and Turkey import most of Bangladesh’s jute yarn to use as raw material for making carpets. But presently they have reduced jute yarn import because of their financial crisis, exporters said.


Source: New Age, Bangladesh

June 20, 2012

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  Bangladesh jute report - June 19  



(One bale = 180 kg) (Taka per bale)

Ready Position (in taka) Bangla white special (BW special) 14,000 Bangla white A (BWA) 13,700 Bangla white B (BWB) 12,800 Bangla white C (BWC) 11,300 Bangla white D (BWD) 10,850 Bangla white E (BWE) 10,400 Bangla tossa special (BTS) 14,300 Bangla tossa A (BTA) 14,000 Bangla tossa B (BTB) 13,100 Bangla tossa C (BTC) 11,600 Bangla tossa D (BTD) 11,150 Bangla tossa E (BTE) 10,700

WRS/TRS, HABIJABI, CUT ROPES Bangla white rejection (BWR) 9,250 Bangla white habijabi (BWH) 7,300 Bangla tossa rejection (BTR) 9,500 Bangla tossa habijabi (BTH) 7,300


CUTTINGS Bangla white cuttings A (BWCA) 6,800 Bangla white cuttings B (BWCB) 6,600 Bangla tossa cuttings A (BTCA) 7,100 Bangla tossa cuttings B (BTCB) 6,900


MESHTA Meshta special 14,000 Meshta A 13,700 Meshta B 12,800 Meshta C 11,300 Special meshta cuttings 6,800 Ordinary meshta cuttings 6,600 Meshta- SMR 9,000


STATE OF THE MARKET--REMARKS Quality - good Condition - fair Narayanganj imports - About 3,000 Qntl. Daulatpur imports - About 8,000 Qntl. Market trend - As usual


NOTE Raw jute exports during 2011-2012 (01.07.2011 to 29.02.2012) = 1.37 million bales Value 9.28 billion taka ($1 = 81.83 taka) Source: Bangladesh Jute Association, Dhaka +880-2-9552916, Narayanganj +880-2-7630904


Source: http://in.reuters.com

June 19, 2012

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  BD moves to sign FTA deal with Turkey  


Dhaka is moving ahead steadily to sign an accord on a bilateral Free Trade Area (FTA) with Istanbul keeping provisions for movement of natural persons, mutual recognition arrangement and flexibility for least developed party, a trade diplomat said.

A number of 10 prospective areas under the goods and service sectors are included in the template (pre-draft agreement), prepared by the Ministry of Commerce (MoC), for joint cooperation between Bangladesh and Malaysia.

Bangladesh Tariff Commission (BTC) under the MoC has recently prepared the "template" incorporating the provision of 'movement of natural persons' under the Mode-Four (IV) of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) in the FTA. It also sought special and differential treatment for the products of Bangladesh to the Turkish market under the proposed deal.

"We are positive about negotiations across the table with the Turkish government for a bilateral FTA, provided our areas of interest like movement of natural persons, proposed areas of cooperation and flexibility of commitment in both investment and duty elimination by Bangladesh, being a least developed party, are endorsed by the later," a top trade official told the FE on Sunday.

The move by the MoC has been taken being asked by the Prime Minister's Office (PMO). Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina during a visit to Turkey in April last promised to ink a bilateral FTA with Turkey to boost trade and investment between the two countries.

Trade officials said the template would soon be sent to Turkish government as opinions from different ministries on the template have endorsed the commerce ministry's move.


The 10 areas included in the templates for cooperation are-jute, construction, electronic commerce, collaboration in SME development, tourism, energy, fisheries, infrastructure development in the sea ports and waste disposal.


The trade officials said Turkey has huge demand for jute and jute goods, RMG and frozen food originating from Bangladesh.

"Under a possible FTA between Dhaka and Istanbul, the safeguard duty will be withdrawn by the Turkish government," a trade official told the FE.


Source: The Financial Express, Bangladesh

June 19, 2012

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  Banned polythene bags swamp Narsingdi kitchen markets  

NARSINGDI: Banned polythene shopping bags have flooded in different markets of the district and it is posing a serious threat to the environment.

A section of manufacturers in connivance with some dishonest law enforcers are supplying environment hazardous polythene bags to the shopkeepers at a cheaper price.

BSS correspondent recently visited different kitchen and fish markets of the district and upazila headquarters found polythene bags are selling randomly.

The shopkeepers as well as consumers were found using polythene bags openly in the market especially in the vegetables, fish and grocery markets.

A number of consumers told that they prefer polythene bags as it is cheaper than others. A polythene shopping bag costs at Taka 1- 2, whereas a jute or cloth bag is being sold at Taka 6- 10.

Vegetables, fish and grocery traders said that they find it difficult to sell kitchen items without polythene bags as most of the customers come to the market without shopping bags and they demand for polythene bags.

Although the use of polythene bags is a punishable offence, the concerned authorities are yet to take any measures to stop its sale and use in the district.


Source: The Financial Express, Bangladesh

June 19, 2012

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  ‘Use eco-friendly carry bags’  

Students took out a rally here on Monday to create awareness among people on the negative impacts of using plastic and polythene containers.


Students carried placards and raised slogans urging the people to use eco-friendly containers such as jute bags. The extensive use of plastic and polythene containers would harm the environment, they pointed out.


Flagged off by Mayor Mallika Paramasivam at EVN road, the rally passed through important thoroughfares before culminating at the Kalaimagal school. Deputy Mayor K.C. Palanisamy, Corporation Commissioner M. Vijayalakshmi, and senior officials were present.


The Erode Corporation organised the rally as the problem posed by plastic and polythene bags assumed serious proportions. The civic body had already banned the manufacture and use of polythene carry bags less than 40-micron thickness, within the town limits.


The ban came into effect from May 10.


Manufactures of the banned carry bags will be slapped a fine of Rs. 5,000. If merchants or commercial establishments were found using the bags, a fine of Rs. 3,000 will be collected, while the general public will be fined Rs. 100, if they found using the bags.


Source: The Hindu, India

June 19, 2012

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  Stop picnics, start eco-tourism in Sundarbans: Bengal forest dept  

Taking a leaf out of the mandatory in-flight instructions that stewards and stewardesses deliver prior to each flight, informing passengers how to fasten the seat belt and what to do in an exigency, the state forest department wants all tourist agencies in the Sunderbans, including boat owners, to spell out the dos and don'ts to tourists before they embark on the tour.


The proposal is part of the first serious initiative to transform the tourist scene in the Sunderbans that is currently nothing more than picnic tourism. A majority of the 3 lakh visitors who go to the Sunderbans do so to have fun without bothering about the ecology. During the day, they feast on board, litter the creeks and rivers with thermocol plates and plastic bottles and dancing to loud music at night while the boat is anchored mid-river.


""We want to end irresponsible tourism and promote eco-tourism in the Sunderbans. To do so, we need the cooperation of all stakeholders. This is a clarion call for all-NGOs; tour operators; boat and lodge owners-to partner with the forest department and create awareness on the need to preserve the region's ecology while conducting tourism activities,"" Sunderban Biosphere Reserve director Pradeep Vyas told a stakeholders' meeting in the city on Monday.


Though the draft of what guides and helpers on boats will tell tourists before the trip is yet to be worked out, it will broadly be along these lines: ""Dear guests, welcome on board. Fasten your seatbelts for a trip to the Sunderbans, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. During this journey through the Sunderbans' rich biodiversity that is home to the world's largest tiger reserve, one must not disturb the fragile ecosystem.


Plastic carry bags are strictly prohibited. Those who have plastic bags must deposit them and take jute bags in return. Do not throw plastic bottles, thermocol plates or any litter into the water. And please maintain silence, speaking only in whispers so that everyone can enjoy the sounds of the forest. Playing loud music is strictly prohibited. Here's wishing you a very pleasant experience.


Suggesting a three-pronged effort to curb pollution in the Sunderbans, Vyas said the forest department would form strategic partnerships for education and awareness of tourists and then undertake enforcement of existing laws to wipe out the menace.


Source: The Times of India

June 18, 2012

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  India planed to develop northeast jute sector  

The Centre has chalked out a multi-pronged strategy to boost the jute sector in the Northeast.


A source said the working group on jute constituted by th e Planning Commission had chalked out a separate policy for the Northeast, in which it had included identification of prominent jute growing areas in the region, establishment of jute parks integrated with jute growing areas, setting up of commercially viable jute-ramie/jute-silk blending units and setting up of diversified jute products training centres.


In 2010-11, the jute industry in the country produced goods worth Rs 7,500 crore and had export earnings of nearly Rs 1,350 crore.


“It is a good initiative as there is a big scope for jute, especially in Assam, but there are problems,” the source said.


The report said Assam was the main producer of ramie fibre in the country and additionally, the state produced substantial amounts of jute along with plenty of bamboo. The two other ramie-producing states in the region are Arunachal Pradesh and Nagaland.


“In this context, one on-going Jute Technology Mission (JTM) project on ramie fibre processing and diversified products at Indian Jute Industries’ Research Association (IJIRA) is aimed at upgrade of economic status of farmers and decentralised sectors in the region. Research and development activities on composites from jute and bamboo strips (woven or braided) are currently in progress at IJIRA, Calcutta, under a JTM project. To this end, a mini-pilot plant consisting of related machinery for processing jute and ramie may be installed at a suitable location in the region,” the report said.


The working group has also recommended the setting up of at least two vocational training centres for diversified jute products in the region.


Though Assam is the second highest producer of jute in the country after Bengal, more than half of Assam’s jute sector is in the hands of middlemen. Assam’s production is 7 lakh bales (One bale is 180kg).


On modernisation and upgrade of technology in jute mills, the upper limit of the subsidy has been raised to Rs 350 lakh per mill for the existing units and Rs 400 lakh per mill in states of the Northeast and for setting up new units.


On knowledge management, the panel has given importance to the Northeast and has called for development of a location-based knowledge advisory system which is a broadcast network for selectively transmitting individualised knowledge output signals to remote communication devices.


It has also suggested setting up of interactive software-based systems intended to help decision-makers to compile useful information from combination of raw data, documents, personal knowledge, or business models to identify and solve problems and make decisions.


Source: The Telegraph, India

June 18, 2012

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  The Trade Dimension in the Follow-up to the Rio plus 20 Summit  

The UNCTAD XIII Panel will serve as an occasion to disseminate analysis, share reflections and develop recommendations to frame discussions on the green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty alleviation due to take place at the Rio+20 Conference in June 2012.

The Panel will analyse developing country prospects and conditions under which developing economies could move towards a greener and more equitable development paths and unlock sustainable business opportunities. The Panel will introduce UNCTAD“s methodologies to identify sectors and products where developing countries could find trade opportunities and build on sustainability as a competitive advantage.

Additionally, it will share experience on how developed and developing countries have taken advantage of emerging trade opportunities and address main challenges under the UNCTAD BioTrade Programme.


Source: http://r0.unctad.org/trade_env/greeneconomy/rio20.asp

June 17, 2012

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  Bangladesh earns Tk over 857.27cr from jute goods  

Bangladesh has earned nearly Tk 857.27 crore in the current fiscal till April this year by exporting 1,03,191 tonnes jute goods to over 90 countries across the globe, reports BSS.

Textiles and Jute Minister Abdul Latif Siddique informed this in the Jatiya Sangsad on Monday while replying to a tabled question raised by treasury bench member Mahmud Us Samad Chowdhury.

The minister told the house that Bangladesh had been exporting jute goods to over 80 to 90 countries across the world mainly in India, middle east, Europe, Africa, Canada, the USA, Iran, Thailand and Vietnam.

Replying to another question from treasury bench member Nasimul Alam Chowdhury, Latif Siddique said the present government, under the changing scenario and increased demand of jute goods globally, has formulated the National Jute Policy-2011.

Responding to a written question of Md. Kabirul Haque, the minister informed the House that the government has formulated a five year long plan to raise production of jute and bring back its past glory.


Source: The News Today, Bangladesh

June 14, 2012

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  BJMA urged government to bring down the tax on export products  

Leaders of the Bangladesh Jute Mills Association (BJMA) have urged the government to bring down the source at tax on export products to 0.60 per cent from 1.20 per cent, as proposed in the budget for the fiscal year (FY) 2012-13, considering the interest of the export-oriented industries. They said the proposed hike of source at tax on export products from 0.60 per cent and 0.70 per cent to 1.20 per cent would cast a dark cloud on the horizon of export. However, they hailed Finance Minister A M A Muhith for proposal of continuing subsidy on export-oriented industries in the budget, and said the facilities being provided by the government should be similar for both public and private sector jute-mills. The association observed that the inequalities in the proposed budget should be amended through discussion to keep the country's development process moving.


Source: The Financial Express, Bangladesh

June 14, 2012

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  Jute spinners criticise proposed hike in tax at source for all types of export  

Country's jute spinners expressed their worry over the proposed hike in tax at source for export-oriented industries in the budget proposal for financial year (FY) 2012-2013, saying that it will adversely affect the struggling jute sector.

Bangladesh Jute Spinners Association (BJSA) hailed the initiative in the proposed budget to increase investment in private sector, but criticised the 1.2 per cent proposed tax at source from existing 0.60 per cent.

BJSA leaders said the proposal has come at a time when the country's second foreign currency earning sector has been facing a tough time for low shipment orders caused by political turmoil in the export destination countries.

According to the budget proposal for the next fiscal (2012-2013), which was placed by Finance Minister AMA Muhith on June 7 at parliament, the government proposed 1.20 per cent tax at source on all types of exports for the coming FY.

Jute spinners are now paying 0.60 per cent tax at source. Leaders of BJSA also requested the government to pay serious attention to the matter and reconsider the proposal to help the jute industry that fetches US$ 1 billion annually.

BJSA chairman Muhammad Shams-uz Zoha said it is praiseworthy that the budget put special emphasis to support growth, contain inflation and reflect aspirations of the general people in the context of domestic and external environment.

He also endorsed the decision to increase the size of the budget in term of GDP, saying that it would help maintain a sound growth as infrastructure development would be prioritised.

"But, this tax hike at source on export-oriented industries is completely unfavorable to the industry already passing through a hardship."

Zoha said the export of jute to the global market marked a fall due to power outage in the industrial units and political turmoil in importing countries.

He said the sector witnessed a negative growth of 13 per cent in the outgoing financial year although it achieved more than a 50 per cent growth in last fiscal.

Zoha, leader of 87 jute spinning mills, urged the government to retain the existing tax at source for export to achieve the growth target in the upcoming financial year.


Source: The Financial Express, Bangladesh

June 12, 2012

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  Bangladesh Export earnings register 4.17pc negative growth in May  

The country's overall export earnings registered a negative growth of 4.17 per cent or about $ 100 million last month (May) compared to the corresponding month of the previous fiscal year, according to the latest data of Export Promotion Bureau (EPB).

The drop in export earnings has been due mainly to the global economic meltdown, particularly the economic downswing in euro zone, exporters said.

Export earning in May this year was $ 2.20 billion, which was $ 2.26 billion in May 2011, shows the EPB figure.

Single month export earnings during the current fiscal year (FY 2011-12) have failed to keep the momentum as the earning grew by 28.70 per cent in July, by 32.40 per cent in August, by 2.29 per cent in September, by 15.44 per cent in October, by 2.40 per cent in November, by 3.85 per cent in December 2011 and by 11.94 per cent in January and by 4.95 per cent in February 2012.

However, single month earnings started witnessing a negative growth from March 2012 with the earning in that month registering the negative growth of 7.23 per cent and that in April of 7.13 per cent compared to those of a year ago.

According to the data, country's export receipts during the July-May period of the current fiscal stood at $ 21.98 billion, reflecting a 7.0 per cent growth over the same period of the last fiscal.


Exports of other major foreign currency earning products, especially jute and jute-made goods, rubber and specialised textiles fell short of their respective targets of this fiscal.

Jute and jute goods earning stood at $ 889.45 million, marking a negative growth of 13.69 per cent and it also fell from the target by 26.03 per cent.


Source: The Financial Express, Bangladesh

June 11, 2012

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  BJA worried about tax rise at source on export income  

Bangladesh raw jute exporters have expressed their worry about the proposed raise in tax at source on export earning in the budget for fiscal year 2012-2013, saying that it will have a negative impact on the sector.

The leaders of Bangladesh Jute Association (BJA) said jute is a cent per cent export-oriented product which is grown by the marginal farmers. As a result of this fiscal measure the farmers and exporters will incur loss.

They strongly demanded withdrawal of the tax measure on the raw jute export and said if the proposed tax does was not waived, the farmers would be discouraged to grow the golden fibre.

According to the new budget the government proposed to introduce 1.20 per cent tax at source on all types of export earning for the coming fiscal year (FY) from 0.60 per cent and 0.70 per cent in the current FY (2011-2012).

The Association leaders said raw jute contributes a lot to boosting up the country's export basket.

A total of Tk 19.06 billion was earned from raw jute export in the fiscal year 2010-2011 and Tk 13.44 billion had been earned during the July-April period of the current financial year.

The Association leaders hailed the new budget, saying government initiative to protect the local industry would make a positive impact on the national economy.


Source: The Financial Express, Bangladesh

June 10, 2012

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  Progressive People’s Party (PPP) will build a jute factory in Ghana  

The Progressive People’s Party (PPP) has assured Ghanaians that it will build a jute factory when entrusted with the governance of this country.


The party’s flag bearer, Dr Papa Kwesi Nduom, gave this assurance during the party’s tour of cocoa growing communities in the Western Region.


The tour which was the PPP’s second phase of its nationwide tour saw Dr Nduom and his team visiting Aowin-Suaman, Sefwi-Akontombra and Suaman Dadieso -all cocoa growing areas- in the Western Region.


Addressing residents in these communities, Dr Nduom said it was sad that Ghana still continued to import jute sacks from Bangladesh for the bagging of its cocoa beans.


This, he intimated, was not doing any good for the Ghanaian cocoa farmer and the economy as a whole.


The building of a jute factory, Dr Nduom insisted, will not only contribute to the growth of the economy, but more importantly, create ‘meaningful jobs’ for Ghanaians.


In all these areas Dr Nduom and his team were met with a rapturous welcome with virtually every activity grinding to a halt, and hundreds of residents struggling to catch a glimpse of the PPP team.


The party also shared its ten-point agenda from which Dr Nduom told the town folk that a PPP administration will ensure an incorruptible government; a clean environment that will help eradicate preventable diseases like cholera and malaria and create meaningful jobs.


Earlier, Dr Nduom and his entourage paid a courtesy call on the Chief of Suaman Dadieso, Odeneho Brentum IV, who posited that although chiefs are not permitted to meddle in politics, he was of the firm view, from what he has seen and heard that Dr Papa Kwesi Nduom would win this year’s election.


“Since Kwame Nkrumah’s time, we have seen governments come and go, but the people of Dadieso are still impoverished; nothing has been seen,” the chief lamented.


According to Odeneho Brentum, he has seen so much promise in Dr Nduom which gives him hope.

He thus intimated that he would do well to convince many others to support Dr Nduom.


Accompanying Dr Nduom are the National Vice Chairman, Alhaji Ibrahim Baba Seidu; National Secretary, Kofi Asamoah-Siaw, and; National Committee Member, Mrs Mary Ankomah Boakye-Boateng.


The rest are the deputy Communication Director, Samuel Ampah and other regional and constituency executives.


Source: SpyGhana.com

June 09, 2012

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  Global warming causing Himalayan glacier to diminish each year  

SHIMLA: Global warming is diminishing the Chhota Shigri glacier in the Pir Panjal ranges of Himachal Pradesh at 0.67 metres a year, report French and Indian researchers.


The study, jointly supported by the Department of Science and Technology, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and the Indo-French Centre for Promotion of Advanced Research, concluded that the glacier mass was thinning much more rapidly this century.


The researchers, including those from New Delhi's Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) and glaciologists from France, told that the glacier was losing ice due to rising atmospheric temperatures.


The decrease is measured in terms of the ice flux, or the volume of ice passing a point per year. "Our data suggests that the ice fluxes have diminished by 24 percent to 37 percent below 4,750 meters above sea level between 2003 and 2010," said Pottakkal George Jose from School of Environmental Studies, JNU.


Team leader A. L. Ramanathan said the thinning of Chhota Sigri glacier, located about 100 km from the hill resort of Manali, had picked up speed this century.


"This rate of less than a meter of mass loss per annum is an increase that occurred in this century, over the lower level of ice mass reduction in the preceding decade," Ramanathan said.


The conclusion is supported in a study published in the 2012 edition of the journal of glaciology. "The glacier must have experienced a period of near-zero or slightly positive mass balance in the 1990s, before shifting to a strong imbalance in the 21st century," the study stated.


Another study of Chhota Sigri during 1987-89 by the Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology (Dehradun) reported that glacial thinning has been more rapid in this century.


A comprehensive study of Himalayan glaciers done with satellite imagery by ISRO reported that over 75 percent of them are on the retreat. It added that 17 percent of the glaciers were stable, while the remaining eight percent had actually grown in mass.


The ISRO study, released last year, came at the back of a raging controversy over a 2007 report of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which claimed that Himalayan glaciers were likely to disappear by 2035 owing to global warming.


The IPCC later acknowledged their report to be erroneous. Located in the Chandrabhaga river basin in Lahaul and Spiti district, the Chhota Shigri glacier is about nine kilometres long.


Source: The Times of India

June 09, 2012

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  Vedanta distributes 10,000 jute bags to phase out polythene