Mini jute mills growing in Nilphamari district
NILPHAMARI, Sept 25:
Six Jute mills of Syedpur created a ray of hope for the
industry-deprived inhabitants of Nilphamari district. The mini
entrepreneurs are playing a pioneering role among the future
entrepreneurs of the district. The mills have also created
employment opportunities for the local people. According to sources
these entrepreneurs bought several dozens of looms during the
Adamjee Jute Mill auction to set up small jute sacking factories.
The six jute mills
include Progoti Agro Based Mill of Utpalendu Deb, Poddar Agro Based
Mill of Gokul Poddar ND Jute Mill, Eco Jute Mill, Ranu Agro Industry
Ltd. and Selim Jute Mill. At present more then 2000 workers are
working in these mills.
The main advantage of
these mills lies in their small size and management as which their
overhead expenditure is low. Encouraged by the success of these
mills some prospective entrepreneurs comprising individuals, joint
venture and small joint stock companies are trying to establish new
ones of these kinds of mills in the district.
The Financial Express
Co-optex now says JUTE!
Next time you walk
into a Co-optex store, you might just find yourself staring at an
exquisite array of jute products as part of the Navaratri Jute Fair,
organised by the South India Jute Association. Speaking at the
inauguration of the fair on Tuesday in Chennai, Minister for
Handloom and Textiles Dr Sundararaj said that the government would
take all steps to include jute products in the Co-optex showrooms.
The government-operated garment store has an array of
exqusite jute products | Albin Mathew
This move would entail
marketing and sale of jute products through all its showrooms spread
across the country, giving a major boost for small scale jute
entrepreneurs. The Minister asked the South India Jute Association
to submit a representation for the same and said that the government
would take all steps to help give jute the necessary visibility
The fair opened with a
range of products. A jute painting of ‘The Last Supper’ was among
the major attractions of the exhibition. “We first do a digital
painting and then put it on a jute base. The product has been of
great demand, especially in the overseas market,” said Mahalakshmi
Sathian of Chiccraft. The company has also been doing jute paintings
on various Indian themes like Ganesha paintings and has even
ventured into jute portrait paintings.
Juke Organic, another
start-up that was featured at the fair, had come up with little
organic bags that can be used to replace plastic bags to keep food
products in the fridge. “Innovation is the key. You need to have an
ear for the demands of the customer. For instance, when we asked
people why they used so much plastic, a majority of them said it was
for storing vegetables and fruits in the fridge. That’s how we came
up with the idea,” said one of the founders.
A range of utility
products including jute clocks, jute mirrors, jute storage bags,
jute ornaments, pencil stands and a wide variety of fashion bags and
clutches were key attractions. One of the major highlights was the
jute laptop bag, which has been ordered in bulk by major companies
Speaking at the event,
principal secretary of the Handlooms, Handicrafts, Textiles and
Khadi Department, Harmander Singh, said that innovation and
assurance of quality was the key for the growth of the industry. He
asked the entrepreneurs to make use of all the schemes that the
government had put forward for the promotion of the industry.
The New India Express
Railway job-for-land policy scrapped
HOOGHLY: The railways
have stopped its job-for-land policy due to lack of employment
options, Union minister of state for railways Adhir Chowdhury said
on Sunday in Hooghly. He was there to flag off a pilot project in
which geotextile will be used to strengthen the ground along the
tracks - a first in India.
"Earlier, the railways
had a policy where one would be provided with job in exchange for
land. But we have been unable to maintain this as providing
employment is proving to be too difficult," the Congress MP said.
When asked why work was not being done on the proposed rail project
at Dankuni-Furfura Sharif, he cited trouble with land acquisition.
He also accused the
Mamata Banerjee government of not cooperating in the East-West
the use of jute technology to boost train speed on the
Dankuni-Balighat and Dankuni-Baltikuri routes. "Between the rocks
and the ground, a sheet of jute will be laid," he explained. Subrata
Gupta, commissioner of Jute Corporation of India (JCI), said the
organization and railways have a deal where JCI will supply jute.
He expressed hope that
jute farmers will have a better market in Murshidabad, Hooghly and
Nadia, thanks to this project. "If the state government uses jute
technology for river embankment or to build roads, it will be hugely
beneficial. The jute technology will boost travel speed especially
where ground is soft along the tracks," Gupta said.
The minister also
visited a diesel locomotive and electric locomotive factory at
Dankuni. On being asked by reporters about a Trinamool MP demanding
a CBI probe into the Saradha scam, he retorted that the "West Bengal
government as a whole should be investigated by the agency". "There
is no democracy in Bengal, but autocracy," he said.
The New India Express
Jute geo-textiles to protect railway tracks
problem of tracks getting washed away because of rain, brimming
natural basins, floods and coastal disturbances may be a thing of
the past if the Railways’ new experiment of using jute to hold soil
The Eastern Railways
has undertaken a pioneering exercise to give a boost to the sagging
Minister of State for
Railways Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury will, on Sunday, kick-start
rehabilitation work on tracks at two sections under the Howrah
Division using the new jute geo-textile technique, which is
considered a superior method to the one in use currently.
He will inaugurate the
works on the 6.61-km Bultikuri-Dankuni section and the 4.67-km
Balighat-Dankuni section under the Howrah Division in West Bengal.
The Railways intend to
use jute geo-synthetics not only as a blanketing layer on the
formation of the tracks, but along the slopes of the formation for
arresting erosion of soil.
TABLE-Bangladesh jute report - Sept 23
VARIETY BALES FOB
(One bale = 180 kg)
(Taka per bale)
Ready Position (in
taka) Bangla white special (BW special) 12,800 Bangla white A (BWA)
12,500 Bangla white B (BWB) 11,600 Bangla white C (BWC) 10,100
Bangla white D (BWD) 9,650 Bangla white E (BWE) 9,200 Bangla tossa
special (BTS) 13,100 Bangla tossa A (BTA) 13,800 Bangla tossa B (BTB)
11,900 Bangla tossa C (BTC) 10,400 Bangla tossa D (BTD) 9,950 Bangla
tossa E (BTE) 9,500
WRS/TRS, HABIJABI, CUT
ROPES Bangla white rejection (BWR) 8,250 Bangla white habijabi (BWH)
6,300 Bangla tossa rejection (BTR) 8,500 Bangla tossa habijabi (BTH)
CUTTINGS Bangla white
cuttings A (BWCA) 5,800 Bangla white cuttings B (BWCB) 5,600 Bangla
tossa cuttings A (BTCA) 6,100 Bangla tossa cuttings B (BTCB) 5,900
MESHTA Meshta special
12,800 Meshta A 12,500 Meshta B 11,600 Meshta C 10,100 Special
meshta cuttings 5,800 Ordinary meshta cuttings 5,600 Meshta- SMR
STATE OF THE
MARKET--REMARKS Quality - good Condition - fair Narayanganj imports
- About 10,000 Qntl. Daulatpur imports - About 20,000 Qntl. Market
trend - As usual
NOTE Raw jute exports
during 2012-2013 (01.07.2012 to 31.03.2013) = 2.05 million bales
Value 14.36 billion taka ($1 = 77.75 taka) Source: Bangladesh Jute
Association, Dhaka +880-2-9552916, Narayanganj +880-2-7630904
North East Design Fest ended with a grand success in Delhi
North East Design Fest ended with a grand success in
The four day mega
event entertained the spectators with hosts of Fashion shows,
Cultural program and Exhibitions of Handloom, Handicrafts, Jute,
MSME sector of the North East Region and attracted a huge number of
footfalls making it huge success.
extravaganza witnessed twelve fashion shows, which included showcase
of collections by eminent designers Meghna Rai Medhi, Aji Semy
Rengma, Mona Pali, Boney Darang, Wede Khape, Agnimitra Paul, Vianney
Basiedor Nongrum, Rinzing Choden Bhutia, Gaurang Shah, Melody
Runremsangi, Charlee Lalthlenmawia and Plabita Gogoi.
Moreover, ramp walk by
Bollywood stars Minisha Lamba, Sonal Chauhan with others for
supporting and expressing their solidarity to the talents of North
East added more glamour to the show
The concept behind the
North East Design Fest was to create an interaction of ideas,
provide an international standard marketing forum and a unique
platform to showcase NE India?s textiles and artisans who have come
not only with their handlooms, but also- Jute, Khadi, Coirboard,
Assam Silk and handicrafts as well.
Famous rock band
groups Featherhead, (MOD) Minute of Decay, Towering Faith performed
folk & rock fusion in the four day festival provided absolute
delight to the spectators.
North East Region of
the country with the eight beautiful, exotic and to an extent
unexplored states of Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Tripura, Meghalaya,
Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram and Sikkim have a strong history of its
traditional textiles and handicrafts which forms an integral element
of its socio- economic structure of the societies.
The festival acts as a
curtain raiser to showcase the talents of Designers, Performing
artists, Artisans, Craftsmen, Weavers coming from different parts of
the versatile North East region. People of the capital got an
opportunity to interact with this wonderful talented young
visionaries and this would create a bridge of understanding and
mutual growth of thought process between NER and mainstream. North
East Design Fest was inaugurated by Srimati Pranatee Phukan,
Minister of Handloom and Textiles Government of Assam.
Mr Vikram Rai Medhi,
Event Director said, "Eighty number of stalls had been erected at
Select CITYWALK which showcased and created a mini North East for
cross section of the society of Delhi and this created an element of
positive awareness and curiosity of our region which will thereby
also play a role in the development in the Tourism sector. We thank
all culture loving people of Delhi and the media to wholeheartedly
supported this humble and sincere effort closer to the mainstream."
The festival was
presented by Ministry of Textiles with the support of Ministry of
MSME, Ministry of Home Affairs - departments of Handloom and
Textiles of govt. of Assam and govt. of Arunachal Pradesh in
association with Select CITYWALK.
Variety from Odisha
A colourful range of artefacts and textiles beckons
visitors to a mela on at Valluvar Kottam in the city
products vie for attention at the Odisha Grameen Mela which brings
together rural artisans from the eastern part of India. The display
includes grass mats, silver filigree jewellery, jute chappals,
papier-m‚chť toys, office organisers and textiles. The mela is all
about the use of traditional craft skills to create contemporary
lifestyle products. Biswajit Saha from Dhaka presents the fabled
Dhakai muslin Jamdaani sari. The jute-muslin saris make a classic
statement with their delicate stripes. The pallus are embellished
with huge jute and gold kairis. Also part of Saha’s collection, are
the less expensive Tangails. Gift products abound at the mela. Purna
Chandra Sahu’s evocative collection of antique brass artefacts
includes bullock cart ploughs rice and oil measures in interesting
shapes, coin boxes with jaali work and betel cutters. His Saura
paintings on canvas are another attraction. Purna Chandra Mohapatra
from Puri gives silver filigree jewellery a contemporary twist. The
range includes pendants, bangles, brooches and hair pins, besides
mother-of-pearl jewellery and kumkum boxes.
Among the eco-friendly
craft objects on display are Madhukati grass runners, table and
floor mats and wall hangings. Madhubani art attracts in the form of
cloth and wall hangings, papier-m‚chť toys and artefacts. Rahul
Sengupta’s jute chappals with kantha and zari work appeal. Trilochan
Mahapatra’s Patachitra paintings stand out for their detailing.
The Odisha Grameen
Mela is on till September 25 at Valluvar Kottam Hall, Nungambakkam
Jute sacks made compulsory for rice packaging
Millers warn of rice price spiral for higher packaging costs
The government has taken the decision to make jute
sacks mandatory for rice packaging in a bid to increase the use of
the eco-friendly product and prop up the struggling jute industry.
The decision, taken early this month by an advisory panel of the
textiles and jute ministry, is also applicable to fertilisers: 50
percent of the fertilisers available in the market—be it
locally-produced or imported—will have to come in jute bags.
“We will issue a gazette soon. The rice millers and
traders will then have to ensure the full use of jute sacks for
packaging,” Jute Secretary Ashraful Moqbul told The Daily Star. The
rice millers and traders, however, would be given a timeframe to
finish their existing stock of synthetic bags.
The decision comes at a time when the export-dependent jute industry
is going through tough times due to the depreciation of the Indian
rupee and crisis in the Middle East.
The reason for the sector’s high dependency on export markets is low
domestic demand, due to the custom of using polypropylene or plastic
products for packaging, industry insiders said. Three-fourths of
domestic production of jute is exported in raw and processed forms,
Export receipts from jute and jute goods, now the second biggest
after readymade garments, dropped 15 percent year-on-year to $130
million in the July-August period of fiscal 2012-13, and according
to Export Promotion Bureau.Moqbul expects the government decision
would prop up the jute industry.
s at 43 crore pieces, most of which are mainly
exported, according to Bangladesh Jute Mills Association (BJMA). At
present, only the Directorate General of Food uses jute sacks to
pack its procurement of rice and wheat. But the rice millers and
traders, the main market players, do not use the environmentally
friendly product citing higher prices than polypropylene bags. The
compulsory packaging of food grains, sugar and fertiliser will
create demand for 35 crore pieces, said BJMA Secretary Abdul Barik
Khan. Asked, Layek Ali, convenor of Bangladesh Auto Major and
Husking Mill Owners Association, said the compulsory packaging of
jute sacks will increase their costs, which would, in turn, be
passed on to consumers.
“We have no reservations about using jute sacks, but
the government should be aware that prices of rice will increase for
higher packaging costs,” he said, adding that the prices may
increase by up to Tk 2 per kg. Ali is also sceptical of the jute
mills’ capacity to supply the sacks timely and in line with the
market demand. “The government should enforce the law gradually and
be well aware of the supply and demand situation before enforcement.
Otherwise, problems may arise in the supply chain,” he said.
Caird Hall concert supports effort to restore Scottish jute workers’
Indian resting place
Efforts to restore the
Scottish cemetery in Kolkata where many former jute workers found
their final resting place have received a boost from a charity
concert.The Dundee Strathspey and Reel Society (SRS) teamed up with
their Fife counterparts earlier this year for the concert in the
The group has now
presented a cheque for more than £1,300 to the Kolkata Scottish
Heritage Trust. Elspeth Reid from the Dundee SRS, which is in its
40th year, said: “We were approached by the Fife society. They asked
if we could do a concert together so we decided to have it in the
Caird Hall, who were more than happy to get involved.”
Elspeth said the
project to restore the cemetery was important to the people of
Dundee.“It is where expats from Dundee who went there to work in the
jute industry are buried and it has been vandalised and neglected
for some years,” she added.
The graveyard has also
fallen prey to the climate in Kolkata. Ian Stein of Kolkata Scottish
Heritage Trust said: “It causes very rapid growth of vegetation
making it difficult to control even with modern chemicals and this,
together with monsoon rains, undermines tombs and strips plaster
“The monsoon also
restricts the period during which restoration work can take place.
It is remarkable how much has been achieved in the year since
architectural services were transferred to Kolkata.”The Strathspey
and Reel Society presented the cheque to Lord Charles Bruce,
chairman of the trust. He said: “The project’s into its fifth year.
We had some quite important successes in the last 12 months.
“We’ve restored the
19th century gate house and it’s now on the tourist trail for
Kolkata and we are now getting visitors. The other important success
was 11 ledgers which were discovered and we have had them restored.”
The ledgers contain
more than 2,500 entries of people who were born in Scotland and died
in India. “It’s a really important record of people who were born in
Scotland and emigrated,” Lord Bruce said. “I think it’s a kind of
unknown part of Dundee’s history.
“Most of the jute
history is in Dundee but it is the corresponding importance in
Kolkata which is less known.”
He said similar
textile mills to the ones synonymous with Dundee are still to be
found in Kolkata, many of which use the original machinery.
“What has been lost
were the individual stories of people who were trained in the jute
trade in Dundee and emigrated because they thought they would have a
“There are over two
million burials in South Asia from that era. There are also many
important stories.”The fundraising concert took place in May and was
compered by Jimmy Spankie.
produced a film and picture show and Bashabi Fraser, who is from
Kolkata, has written a book, From The Ganges To The Tay. Sheena
Thomson brought along some of her jute products to sell at the
Lifting jute out of external shocks
Jute, the golden fibre
of Bangladesh, has once again hit the headlines of the media. This
time because it faces a sluggish global market due to recession as
well as governance problems in some Arab countries. The hostile
environment in the world market has spilled over to the grassroots
in Bangladesh: growers are not getting their due as exports of jute
and jute goods have fallen. As reports from different parts of the
country have it, the jute cultivators are not getting prices above
their cost of production.
The gloom is very much real and worrisome. This is because nearly 50
million people across Bangladesh are directly or indirectly involved
in jute cultivation and manufacturing of jute goods. Over 35 million
farmers cultivate jute while 0.3 million skilled workers work in
jute manufacturing process. Besides, about 0.2 million people are
directly engaged in trading of jute, jute goods, transportation and
other related business and 0.1 million are engaged in jute trade,
and a large number of people provide other related services. Also,
jute plants consume carbon dioxide -- the main cause of the
The jute sector contributes about five per cent to Bangladesh's
gross domestic product (GDP) and contribution of jute and jute
manufacturing to the national employment is about l0 to l5 per cent.
The crisis jute is facing today surfaced just at a time when our
scientists have given us a ray of hope. Having already unravelled
the genome for 'Tosha' jute, they have sequenced the DNA of the
traditional variety of jute. The sequencing is so revolutionary that
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina felt excited to disclose this in a
hurriedly called news conference and to introduce Dr Maqsudul Alam
who led the painstaking but secretive research. The decoding will
enable Bangladesh to own all the genetic documents of the natural
fibre which has reappeared as a critical resource in the campaign
for environmental friendliness. This gene sequencing will help
improve the fibre length and quality, including colours and
strength; and develop high-yielding, saline soil-and pest-tolerant
jute varieties through genetic engineering.
The situation jute is
in today is purely man-made. The authorities have failed to
diversify uses of the golden fibre in order to meet occasional
shocks it faces. Bangladesh has miserably failed to take advantage
of global awareness of bad effects of artificial fibres. As more
countries are making efforts to mitigate the climate change fallout,
they are opting for use of jute goods more because these are
bio-degradable and environment-friendly. Experts say jute should not
be treated as a minor sector. Bangladesh should immediately go for
diversifying the country's export basket by reviving the jute
Reports in the global media say annual world demand for shopping
bags is 500 billion pieces. Leading food retailers Tesco,
Co-operative Group, Sainsbury's, Morrisons and John Lewis-Waitrose
Partnership are expanding grocery convenience formats. In the UK
alone, the grocery market was worth $150.8 billon in 2010. By 2014,
IGD (a research organisation dedicated to the development of the
food and grocery industry) predicts that the Chinese grocery market
will be worth about $1.046 trillion at today's rates, compared to a
forecast about US market value of $1.024 trillion.
Experts have projected
demand for natural, biodegradable bags to gradually increase as more
and more chain shops around the world phase out the use of polythene
bags and use bio-friendly natural fibre bags instead. Thus the
potential market for jute shopping bags is enormous.
There is an immense
scope for more shipments over the coming years as some European
countries are set to ban polythene bags. So far, demand has well
exceeded estimates. However, there are problems, too, for the
Bangladesh exporters. For instance, jute fibre and ultimately jute
fabric prices are not stable and when compared to cotton fabric, the
price of the jute fabric is high. This is because of the weight of
the fabric, which is heavier than cotton fabric.
supporting processes such as wet process and lamination have not
expanded for the jute sector and thus the cost of such processes
remain high. Also a lack of adequate and/or skilled workforce
hampers the sector. To solve such problems, technological
improvements are a must. If the fabric could be made lighter and
softer, customers would feel more comfortable in using these bags
and re-use could increase. Up-gradation in additional or supporting
processes could make these processes cheaper and thus aid in making
the final price of the bag less expensive. Moreover, improving human
resources and creating a skilled workforce is essential if this
industry is to take advantage of the growing global demand.
Assistance should be provided for raw material improvements and cost
effectiveness (such as reducing taxes for import of modern
machines). The Jute Commission's preliminary report suggested that
the government declare the jute sector an agro-based industry,
having provisions of fiscal support and facilities, as given to
other existing agro-based industries in the country. This suggestion
should be implemented as soon as possible. This will encourage
farmers to grow more jute and thus stabilise jute price to some
extent. The national jute policy should also be finalised soon.
The demand for jute
goods, especially of shopping bags, is increasing both in the
domestic and international markets. The future of the jute industry
The jute sector had a
glorious past in the 1960s-1970s, but began losing its glory due to
the wrong policies pursued by the past governments. But, the good
news is that the present government has now laid emphasis on the
jute sector by establishing the Jute Commission and putting in place
the Mandatory Jute Packaging Act 2010.
According to the law,
manufacturers have to use packaging materials made of jute fibre for
up to 75 per cent of products such as rice, paddy, wheat, sugar,
seeds, fertilisers and saplings. But the hassle remained due to poor
implementation of the mandatory packaging law, unavailability of
quality raw material, and delivery of jute fabrics.
jute products and their uses has its good effects on Bangladesh. The
potential domestic market for diversified jute products is enormous
because most businesses worldwide are now giving more emphasis on
environment-friendly products. A study says only visiting card
segment has a market of nearly Tk 550 million. Jute can revive its
lost glory of 'golden fibre' only if the government provides policy
support to the development of the sector.
A workshop on Revisit the Roadmap for
Jute was organized by the International Jute Study Group
(IJSG) at IJSG Secretariat, Bangladesh on septemebr 2,
A Road Map for Jute was commissioned by
the International Trade Centre, ITC (WTO/UNCTAD) on
behalf of the International Jute Study Group (IJSG) with
funding from the Common Fund for Commodities (CFC) in
the year 2006.
After seven years, it was found that some
of the strategies have been partially achieved,
initiatives taken for few strategies and others are
still quite relevant under present national and global
On the other hand, some of the new issues
have to be addressed for the sustainable development of
the jute sector. Under these circumstances; a revised
and feasible development strategy for jute and allied
fibres had become imperative in view of the scenario of
global and national natural fibres market. Considering
these issues IJSG has organized the said workshop on
“Revisit the Roadmap for Jute”.
The technical paper of the workshop was
presented by Mr Bhupendra Singh, Secretary General; IJSG.
In his presentation Mr Singh addressed on ten major
issues for the sustainable development of jute sector
such as the seed factor, price volatility, contact
farming, minimum support price, diversification etc.
Renowned economist and chairman of the
Jute Commission, Government of People’s Republic of
Bangladesh Dr Q.K. Ahmad was presented as the chief
guest and conducted the technical session of the
workshop. He said better technology should be adopted to
increase productivity in the agriculture sector
including jute. He emphasized on diversification of jute
products to get fair share of the global market. Major
General Humayun Khaled, Chairman, Bangladesh Jute Mills
Corporation (BJMC) was also present.
Along with others Ms. Bertha Gity Baroi,
Director, Corr-The Jute Works, Mr. Kamran T Rahman,
Managing Director, Pubali Jute Mills Ltd and former
president of Bangladesh Jute Mills Association, Dr
Jahangir Alam, Ex- Director General, Bangladesh Live
Stock Research Institute, Dr. Md. Kamal Uddin, Director
General, Bangladesh Jute Research Institute (BJRI), Mr.
Aniruddha H Roy, Private Sector Advisor, Economic Growth
Office, U.S. Agency for International Development, Dr.
Mubarak Ahmed Khan, Chief Scientific Officer Institute
of Radiation and Polymer Technology, Bangladesh Atomic
Energy Commission were also attended in the workshop.
Export growth drops as apparel shipments fall
growth of the country's merchandise export declined significantly in
August 2013 following a fall in the shipment of major apparel
products. Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) data revealed that the
export earnings stood at $2.01 billion in August this year marking a
growth of 3.18 per cent compared to that of the same month in 2012.
last, the export growth recorded 24 per cent.In July this year,
knitwear items fetched $1.25 billion, registering a 25.24 per cent
growth over the corresponding month of 2012. But in August'13,
earnings from knit products stood at $848.25 million. On the other
hand, export earnings from woven garments rose by 27.02 per cent to
$1.26 billion in July this year while in August, woven earnings
stood at $796.05 million.
the country's overseas merchandise shipments stood at US$ 5.03
billion in July-August period of FY 2013-14, up from $ 4.39 billion
during the same period of FY 2012-13 though it missed the target by
3.86 per cent, according to the EPB data.
total export earnings, knitwear items fetched $2.10 billion during
the first two months of the current fiscal, registering a 17.19 per
cent growth over the corresponding period of the last fiscal.
Earnings from knit items surpassed the target by 5.69 per cent.
other hand, export earnings from woven garments also rose by 16.98
per cent to $2.05 billion in July-August of FY 2013-14, which were
4.69 per cent less than the target.
vary from month to month but the trend is good," EPB Vice Chairman
Shubhashish Bose told the FE. Explaining the negative growth in jute
and jute products export, he said demand declined in traditional
markets especially in Iran, Iraq and Sudan due to their economic
situation and political unrest.
But the demand is growing in new markets like Russia, he said.
Executive Director of Centre for Policy Dialogue Mustafizur Rahman
said, "The downtrend growth might be the impact of Rana Plaza
collapse. But nothing surely could be said before next two or three
should carefully observe the situation. If it is the impact of Rana
Plaza collapse, steps should be taken to overcome the situation," he
said adding depreciation of Indian Rupee against dollar needs to be
considered while it is undermining our competitiveness.
Fazlul Hoque, former President of Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers
and Exporters Association (BKMEA) said the growth is usual. He
attributed the downtrend to the week-long Eid vacation denying any
impact of the Rana Plaza incident. Earnings from jute and jute goods
stood at $130.67 million in July-August period of the current
fiscal, showing a 14.72 per cent growth. The earnings fell short of
the target by over 36 per cent.
food sector that faced a continuous negative growth over the last
fiscal witnessed 38.11 per cent growth last month with the earnings
of $117.96 million. The earnings also exceeded the target by 18.64
per cent. Exports of agricultural products grew by 1.25 per cent,
pharmaceuticals 24.03 per cent, leather 39.80 per cent, leather
goods 11.29 per cent, footwear 23.52per cent and engineering
products 32.43 per cent during July-August of 2013-14.
Reclaiming gold in fibres
As one of the major producers of raw jute, our
advantage in terms of the price of raw materials cannot be taken
away from us. It is high time that we capitalise on this comparative
advantage and reclaim our gold in fibre
Bangladesh, in recent
years, has de-emphasised the development of jute and jute-based
products. The largest jute mill in the world had been closed as a
result of that. Since then, international demand for jute and
jute-based products has actually grown.
Our neglect of jute
has allowed China and India to now occupy almost 70% of the
international market while Bangladesh languishes with a meagre 6%.
This was a historic mistake. Unlike us, instead of succumbing to the
competition from polypropylene substitutes, India and China found
new usage for jute and have made impressive strides since.
It is unfortunate that
we now have to play catch up with the world; already at least a
decade behind, we are now simply raw jute suppliers for the world.
Recent reports of
farmers in Kurigram and Kushtia not even being able to recover the
production cost, whilst having achieved bumper yields, points to
further mismanagement of what not long ago was our primary cash
As one of the major
producers of raw jute, our advantage in terms of the price of raw
materials cannot be taken away from us. It is high time that we
capitalise on this comparative advantage and reclaim our gold in
All this takes is a
properly thought out endeavour. Our farmers need not suffer and the
industry need not perish when there still is plenty of room for
growth. We badly need to diversify our industrial growth, and jute
is still a golden opportunity.
Jute industry opposes new procurement system
Industry argues that transition to the new system
will not be a smooth affair wherein the industry may lose out.
In a move unlikely to
go down well with the
industry, the Union commerce ministry has decided to abandon the
three-decade old system of procuring jute bags through the
Directorate General of Supplies & Disposal (DGSD).
According to the
proposed change that might take effect from November 1, the jute
bags are going to be sourced through the Jute Commissioner’s office.
If the new system comes into force, the Jute Commissioner’s office,
apart from procuring jute bags for supply to food agencies, would
also issue jute
production control and supply orders.
In a recent letter to
textiles secretary Zohra Chatterjee, Union commerce secretary S R
Rao said, “The DGSD has been procuring jute bags without any
statutory backing or executive power for the past three decades.
Jute bags are sensitive items for food operations and, therefore, no
rate contract or tendering is allowed on the item. The Jute
Commissioner is the custodian of the jute industry dealing with all
jute matters, including production, pricing, supply and control.”
“The commerce ministry
proposes to discontinue services of DGSD in the operation of
procurement of jute bags with effect from November 1,” Rao said in
the letter. The ministry felt the Jute Commissioner’s office is the
only authorised office empowered to deal with these matters.
The industry has
opposed the move. It argues that transition to the new system would
not be smooth and the industry might lose out. The Jute
Commissioner’s office, however, has welcomed the shift. It said
there was no need for DGSD to procure jute bags, since the current
practice was leading to wasteful expenditure through lengthy
inspection of the bags.
Magura farmers count losses despite bumper jute production
A bumper production of 432,000 bales of jute has been
achieved this year.
Despite a bumper
production of jute in Magura this year, local farmers are counting
losses because of low jute prices.
Jute farmers have
expressed dissatisfaction over the local market price of jute at
Tk1100 to Tk1200 for every maund, which is equivalent to 37.32kg.
Rezaul Islam, a farmer from Nanduali village in Magura sadar upazila,
said he sold 746kg of jute for Tk22,000, while the production cost
Faruq Hossen, another
farmer from Gangnalia village in Magura sadar upazila, said there
were only 3 government jute purchasing centers in Magura, which was
inadequate. Middlemen dominated the centers to deprive farmers, he
A farmer from Kukila
village, Md Hafizuddin alleged the government of failing to realise
their commitment of bringing back the glory of jute. “I cultivated
jute on 0.4 hectare land this year. But the losses have made me
decide not to cultivate jute anymore,” he added.
Fazlur Rahman, a jute
wholesaler in Magura Natun Bazar, said: “I am yet to recover Tk20m
from Bangladesh Jute Mills Corporation (BGMC), for the jute I sold
them last year.” He added that BGMC still owes Magura jute traders
over Tk200m, prompting the traders to become reluctant in purchasing
or selling jute.
Another trader at the
same market, Dasherat Day, said the abnormal inflation of Rupees in
India, a large market for Bangladesh, has had an adverse effect on
jute prices. Negative jute market trends in countries like Iran,
Iraq, Syria, Egypt and Tunisia are also causing jute prices in
Bangladesh to drop, he added.
Mokhlesur Rahaman , deputy director of Agriculture Extension
Department (DAE) of Magura, admitted that bumper production has
caused jute prices to fall, but added that farmers will be able to
make a profit from their massive production. Sources at DAE of
Magura informed, a bumper production of 432,000 bales of jute has
been achieved from 42,500 hectares of land that was cultivated for
jute in the district this year.
Historic Dundee jute mill to be saved from demolition
Mark Munsie, Dundee Heritage Trust director.DC
One of Dundee’s most historic jute mills, which was
earmarked for demolition due to its badly deteriorated condition, is
now on course for a £2.23 million renovation as a tourist
Thanks to the “incredible” efforts of a small
fundraising team, plus grants from Historic Scotland and the
Heritage Lottery Fund, along with a six-figure bequest from a
mystery benefactor, the A-listed Verdant High Mill will come alive
again within two years.
The fundraising target, which began last year to
raise a shortfall of £250,000 for the project, is now only £70,000
short of its target, Dundee Heritage Trust director Mark Munsie told
The building, which sits next to the Verdant Works
museum, will be given a complete refurbishment which, while
retaining all of its historic features will also see it turned into
a gallery space.
Original machinery from the mill will be renovated
and become features in the space, while other mill machinery owned
by Dundee Heritage Trust will be brought back into public view.
A massive steam engine, which is owned by Dundee City
Council and is in pieces, is to be reconditioned as one of the major
exhibits in the gallery.
Heritage Lottery has allocated £1.48 million to the
project and Historic Scotland has allocated £500,000 towards
emergency repairs. Mark said: “We are hoping to start work in the
spring of 2014 with an estimated 18-month build program. “I have to
say I am hugely excited to be part of a team that is not only saving
a significant building but also creating a dramatic and exciting
“A space where the public will get a real
understanding of the monumental size of the High Mill building, its
architecture, the machinery and the people who worked in it. “I
suppose you could say we tell stories at our museums and this
project will allow us to tell more of our stories.
“The trust is a small independent charity and putting
together, and managing a major project of this nature is a credit to
the dedicated team who work for the trust and those organisations
and individuals who support the trust in many different ways.”
The mammoth task of restoring the two-storey building
will begin with clearing and removing the machinery still lying
inside, before the ceiling and the roof are removed.
While the roof will be
the building will become one complete floor, with a
massive exhibition space that is intended to be used by theatre
groups and private promoters as well as businesses and the local
authority. The adjoining “glazed alley”, or batching rooms, is also
to be renovated with glass panels in the roof and a weighing
machine, weighbridge, cranes and other equipment restored.
The restoration project was the last thing on the
minds of the trust when the building reached a critical stage a few
years ago. Mark said: “The trust actually put in an application to
consider demolition — that’s how serious it got.
“Then we thought, ‘we’re a heritage trust’, and to be
knocking down buildings that had such huge heritage was wrong. “We
considered its merits and decided to redouble our fundraising
efforts and it has slowly evolved. “It’s quite logical, we thought
if you have a museum here then it should be part of the museum.
“It’s been sad watching it deteriorate over the years and now this
is so exciting, I’m really looking forward to seeing it take shape
and become a full part of the museum.”
Mark revealed the fundraising effort had been hugely
helped by a £100,000 bequest by an anonymous donor. “It’s fantastic
and to be going to the Heritage Lottery Fund with a stage two
application with the funding in place will be stunning.”
Donations to the High Mill fundraising project can be
made through Dundee Heritage Trust and at Verdant Works and
The Courier.co uk.
Non-execution of mandatory jute packaging slated
A file photo shows workers carrying rice sacks made
of jute at Ashuganj in Brahmanbaria. Participants at a workshop in
Dhaka on Monday expressed dismay over the non implementation of the
mandatory jute packaging act three years after its enactment. — New
Age photo Jute farmers, millers, researchers and experts of the jute
sectors at a workshop on Monday called for increasing local
consumption of jute through immediate implementation of jute
packaging act to create its demand at home and abroad.They also
emphasised on ensuring fair price of jute among growers to help
increase the production of jute in the country.
The participants at the workshop expressed their dismay for not
implementing the mandatory jute packaging act although it was
enacted three years ago by the parliament.
The experts related to jute sectors made their observation at the
workshop on ‘Revisit the Roadmap for Jute’ at the secretariat of
International Jute Study Group.
Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad, chairman of jute commission, attended the
workshop as chief guest.
Speaking on the occasion, Kholiquzzaman said better
technology should be adopted to increase productivity in the
agriculture sector including jute. He emphasised on diversification
of jute products to catch the global market.Fair price of jute
should be ensured to encourage the growers to produce jute in large
scale, he said.Kamran T Rahman, former chairman of Bangladesh Jute
Mills Association, said although millions of people are involved in
producing jute and in jute industries, the government has failed to
increase its domestic consumption.
Neighboring India started mandatory use of jute since 1987. Though
Bangladesh enacted the mandatory jute packaging act in 2010, the law
is not being implemented till now, he said.
Fazlul Haque Hannan, president of jute and vegetables growers’
association, said if the farmers were given seeds timely and ensured
fair prices of jute, they would be happy to cultivate jute—the
golden fibre of the country.
Humayun Khalid, chairman of Bangladesh Jute Mills
Corporation, said demand of jute goods has been increasing day by
day, so time has come to do something for developing the jute
He urged all concerned to play a positive role to develop the jute
The BJMC chairman assured of all-out cooperation to arrange the
training necessary to strengthen the sector.
Although jute is called an environment friendly crop
having tremendous prospect, use of jute goods are not seen
everywhere in Bangladesh, said Kamal Uddin, director general of
Bangladesh Jute Research Institute said. Jute can be used in place
of cotton, he said, adding that farmers are being motivated to
produce jute and quality jute seeds to meet domestic demands.
Jahangir Alam, former director general of Bangladesh Livestock
Research Institute, said if farmers get fair price of jute, they
would increase the production of jute.
IJSG secretary general Bhupendra Sing presented a technical paper at
The New Age
Jute experts for implementation of Jute Packaging Act
DHAKA, SEPt 2: The
jute experts at a workshop on Monday called for increasing local
consumption of jute through immediate implementation of Jute
The speakers made the
remark at a workshop on “Revisit the Roadmap for Jute’, organised by
International Jute Study Group (IJSG), at its secretariat in the
city. The jute related protagonist expressed their hostility over
the government for not implementing the mandatory Jute Packaging
Actually, a roadmap for jute was commissioned by the International
Trade Centre, (ITC) on behalf of IJSG with funding from Common Fund
for Commodities (CFC) in the year 2006. After seven years, it was
found that some of the strategies have been partially achieved. On
the other hand, some of the new issues have to be addressed for the
sustainable development of jute sector. Considering these issues
IJSG has organised the said workshop on “Revisit the Roadmap for
The technical paper of
the workshop was presented by Bhupendra Sing, secretary general of
He addressed on ten major issues for the sustainable development of
jute sector such as the seed factor, price volatility, contact
farming, minimum support price, diversification etc.
Addressing as chief guest Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad, chairman of Jute
Commission, underscored the need for ensuring the fair price of jute
among the farmers to help increase the production of jute in the
Qazi Kholiquzzaman said better technology should be adopted to
increase productivity in the agriculture sector including jute. He
emphasized on diversification of jute products to get fair share of
the global market. Kamran T Rahman, former chairman of Bangladesh
Jute Mills Association, said although millions of people are
involved in producing jute and jute industries, the government has
failed to increase the domestic consumption. Neighbouring India
started use of jute mandatory since 1987, but in Bangladesh it is
not implemented, he said. Fazlul Haque Hannan, president of jute and
vegetables growers’ association, said if the farmers are given seeds
timely and ensured of fair prices of jute, growers would be
encouraged to cultivate jute, golden fibre of the country. Humayun
Khaled, chairman of Bangladesh Jute Mills Corporation (BJMC), said
demand of jute goods has been increasing day by day, so time has
arrived to do something for jute sector. He urged all concerned to
play positive role to develop the jute sector.
The BJMC chairman assured of all-out cooperation to provide the
training necessary to strengthen the sector.Although jute is called
environment friendly crop having tremendous prospect but use of jute
goods are not seen everywhere in Bangladesh, said Kamal Uddin,
director general of Bangladesh Jute Research Institute.
Jahangir Alam, former
director general of Bangladesh Livestock Research Institute,
stressed the need for extending the real benefits to the farmers who
grow jute paying their hard labour.
“If farmers get fair prices for their product they would start
cultivating jute on more land”, he said.
Farmers are getting lower price comparing to the international
market price of jute. It is essential to ensure the fair price of
jute for the farmers in order to encourage more jute production, he
“The total demand of jute is almost 4500-500 tonne bale per year but
current production of jute is only 2000-2500 tonne per year.The
workshop was also addressed among others by Bertha Baroi, director
of Corr-The Jute works, Aniruddha H Roy, private sector adviser,
Economic Growth Office, US Agency for International Development (USAID),
Dr Mubarak Ahmed Khan, chief scientific officer of Radiation and
Implement Jute Packaging Act to offset sluggish exports
Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad, chairman of Jute
Commission, attends an event on “Revisit the roadmap for jute”
organised by the International Jute Study Group at its office in
Dhaka yesterday. Md Kamal Uddin, director general of Bangladesh Jute
Research Institute, was also present. Photo:Star
The government should implement the Jute Packaging
Act immediately to create internal demand for jute products,
analysts said.“Export demand for jute goods has plummeted following
the depreciation of the Indian rupee and a crisis across the Middle
East,” said Kamran T Rahman, former chairman of Bangladesh Jute
Mills Association (BJMA).
Last week, the rupee slumped to a record low of 68.75 to the dollar
to cap a 25 percent fall in value since the start of the year, while
taka has appreciated around 15-20 percent over the last one year, he
“We are losing the competitiveness over the India
exporters, so to offset the sluggish demand we need to urgently
implement the law,” he said at a discussion styled “Revisit the
Roadmap for Jute”, organised by International Jute Study Group at
its office in Dhaka.
The government in June framed new rules to enforce the compulsory
use of jute sacks to pack food grains and other items, although the
law was passed in October 2010.
“It is our bad luck that the law has still not been implemented,”
said Md Kamal Uddin, director general of Bangladesh Jute Research
Jute is a bio-degradable and environment-friendly
product, so Bangladesh as a leading producer should encourage its
use.Mangal Chandra Chanda, project director of “high-yield jute and
its seeds production and retting” under the jute ministry, said
farmers are not getting adequate jute seeds in country, which is
hampering cultivation of the crop.
At present, the country supplies around 2,000 tonnes of jute seeds
against the annual demand of nearly 4,500 tonnes, he added.
Fazlul Haque Hanna, representative of the National
Jute Farmer Association, urged the government to ensure fair prices
for their produce by setting a minimum price.
“Jute has a bright prospect due to its environment friendliness, and
time has come to take joint efforts to promote the jute sector,”
Humayun Khaled, chairman of Bangladesh Jute Mills Corporation (BJMC),
said, while urging the BJMA to organise fairs for jute goods to
create domestic demand.
Bhupendra Singh, secretary general of International
Jute Study Group, said decoding of the genome sequence of local
variety of jute by Bangladeshi scientists is a great achievement for
the world, while calling for an action plan so that the breakthrough
can be put to use.
He also recommended the state-owned BJMC to initiate contract
farming scheme on a test basis as it will help jute farmers get a
fair price for their produce.
Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad, chairman of Jute Commission, called for
storage facilities and easy loan support for jute cultivators.
The Daily Star
Jute takes a hit from Middle-East crisis, rupee slide
Owners of nearly half a dozen jute mills suspended
production as export demand plummeted following the depreciation of
the Indian rupee and a crisis across the Middle East, industry
insiders said yesterday.
To stay afloat, many others had to cut down
production, they said. “We had to shelve production as it became
tough to continue in the backdrop of deepening crises in Libya,
Egypt and Syria, which led the prices to drop substantially over the
past one year,” said Kashif Mushtaque Wazid, managing director of
Fatima-Alyaf Tala-e Jute Industries Ltd.
Mahmudul Huq, deputy managing director of Janata Jute
Mills Ltd, one of the leading exporters of jute products, said the
entire Middle East market will be blocked if the US attacks
Syria.The company had to pull back 11 containers of shipment to
Syria following advice from buyers—a development which comes at a
time when exports to another major market, India, is facing a
cut-back due to the falling value of rupee against the dollar.
“The future is bleak,” he said, adding that his
company had to cut production at two of its nine units, with more
cutbacks on way.Last week, the rupee slumped to a record low of
68.75 to the dollar, to cap a 25 percent fall in value since the
start of the year. “Our market for Syria and Iran is closed. And now
Indian importers are not taking delivery of old orders, let alone
place new orders,” Yusuf, also the managing director of Faridpur
Jute Fibres Ltd. “It has been a month now that we could not make any
shipment. Buyers in India are offering too low a price to accept,”
said Gopi Kishan Sureka, chief executive of Fiber ‘N Fibre, adding
that most jute companies are now running on losses.Other than the
cutback in orders, the depreciation of Indian rupee has created
another source of worry for the exporters, he said.“India is our
main competitor in the world market, and the Indian exporters are
exploiting their currency’s fall in value by cutting down the prices
for their exports. It is worrying we may lose those markets, where
we had been exporting for a long time now.”
Yusuf, also a former chairman of Bangladesh Jute
Spinners Association (BJSA), echoed Sureka’s views, adding that the
Indian exporters have got a 30 percent price advantage. Shahidul
Karim, secretary of BJSA, quoting the association’s chairman
Muhammad Shams-uz Zoha, said fresh enquiries have almost come down
Although exports of jute and jute goods grew by 2.52
percent year-on-year to $80.15 million in July, raw jute, jute yarn
and twine, the main export earner of the jute sector, dropped
significantly, according to Export Promotion Bureau.
The Daily Star
Pvt Jute mills beset by fund crunch as they don't get loans at low
Private jute millers
are facing fund constraints due to the unavailability of bank loans
with low interest rate, said sector insiders. If the situation
continues, they cannot purchase the targeted volume of raw jute in
the ongoing fiscal year (FY) 2013-14, the millers said.
"We planned to buy
nearly 1.4 million bales of raw jute this FY, but it will be
hampered if we do not get financial support from banks," said
Bangladesh Jute Mills Association (BJMA) secretary Abdul Barik Khan.
Jute spinning mills also are facing the same adversity. Bangladesh
Jute Spinners Association (BJSA) usually purchases around 3.2
million bales of raw jute a year to keep its overseas sales smooth.
But this fiscal they may not be able to maintain the quantity.The
millers have said although they contribute a lot to the development
of local jute industry, they do not get proper facilities from the
government like the ones enjoyed by the state-owned jute mills.
The millers urged the
government to provide 'blocked account' facilities to the private
jute factories against bank loans and interests taken up to June 30,
2013. The facilities include pre-payment of loans with the interest
rate at 8 per cent. They also demanded 30 per cent in grant to
purchase machinery from abroad. The Indian government, too, offers
such facilities to the jute industry in the private sector, they
The millers urged
Bangladesh Bank (BB) to provide Tk 0.50 incentive against each
dollar-earning from the export of jute products, with an appeal to
the commercial banks to give current capital in loan at 7 per cent
interest. If the banks do not cooperate with the sector, the jute
industry cannot remain stable, the sector leaders observed. The jute
sector is passing through hard times due to the declining demand for
jute products abroad, they said.
The Financial express
Jute growers affected by price manipulation
RAJSHAHI, AUG 30: Since beginning of the harvesting season, the jute
growers are being deprived of fair price due to dominance and
malpractices by the middlemen and traders gang at different hats and
bazars in the district. Concurrently, the farmers are failing to
recoup the production cost amidst the adverse situation. In the
current season, the jute farming faced drought due to scanty
rainfall that forced the farmers to irrigate their lands to save
their crop. The farmers also face an awkward situation in rotting
the jute as the ponds and beels remain dry. The merciful rainfall in
late Shravan, however, reduced their sufferings in some extent.
Additional irrigation cost and enhanced labour-cost had propelled
the jute production cost this season, farmers said. They hardly
produced eight mounds of jute fiber from per bigha of land by
spending at least Taka 8,000. On Monday last, one mound of jute was
sold at Taka 1,000 to Taka 1,200 at Nawhata wholesale market and the
price isn’t sufficient to recoup the production cost.Most of the
farmers alleged that the middlemen and businessmen keep the jute
price reduced through syndication.
Sunil Kumar Ghosh, a farmer of Dharmahata village under Pabau
upazila, says he had cultivated jute on 1.5 bigha of land and
harvested only seven mounds of jute in the wake of bad weather. He
sold the jute at Taka 1,160 per mound and couldn’t get back
production cost after selling his harvested jute, he added.
Sunil mentioned that most of his fellow farmers are facing the
similar situation. Jute farmers and agriculturists told the news
agency separately that the farmers cultivated jute on 12,100
hectares of land in the district this season against the target of
13,514 hectares set by the Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE).
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.
Ali of Shreepur village under Paba upazilla said the farmers in the
early season 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 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. Ekabbar Ali said the jute is being
sold at Tk 1,000-1200 per mound whereas the price was Tk 1,200-1,400
in 2012 while Taka 2,000 in 2010.
“The present market price is very much less than production cost of
around Taka 8,000 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.
Packaging Act implementation
Govt to finalise issues by tomorrow
Md Owasim Uddin Bhuyan
Jute and textile ministry is set to settle all issues
relating to implementation of the mandatory jute packaging act
enacted by parliament in 2010, officials said. An advisory committee
constituted to implement the act will meet on Sunday to discuss the
issues and finalise steps to implement the act at the users’ level.
The officials said Sunday’s meeting will review the present
situation of use of jute package, available quantum of green jute,
production cost of jute packages, capacity for supplying jute bags
and related issues and take necessary decisions for effective
implementation of the act. Parliament passed the Mandatory Jute
Packaging Act in October 2010 to help promote the use of jute bags
in the country. A gazette notification on the rules related to the
act was published on June 3, 2013. Ashraful Moqbul, senior secretary
of the jute ministry, told New Age that implementation process of
the act has already started as the advisory committee in its last
meeting on July 28 formed a sub-committee to set the recommendations
after discussing with all stakeholders. The recommendations will be
finalised at Sunday’s meeting.
Ashraful, also the chairman of the advisory committee, said all
issues including estimation of jute packages based on commodities
and percentage of jute to be used for making packages would be
finalised on September 1. The jute packages will be used to pack the
country’s six products including paddy, rice, wheat, maize,
fertiliser and sugar, he said.
The committee will also determine the capabilities of
Bangladesh Jute Mills Corporation and Bangladesh Jute Mills
Association to produce jute packages against the national demand, he
Meanwhile, jute department officials said the government would
gradually bring foodgrain traders under the purview of the packaging
act after initial implementation of the act.
A total of 212 jute mills are currently operational in Bangladesh
and of them 21 jute mills are run by the government while the rest
mills are run by the private owners, said the jute department
When asked about the act, director general of Bangladesh Jute
Research Institute Kamal Uddin told New Age that about 15 lakh bales
of additional jute would be required annually when the government
would start implementation of the mandatory jute packaging act.
About 70 lakh bales of jute are produced in the country every year.
Of them some 45-50 lakh bales of jute are usually required for local
jute industries and the rest are kept for export, he said. The BJRI
director general said that Bangladesh has already sequenced genome
of Tossa and local variety of jutes to produce the best quality of
the natural fibre in the country. Jute production would be gradually
increased as salt tolerant jute variety through genome sequence
would be introduced in the country’s southern region, he said.
The New Age
retting fails to attract jute farmers
Traditional rotting system causes water pollution,
affects fish cultivation
Star National Desk
retting, a method for rotting jute plants with less water, remains
virtually ineffective as farmers find the new method more costly
than the traditional way of rotting jute.
As many as 1500 devices for jute peeling in ribbon retting method
have remained unused in Jessore due to farmers’ lack of interest
have no interest to use the machine for its extra expenses that
invented to peel jute fibre and rot it in little water, reports our
The government in 2011 introduced ribbon retting method in different
areas of the country to ease peeling of jute fibre, said sources of
the Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE in Jessore.
Authorities distributed 800 ribbon retting machines in eight
upazilas of Jessore in 2011 and 736 machines in 2012.
were also provided training on its use.But farmers felt very little
interest to use the method for what they said extra cost.“The
government distributed 8 to 12 ribbon retting devices in every union
of Jessore district free of cost. But those machines are left in the
farmers’ houses as they feel no interest to use it due to its extra
cost,” said Bazlur Rahman, sub-assistant agricultural officer of
Noapara union in Jessore Sadar upazila. Nur Hossain, a farmer of
Baganchara–Matpara village under Sharsa upazila in Jessore, who used
ribboner last year said, “It needs 24 labourers to peel jute of one
bigha of land that costs Tk 6000. It is much more costly than the
traditional way of jute peeling. Besides, we get low quality jute
stalks if we peel it with using ribbon retting method and our
production also reduces by about two maunds in one bigha of
land.”Birendranath Majumdar, Jessore Sadar upazila agriculture
extension officer, however, claimed that the costs of jute peeling
by ribbon retting method and traditional system are almost equal.
Lalmonirhat Correspondent reports: Almost all the farmers in the
district have continued rotting their jute plants in the traditional
way in rivers and other water bodies as ‘ribbon retting method for
rotting the plants with less water, is yet to gain popularity in the
Due to inadequate rainfall this season, rivers and other water
bodies in the district do not have enough water and so, large scale
jute rotting causes serious water pollution, posing threat to fish
and other aquatic creatures. Ribbon retting method was introduced
among the local farmers a couple of years ago in a very limited
scale. This year the DAE took an initiative to re-introduce the
system but arrangement for training was inadequate and farmers
showed very little interest.
Ribbon retting needs polythene and a big hole in the soil. After
separating raw fibre from the jute stalk it is kept in the hole full
of water. “We are not familiar with the system. A few farmers were
informed about the new system but they did not show interest,” said
Abdul Hossain, a farmer of Mostofi village under Lalmonirhat Sadar
upazila. Krishna Chandra Pal, another farmer of Teesta village in
Lalmonirhat Sadar said, “Ribbon retting method seems easy but we
took training on it only for a day, which is not sufficient.”
Due to pollution from jute rotting water bodies are turning black
and stinky, badly affecting fish production, said Hasmot Ali,
Aditmari upazila fishery officer. This year 9,260 hectares of land
were brought under the jute cultivation in five upazilas of
Lalmonirhat, DAE sources said.
The Daily Star
Farmers selling jute below production cost
DINAJPUR, AUG 24: The farmers of Dinajpur district are selling the
newly harvested jute in the local markets below the cost of
production. Though a little rise in the prices of jute was noticed
recently, growers are not happy with it. During a recent visit to
different big jute markets like Kaharol hat, Raniganj hat, Paker
hat, Kachinia hat, Bochaganj hat, Birganj hat, Nashipur Firm hat,
Ramdubi hat, Goreya hat and Bokdoir hat this correspondent found
that raw jute is selling from Tk 1,000 to Tk 1,100 per maund,
depending on the quality. Many farmers are unwilling to harvest jute
as they fear they will not be able to get the production cost.
According to the jute growers of the district cultivation of jute
has become expensive in the recent years due to rise in labour
cost, the price of fertilizer and other agriculture materials.
Nozibor Rahman, a jute grower of Alubari village under Biral upazila,
said the price of all the inputs of seeds and other expenses have
increased by about 25 per cent compared to that in the last year.
However, Nozibor Rahman informed The Independent that he cultivated
jute on one acre of land which cost him Tk 24,000. He got a total of
20 maunds of jute. At present according to local market price of
jute he is incurring loss of Tk 4,000 from his one acre land, added
Nozibor. Dinesh Chandra Roy, another farmer of Pormeshpur village
under Kaharol upazila, told that he got nearly 18 to 20 maunds of
jute from per acre of land which cost him nearly Tk 1,350 per maund.
But now jute is selling at Tk 1,000 to Tk 1,050 per maund in the
markets of the district on an average depending on the quality of
the jute. Dhononjoy Roy, a farmer of Khansama upazila, said that
he cultivated jute on two bighas of land this year but incurred
production cost of jute has increased due to high labour cost that
worried the jute growers of the district. Jute plants are getting
dried in the field as the farmers could not ret jute due to high
labour cost.‘If the jute price remains Tk 1,400 to Tk 1,500 per
maund it will be profitable’, added Morsedul Islam, another farmer
of Fatejongpur village under Chirirbandar upazila of Dinajpur
district saying that input and labour cost went up in the last few
years.They urged the government to take necessary steps to fix fair
prices of jute to encourage the farmers to cultivate jute. In the
absence of government-run jute purchasing centre, traders and
middlemen are buying jute from farmers and market prices are under
their control, according to the sources. Buyers and middlemen have
allegedly formed a syndicate to compel farmers to sell the newly
harvested jute at low prices. As a result, the growers are deprived
of the fair prices and so the farmers are frustrated. Farmer Fazlur
Rahaman of Pakerhat village under Khansama upazila said that all the
jute growers are in problems as they are forced to sell their
produce in the markets to the middlemen, locally called ‘Faria’ at
throwaway prices to meet the family expenses.
Borun Basak, a middleman of Raniganj under Dinajpur Sadar upazila,
told The Independent that he purchased nearly 400 maunds to 500
maunds of jute from every hat (market).
He sells this jute to different companies of Syedpur and Khulna at
According to the sources, the middlemen and traders like Borun Basak
are controlling the jute markets of the district and they decided
the market prices after forming a syndicate.
Moslem Ali, a buyer in Dinajpur Sadar upazila, denied the allegation
of making syndicate to control market and said, "In the competitive
market none can control the prices. It totally depends on supply and
demand." Md Enamul Haque, a member of Business Management
Organisation (BMO) of Parbatipur upazila of Dinajpur, said that the
jute growers have been incurring losses due to low prices of their
produce since 2009. He said, in this situation, the farmers of the
district would lose their interest in producing jute in the coming
years. DAE officials said, this year farmers of the district
cultivated high yielding ‘Tosha’ and local varieties of jute and got
bumper production. According to the field level agricultural staff
and farmers of the district, this year the production of Tosha
variety of jute is 10 to 12 maunds per acre while local variety
seven to eight maunds per acre. Md Anwarul Alam, Deputy Director
of Dinajpur DAE, told that the Department of Agriculture Extension
(DAE) of Dinajpur brought at least 9,515 hectares land under jute
cultivation in Dinajpur while the target was 8,947 hectares land. It
is expected that around 90,400 bales of jute will be produced in
The New Age
Timely action needed to save jute production
jute growers count losses as the item, once called the golden fibre,
now sells in the local market for prices less than its average
production cost indeed does not augur well for the sector as a
whole. According to farmers, as quoted in a New Age report on
Saturday, they need to sell a maund of jute for, on an average, Tk
1,000 while they have had to spend more than that to produce the
same amount of jute, especially because of an increase in prices of
fertilisers and cost of labour this year. Additionally, according to
Department of Agricultural Extension officials, around 50 per cent
of jute cultivated this year have been harvested as of August 22.
With this fact in consideration, one has reasons to fear that when
the rest amount of jute will be harvested, jute market may go down
well, leaving the growers literally in the lurch.
important to note that even after getting downsized under successive
governments that pursued wrong policies prescribed mainly by
different international lending agencies such as the World Bank and
the International Monetary Fund in the sector over the past few
decades, the Bangladesh Jute Mills Corporation still buys a
significant portion of local jute every year. Moreover, if done in
time, the purchase usually helps growers a lot to bargain with the
middlemen who hardly miss any opportunity to collect jute from the
local market at a throwaway price. On the other hand, falling victim
to mismanagement, corruption and irregularities, as the state-owned
entity, unfortunately though, is yet to come out of losses and needs
to borrow the money required to buy jute from the government on a
regular basis. Regrettably, however, as in previous years, the
government appears unwilling to provide the required loans to the
BJMC in time this year as well. It is needless to say that such a
situation is certain to dampen the jute market further.
Ironically, all this occurs at a time when the government has been
making claims on more than one occasion ever since it assumed office
in 2009 that it has taken a number of steps with the intention to
boost jute production as well as the jute industry. Besides, even
the prime minister has sought to depict a rosy picture about the
future of the jute sector just the other day when she was bragging
about her government’s contribution to the recent invention
concerning jute genome sequencing by a number of local scientists.
The government needs to realise that, coming out of rhetoric, it
needs to do something effective to help jute industries, public and
private, to run well in the first place. At the same time, it needs
to help farmers to reduce significantly jute production cost by
giving the latter price support and the like.
The New Age
Mongla port now to have exclusive shed
The facility to hasten export of jute, jute goods
government decided to construct a shed at the Mongla port to ease
export of jute and jute goods through the country's second seaport,
sources said. Construction of the shed will cost nearly Tk 9.0
million and it will be built during the period of July 2013 and¬ June
2015, according to the sources. ¬�Once constructed, the shed will
facilitate stuffing and un-stuffing of jute and jute goods
throughout the year and export of goods through the port will also
pace up,¬� said a senior official at the Ministry of Shipping (MoS).
He said the Mongla port started its operation as an
anchorage port in 1950 to facilitate export of jute and jute goods,
since¬ Bangladesh¬ was one of the largest exporters of the items.
The demand for jute and jute goods was high in the global market
then. Later, five jetties, four transit sheds, two warehouses, three
open stack yards, and internal roads were constructed there to turn
it into a full-fledged port. But, the official said, no exclusive
shed was built there for stuffing and un-stuffing of jute and jute
goods, though these are¬ some of Bangladesh's major exportable
absence of an exclusive shed was causing hindrances to stuffing and
un-stuffing of jute and jute goods at the port,¬� he added. Another
MoS official said during the period of 2002-2009 export-import
activities at the Mongla port came down drastically due to various
reasons. But later the volume of cargo handling at the port
increased significantly following various steps taken by the
The major export items the Mongla port handles
include: jute and jute goods, shrimp, frozen food and general cargo.
On the other hand, the import items include food grain, bulk cement,
clinker, fertiliser, machinery and motor vehicles. During the fiscal
year 2011-12 about 35 vessels reached the port carrying 30,045 TEUs
(twenty feet equivalent units) of containers against its capacity of
handling 50,000 TEUs of containers per year. Besides, the port
handled export and import of 2.51 million tonnes of goods, including
machinery, cotton, general cargo, jute and jute goods, and frozen
food against the capacity of 6.5 million tonnes.
Officials said the Mongla port would face a greater
load, when the¬ Padma¬ Bridge¬ would be constructed. Besides, the
seaport would have to handle transit goods of¬ India,¬ Nepal¬ and
Bhutan,¬ if the facility was offered to the neighbouring countries.
The three neighbours are requesting¬ Bangladesh¬ to offer the
transit facility to them allowing transportation of their
export-import goods through the country. They said carrying out
further development work was necessary to prepare the port for
managing the increased volume of load.
The Financial Express
BIRATNAGAR: Activities have increased with the reopening of
Biratnagar Jute Mill here. Locals, entrepreneurs and merchants are
excited after the jute mill at Biratnagar-21, Rani, reopened. The
mill was closed four years ago. The local market was hit hard and
many workers lost their jobs for a long time. A private Indian
company has taken the mill on lease and reopened it under its
management recently. The agreement signed has it that the contractor
company has to pay Rs 13.5 million annually to the government of
Nepal. It has been taken on contract for 25 years. The mill aims to
produce 30 metric tonnes of jute daily but has been producing 15
metric tonnes only, said Shyam Poudel, General Manager at the jute
Dhaka, Delhi sign MoU on co-op in textiles sector
India and Bangladesh on Monday signed a Memorandum of
Understanding (MoU) on cooperation in textiles.
The Secretary, Ministry of Textiles of India, Zohra
Chatterjee and the Senior Secretary, Textiles, Bangladesh, Ashraful
Moqbul have signed this MoU on behalf of their respective sides for
cooperation in Textile sector in New Delhi.
“The MoU on Textiles sector collaboration would act
as a major trade facilitation mechanism, by establishing and
institutional mechanism for collaboration through a Joint Working
Group” Rao Monday told media at a joint press conference with his
Bangladeshi counterpart in New Delhi, according to agencies.
“The Joint Working Group develop collaborations
between the Textiles Institutions in the two countries- between the
skill building institutions, fashion institutes and research
institutions,” Rao added.The ministers of two sides have also
discussed the issues including enhancement of collaboration in
textiles sector between the two countries by signing an other MoU on
cotton security for Bangladesh textiles mills and the establishment
of a successor organization for the International Jute Study Group
in Dhaka through Joint efforts at the UNCTAD.
As regards, the Cotton Purchase Agreement, the final drafts have
been exchanged between the 3 sides. “In 2013-14 cotton season, I
have assured his Excellency that Bangladesh Textiles Mills would not
have any difficulties in sourcing cotton from India.”The other item
that both sides have discussed were the setting up of a successor
organization to the International Jute Study Group whose term
concludes in March 2014.
India has in-principle agreed to support the
Bangladesh initiative for a successor multilateral organization in
Jute sector for taking forward the initiatives of the International
Jute Study Group.
“We would also be willing to form a joint front with the Government
of Bangladesh in requesting prospective member countries to support
a proposal for forming a new organization as a successor to IJSG at
UNCTAD, as and when the conference is convened on request of the
initiating countries,” Rao said.India and Bangladesh produce above
90 percent of the world production of jute and allied fibers. On
trade and importing countries like Turkey, China, Pakistan and
others to give the organization a multinational look.
Rao said, India and Bangladesh have long shared a
warm relationship. India and Bangladesh have a long history in
“India’s textile imports from Bangladesh in pursuance
of the Prime Minister’s visit 2011 have increased from USD 164
million in 2010 to USD 271 million in 2011 and USD 289 million in
In 2013, statistic indicate an increase of 15 percent over 2012.
Imports are increasing in chapter 61, 62 and 63 which are apparel
articles both knitted and woven and also in home textiles.
“I do hope that this strong performance trends in Bangladesh exports
to India in textiles sector continue to develop in the coming
years,” Rao added. The Indian Minister for Textiles, Dr. Kavuru
Sambasiva Rao, the Minister of Textiles Bangladesh, Abdul Latif
Siddique and Minister of State for Petroleum & Natural Gas and
Textiles, Panabaka Lakshmi were among others present during the
agreement singing ceremony.- See more at: http://www.daily-sun.com/details_Dhaka,-Delhi-sign-MoU-on-co-op-in-textiles-sector_591_1_3_1_15.html#sthash.ABihLCY0.dpuf
The Daily Sun
'Genome sequencing of local jute disclosed'
Bangladeshi scientists have sequenced the DNA of the
traditional variety of jute having already unravelled the genome for
‘Tosha’ jute, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has announced.
Dr Maqsudul Alam who led the painstaking but
secretive research was present in a prime ministerial media briefing
that began at Ganabhaban at 4pm on Sunday. The decoding will enable
Bangladesh to own all the genetic documents of the natural fibre
which has reappeared as a crucial resource in the campaign for
Earlier in 2010, Hasina disclosed in Parliament that
Bangladeshi researchers had done genome sequencing of jute which
would help develop the jute fibre, production of new jute seeds
compatible with hostile weather caused by the climate change, curb
diseases and help develop the jute industry.
Jute is the second largest fibre crop in terms of
cultivation and usage next to cotton. Bangladesh is the world's
second-largest producer of jute after India, and the world's largest
exporter of the fibre.
The Prime Minister said, “Our scientists have finished decoding the
DNA sequencing for local jute alongside ‘Tosha’ jute. Now the
mystery of jute's life cycle is within our grasp.”
“This is our asset. And the country’s scientists have
discovered its mysteries.” Hasina thanked everyone involved in the
research of jute which is expected to regain its lost glory of being
the golden fibre after the two breakthroughs in its genome
She added that initiatives were now underway to lodge
Bangladesh's Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) over the jute genome
sequencing as the scientific achievement came amid tough competition
from other countries.
Hasina mentioned that Bangladesh's jute has lost out
on the international market after an agreement with the World Bank
during the BNP regime led to the closure of the jute mills.
Dr Alam, researcher for Bangladesh Jute Research Institute, present
in the briefing, said, “No one who studies jute in any part of the
world can ignore our achievements. The keys to all its mysteries are
in our hands.”
He invited reporters to visit the research centre at
10am on Monday and witness for themselves the overall progress of
the research. Dr Alam and his team shot to global fame after they
discovered the genome sequence for ‘Tosha’ jute -- the Jute Plant
Draft Genome – in June, 2010. .
Their triumph continued as they sequenced the DNA make-up of a
fungus, Macrophomina Phaseolina, which reduces yield of more than
500 species of crops including jute, soybean, cotton, tobacco, maize
and sunflower. Hasina announced both of these ground-breaking
achievements to the nation.
Dr Alam, who also teaches the University of Hawaii at
Manoa, has achieved two more milestones in genomics - sequencing the
genomes of Papaya in the US and Rubber in Malaysia.
Experts say this gene sequencing will help improve the fibre length
and quality, including colours and strength; and develop high
yielding, saline soil-and pest-tolerant jute varieties through
A genome is all of a living thing's genetic material
and it is the entire set of hereditary instructions for building,
running, maintaining an organism, and passing life on to the next
generation. Genome sequencing is a laboratory process that
determines the complete DNA sequence of an organism's genome at a
single time. The process is often compared to "decoding", but a
sequence is still very much in code.
Bangladeshi scientists decode jute genome
Bangladesh have succeeded in decoding or sequencing of
traditional variety of the jute genome after months of hectic and
secretive research, that will enable the country to own all the
genetic documents of the natural fibre, it was announced today. "Our
scientists have decoded the jute genome. The mystery of jute's life
cycle is now in our hands," Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina told a
press conference here.
She added that
initiatives were now underway to lodge Bangladesh's Intellectual
Property Rights (IPR) over the jute genome sequencing as the
scientific achievement came amid tough competition from other
countries. Bangladeshi-American scientist Maqsudul Alam, who led a
consortium of researchers, succeeded in achieving the success more
than a year after the team decoded the Jute Plant Draft Genome.
Experts say, a genome sequence allows scientists to identify and
understand how genes work together for the plant's different
features like growth, development and maintenance as an entire
organism and enable them to manipulate the genes and enhance, reduce
or add certain features of the plant.
Alam, a professor of the University of Hawaii at Manoa, achieved
four milestones in genomics - sequencing the genomes of papaya,
rubber, jute and fungus. Bangladesh is the world's largest producer
of jute, producing over 1.5 million tonnes in 2011.
Jute was once called
Bangladesh's "golden fibre" as it was the country's main
export-earning product until early 1970s and it has reappeared as a
crucial resource in the campaign for environmental friendliness.
Bangladesh earned USD 1.6 billion alone last year by exporting jute
and the amount was around USD 3 billion in the past three years
while the premier said massive initiatives were underway for
diversified use of jute in different sectors as a biodegradable
product. "The announcement may not appear very significant to you
today, but it is a very big achievement for the country's future
generations," Hasina said.
The burden of loss-making jute mills
The government has
assumed past liabilities of the Bangladesh Jute Mills Corporation (BJMC)
amounting to Tk 23.96 billion (2,396 crores). The government will
take steps to make the BJMC profitable. They hope that the BJMC will
turn out to be a profitable entity in future. The government has
also agreed to pay Tk 3.64 billion (364 crores) for arrear bills,
wages, electricity, gas and retirement benefits up to June 2010. The
Finance Minister hopes that jute sector will regain its lost glory.
The government has also paid Tk 2.0 billion (200 crores) for buying
jute and Tk 5.0 billion (500 crores) for refinancing. The BJMC
incurred losses during the last 40 years. It borrowed Tk 22.09
billion (2,209 crores) from Sonali, Rupali, Agrani and Janata banks
for running the mills.
sector jute mill owners welcomed the government decision to bear the
losses of the BJMC mills, they mentioned about their losses in
running the mills because of gas and electricity crisis and
increased pay and allowances of workers and bank loans. They are not
receiving any support in running their mills as compared to the BJMC
mills. Private sector mills are in a disadvantageous position in
respect of financial assistance. It is not fair that the government
and private sector mills are not treated in the same manner.
During the last two
years, the price of jute goods in the international market has come
down. The Bangladesh Jute Mills Corporation is again in trouble. The
burden of losses is incresing. After 22 years of loss-making, the
BJMC made a profit of about Tk 180 million (18 crores) in 2010. But
in 2011-12, they incurred a loss of Tk 660 million (66 crores). In
2012-13, their loss amounted to Tk 3.80 billion (380 crores)
although there was a subsidy of 10 per cent. Last year 12 mills
recorded loss. However, the BJMC earned over $1.0 billion in 2012-13
from jute exports. Users in importing countries are gradually
abandoning the use of synthetic bags in view of health hazard. They
are looking for natural fibre like jute to replace synthetic bags.
BJMC export has shown
improvement. The cause of loss is mainly due to 70 per cent increase
in the wages of workers and 40 per cent increase in the price of
power. Export price has gone down by 10 per cent. The government has
reopened a few closed mills. Currently 23 mills are operational. One
jute mill is still closed. But the government has not made efforts
for modernisation and reform. One project proposal of BJMC is
pending in the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) for more than one year
and a half. Lack of product diversification and inadequate use of
jute bags in the domestic market are responsible for the loss of the
BJMC, said BJMC officials.
In the economic survey
for 2013, the loss of the BJMC for the year 2012-13 has been
estimated at Tk 3.8043 billion (380 crores 43 lakhs). The BJMC's
loss has been the highest among the state-owned enterprises. The
mills are running with equipment which are many years' old. Daily
production in the BJMC mills is 680 tons per day. This production
could be raised to 900 tons if modern equipment were installed. In
order to capture export market, there is no alternative to
In 2011, the BJMC took up a combined development project at a cost
of Tk 840 million (84 crores). This project includes work
atmosphere, modernisation of equipment and infrastructure
development. The same year the project was sent to the textile and
jute ministry. This was finally sent to the PMO for approval. The
approval of PMO is awaited. The government has taken the initiative
to reopen the closed Adamjee Jute Mills. For this purpose a project
was taken at a cost of Tk 3.07 billion (307 crores). There is no
progress in processing of the project. In this connection it may be
mentioned that closure of the Adamjee Jute Mills was once considered
as one of the best decisions in Bangladesh administration. Attempt
to reopen the mill may backfire.
It was hoped that the
International Jute Study Group (IJSG) located in Bangladesh would
show that diversified uses of jute would find market abroad and new
machineries would be helpful in increasing production. This really
never happened. The predecessor of IJSG, the International Jute
Organisation (IJO) also failed to create any impact. Jute research
has never made any significant contribution.
Although the government is spending a huge amount of money from the
public exchequer to salvage the jute sector, the outcome is
disappointing. The BJMC can never be a viable organisation with
losing jute mills. It is a wishful thinking of the government that
the BJMC will be profitable. The privatisation commission is sitting
idle. The loss-making jute mills could be given to them for
privatisation. No single entity was privatised during the tenure of
this government. Therefore, there is no justification for keeping
the commission alive. It is a sheer waste of resources.
It is not understood
why the government is opening closed mills and draining national
resources. The BJMC should operate with those mills which can make
profit and which have the potential to do so and the rest of the
mills should be privatised immediately. The only justification for
spending a huge amount of public money in the jute sector is to draw
the attention of the voters.
It is said that the
glorious era of jute is returning and the government should promote
jute production and take other steps. Jute farming has received a
boost due to increase in export of jute and jute goods. But this is
a temporary phenomenon. We must be realistic and trim the jute
sector and stop pumping more public money in this sector. In fact,
there is no jute policy in Bangladesh. The government should
announce a comprehensive jute policy covering all aspects of jute.
The writer is an
economist and columnist.
The Financial Express
Bangladesh-India textile cooperation agreement on Monday
Sheikh Shahariar Zaman
Bangladesh-India textile cooperation agreement on
Bangladesh is set to
sign a memorandum of understanding with India to cooperate on
textiles sector through exchanging technologies.“We will sign the
MoU on August 19,” Textiles and Jute Secretary Md Ashraful Moqbul
told the Dhaka Tribune.
The MoU was supposed
to be signed during the visit of Indian Prime Minister Manmohan
Singh in 2011, but both the parties could not reach an agreement, he
Training institutes of
the countries would also exchange faculty under the agreement, he
added. About the Saarc cumulation on textiles, he said Bangladesh
did not agree with the proposal. Both the sides would discuss the
future of International Jute Research Group as the tenure of the
body is going to be expired in April next year.
“Bangladesh is in
favour of continuing the operation of the group as it is the only
organization having headquarters located in Dhaka,” Moqbul said.
Dhaka is also in touch
with European Union for the continuation of the operation of the
IJRG, but apparently they did not show enthusiasm, he added.
Ewedu leaves: More than a vegetable
Jute or saluyot leaves
(called ewedu among the Yoruba and rama among the Hausa and their
Fulbe neighbours) are used as a food source in many parts of the
world. It is a popular vegetable in West Africa and is not just rich
in nutrition but also has a lot of health benefits, including
protecting us from various diseases. Nutrition-wise, vegetables are
low in calories but high in vitamins and minerals. They are also
good sources of fibre. Fibre keeps the intestinal tract in good
health and may even reduce the risk of some cancers and diseases.
The leaves contain
almost all of the nutrients needed by humans and are high in
antioxidant property, primarily in the form of Vitamin E. These
antioxidants combine with free radicals that cause health problems
like arthritis, hardening of arteries, heart and kidney ailments and
inhibit the harmful and destructive effects of these radicals.
It is also used as
herbal medicine to control or prevent dysentery, worm infestation
and constipation. Ewedu leaves are rich in vitamins, carotinoids,
calcium, potassium and dietary fibres. Although it has been grown
for food, in recent times it has been discovered that ewedu has many
other benefits, including anti-ageing benefits.
Ewedu as vegetable and
Studies have shown
that this green, leafy vegetable is rich in beta-carotene for good
eyesight, iron for healthy red blood cells, calcium for strong bones
and teeth, and vitamin C for smooth, clear skin, strong immune
cells, and fast wound-healing. Vitamins A, C and E present in ewedu
“sponge up” free radicals, scooping them up before they can commit
cellular sabotage. As a vegetable, it contains an abundance of
antioxidants that have been associated with protection from chronic
diseases such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and hypertension
as well as other medical conditions.
Hindu system of healing) use the leaves for ascites, pain, piles,
and tumours. Elsewhere, the leaves are used for cystitis, dysuria,
fever, and gonorrhoea. The cold infusion is said to restore the
appetite and strength.
Ewedu and weight loss
The green leaf has
been described as a source of weight loss. Serving ewedu without
meat or fish only has 97 calories. So, for those trying to lose some
weight, include ewedu in your diet.
Ewedu for pregnant women
This jute leaf has
been known to be a remedy for pregnant women experiencing prolonged
labour. When a pregnant woman is experiencing prolonged labour, a
bunch of ewedu leaves squeezed with the stem can be given to her to
drink. It has also been discovered to aid milk secretion in
Delhi eye bigger textile coop
Bangladesh and India will ink a deal on promoting
bilateral cooperation in the textiles sector.
The Indian High Commission in Dhaka on Friday said a
Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) would be signed during the visit
of Textiles and Jute Minister Abdul Latif Siddique to New Delhi on
Aug 19. He will be visiting on the invitation of his counterpart KS
Rao and the two would hold ‘extensive talks’ on issues involving the
textile and jute sectors. The MoU will provide cooperation in
fashion technology, skills exchange, and productivity enhancement.
It also aims to foster cooperation on techno-commercial
collaboration in development of textiles including upgrading and
enhancing production efficiency, management techniques, training,
research and development; cooperation and facilitation in
participation in trade exhibition and buyer-seller meet; making a
provision for supply of agreed quantum of jute and jute goods from
Bangladesh to India every year.
Jute and textiles contributed more than 50 percent of
Bangladesh’s exports of $ 563.96 million to India in the last
While the overall growth in Bangladesh exports to
India in the last fiscal has been 13.15 percent compared with
earlier fiscal, export of raw jute has grown by 17.5 percent to
$133.9 million from $ 113.9 million. In the same period, export of
jute goods has grown 6.7 percent to $ 78.2 million from $ 73.3
million. After the removal of duty and quota on readymade garment in
September 2011, Bangladesh exports of woven and knitwear RMG to
India had registered an increase of 53 percent in the 2011-12
fiscal. In the last fiscal, exports in this sector again grew by
Ribbon retting for rotting jute plants amid water scarcity stressed
MITHAPUKUR, Aug 2: Agriculture experts at a
discussion here recently stressed for using the low-cost ribbon
retting technology in rotting jute plants amid water scarcity to get
upgraded quality of the fibre with increased production.
They were addressing the discussion arranged on the
occasion of a farmers' field day on 'Extension of Ribbon Retting
Technology of Jute at Farmers' Levels' at Joyram Anwar village under
Pairaband union in Mithapukur upazila here.
Deputy Director of the Department of Agriculture
Extension (DAE) from Khamarbari in Dhaka Shamsul Bari attended and
addressed the discussion, organised by the Mithapukur Upazila DAE,
as the chief guest.
Mithapukur Upazila Agriculture Officer Dr Sarwarul Haque took part
as the main discussant and elaborately narrated the lowest cost
ribbon retting technology that helps the farmers rotting jute plants
easily and everywhere despite droughts of water scarcity.
The agriculture experts provided practical and
on-spot knowledge to over 200 farmers on ribbon retting technology
for separating jute fibre from harvested jute plants and rotting
those easily adopting the technology at their homesteads.
They also 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 the best
quality fibre with maximum yields and prices.
They said increasing multidimensional use of jute
products has been enhancing jute demand faster in the global markets
following adverse effects of synthetic fibre on environment ushering
a new hope for revival past glory of the golden fibre.
At the same time, they 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.
The News Today
First-ever jute commodity exchange starts operation from this month
Jasim Uddin Haroon
The first-ever jute
commodity exchange will start its operation on an experimental basis
in four districts from this month (August), sources familiar with
the exchange told the FE Saturday.
The districts are Madaripur, Rajbari, Pabna and Kurigram. There will
be five pilot projects in total.Earlier, the government approved the
establishment of a single-crop commodity exchange on a pilot
basis.This is the country's first move to float a commodity exchange
aimed at ensuring transparency and competitiveness in commodity
Group, along with Dubai-based Pride Group, the owning company of the
commodity exchange, will conduct the pilot projects."After piloting
this year, we expect to launch commercial operation of the commodity
exchange from the next season," Rahman Habib, chief investment
officer of the Deshbandhu Group, told the FE.
Bangladesh is the
world's largest jute exporting nation with more than US$ 1.0 billion
export receipts a year.Bangladesh produces 7.6 million bales (each
bale is equivalent to 180 kilogrammes) of jute. A consortium of
local and international investors will, however, expand its
commodity exchange for other commodities like main staple rice,
wheat, potato, corn and soybean in the agricultural sector and gold
and silver in the precious metal sector.
ensures transparency in the trading of crops. Jute & Hessian
Commodity Exchange in Kolkata is one of the oldest exchanges in the
region.The commodity exchange in Dhaka is to be called "Bangla
Mercantile Commodity Exchange or BMEx".
Meanwhile, jute goods
manufacturers said such type of exchange might help bring
transparency in the raw jute trading as middlemen take much of the
dividends of the crop.Chairman of Bangladesh Jute Mills Association
(BJMA) Najmul Huq told the FE: "A successful commodity exchange will
help ensure fair prices for the jute growers."
Mr Huq, also managing
director of Janata Jute Mills, said: "We want just a replica of
Kolkata jute exchange in the land as it is one of the oldest in the
region and a very successful one."He also said their cost of doing
business will fall as they now need much money in collecting raw
"Definitely, it will reduce our headache significantly," said Mr Huq
who represents the country's private sector jute mills. On the other
hand, Bangladesh Jute Mills Corporation (BJMC), the government organ
in procuring and manufacturing of jute goods, said there is little
scope for opening up new purchasing centres by the Deshbandhu Group
and its Dubai-based alliance.
BJMC Chairman Major
General Humayun Khaled said: "We've already established 170
purchasing centres across the country for this season." The jute
season lasts three months ending in October.However, Mr Habib of
Deshbandhu Group, said his company will join with the purchasing
centres. He said: "We've taken adequate preparation to run
operations on a pilot basis after Eid."Commodity exchanges enable
buyers and sellers to enter different contracts including spot,
future and forward deals.
The Financial Express
Regaining lost glory of the 'golden fibre'
Once called the 'golden fibre', jute has of late
shown great potential to regain its lost glory. Export of jute and
jute goods last year was a pointer to that fact. Bangladesh earned
over US$1.0 billion from jute exports in the last fiscal year (FY),
2012-13. This was for the second time in recent years the earning
from export of raw jute and jute goods reached the billion dollar
mark, the fiscal 2010-11 being the first occasion to achieve the
The reasons behind an increased demand for jute and
jute goods in foreign markets are not far to seek. Users in
importing countries are gradually abandoning the use of synthetic
bags and other materials in view of health hazards associated with
those. The world being aware of such hazards more than before is
increasingly setting its eyes on natural fibres like jute to replace
synthetic bags and such other goods of common use. Last year, jute
yarn exports fetched $506.74 million and jute sacks and bags $237.42
million, recording a robust growth of 28.16 per cent.
Now that the glorious era of jute is returning at a
fast pace, it is time for the government to devise ways and means to
promote jute production in the country once again. The jute farming
has already received a boost due to the increase in exports of jute
and jute goods, revival of closed jute mills, disbursement of
incentives and other steps taken by the government. However, more
incentives need to be extended to jute growers along with measures
to keep the export momentum going in the coming years so that
farmers stick to jute cultivation.
Fortunately, Bangladesh is hosting an international
jute research group that was earlier called International Jute
Organisation (IJO). The research group can show the country, the
world's largest producer of quality jute and jute goods, the
diversified uses of jute for exports and advise the government in
equipping the jute mills with machinery to manufacture jute products
that would readily find markets outside. This is vital as the demand
for raw jute has been declining abroad. There has been a 13 per cent
decrease in raw jute export last year over that of the previous
In some areas of
Bangladesh, jute cultivation through seedling transplantation has
yielded greater promise. The new process gives twice the yield
compared to the traditional method of sowing seeds. After
transplantation of jute seedlings, no further weeding is required
until the time of harvesting, whereas the usual process needs
weeding, at least, on three occasions that adds to the costs of jute
production. Impressed by the results of the new method, the farmers,
who had earlier given up jute cultivation in northern areas due to
its declining prices, have started showing renewed interest in its
cultivation. The transplantation process has already spread there.
This may be replicated in other jute growing areas of Bangladesh.
Jute has all the prospect of becoming a good foreign exchange earner
like apparels and there should be no laxity in promoting both
production and export of the golden fibre.
The Financial Express
Ailing jute sector needs special privileges
Official data shows jute production declined by
850,000 bales in the past two years
A worker poses while carrying raw Jute
The Jute Ministry has sought four special privileges
from the Finance Ministry to revive the country’s once golden fibre
industry rescuing it from severe financial crisis, said the
officials while talking about a recent letter yesterday.
Earlier, the officials informed that a letter was
sent on 17 July to the finance ministry seeking fund for the ailing
industry to repay its loans which had already been reported in the
Dhaka Tribune on July 15.
The officials now said there were actually four
privileges sought in the letter.
According to them, the privileges included extension
of loan repayment deadlines, low-rate funding for the entrepreneurs,
providing loans to the importers of jute industrial machineries and
“The growth of Bangladesh’s jute sector currently
relies on private entrepreneurs, but they are in trouble now,” Md
Asraful Mukbul, Jute Secretary, told the Dhaka Tribune. Finance
ministry will give those financial facilities to private jute sector
to stay in global competition, he pointed out.
Official data showed jute production declined by
850,000 bales in the past two years. Besides, there was 21% fall in
the export of jute goods in last fiscal year as the destination
countries were facing financial meltdown.
Bangladesh Jute Association figures showed the raw
jute exports during FY2012-2013 till March stood at 1.5m bales worth
Tk10.43bn. “The sooner the rescue efforts taken, the better for the
industry,” said Sabbir Yusuf Chowhury, ex-president of Bangladesh
He opined that a good decision could change jute
sector, one of the country’s oldest industries.
“Already, we have been affected by the country’s
political unrest while we are losing market in the EU and
Middle-Eastern countries. The government has to take decision
earlier,” commented Sabbir Yusuf Chowhury.
Earlier, the officials said the letter recommended
four things that included giving blocked account facilities to
private jute factories against bank loans and interests since July
30, 2011. The facilities include repayment of loans with the
interest rate at 8-10%.
Finance Minister is to decide on the privileges
sought, said sources.
Such A Jute!
Forgotten foods, smells and tastes resuscitated
What does nostalgia taste like? Does it come on in a
rush, or linger gently? In a country so utterly deep-fried in
culinary folklore and history, but also avidly sampling a global
catalogue of tastes, the answers can be piquant and many. One set
comes from First Food, an initiative of the Delhi-based Centre of
Science and Environment. Putting neglected culinary secrets back on
the map, the engaging, 168-page book stirs memories of piping hot
jute pakoras and other leaf preparations of a Bengal before
partition, of the fermented kanji vada evoking images of Holi
festivities in northern parts of India, and among other delights, of
the simple yet rarely found dishes made using tender bhang leaves.
“As we find ourselves surrounded with a junk food
culture, we stand to lose our local culinary traditions,” says CSE
director-general Sunita Narain. First Food attempts to swim against
that tide. Riding on anecdotes of travels through India’s food-rich
interiors sampling local cuisine, the recipe-laden pages return to
old-time pantry gems like makhana or fox nut, that lotus seed known
to heal cardiovascular disease and post-delivery pain; the mahua
flower, rich in minerals; or the karanda, a whole fruity reservoir
of vitamins. The recipes and anecdotes come from most regions of
India, and the dishes are divided neatly under subheads such as
‘Breakfast and Snacks’, ‘Meals’, ‘Chutneys and Pickles’, ‘Sweets’
and so on, detailing related ancient wisdom and folklore that would
interest foodies, young and old. “The idea of putting together this
book,” notes co-author and Down to Earth science editor Vibha
Varshney, “is not just to bring back to the fore lost traditions but
also to pass it on to the next generation.” First Food draws from
the various articles published in CSE’s magazine Down to Earth over
more than a decade, and written by over 40 contributors.
In one of the most intriguing sections of the book,
Sharmila Sinha, who teaches at the Anil Agarwal Green College in
Delhi, recounts her run-ins with bhang on her visits to Varanasi and
the hills. “The use and abuse of hemp in several civilisations has
been recorded from time immemorial; so have been its several
therapeutic properties. I discovered some four years ago during a
field trip with students to villages in the Shivaliks, the Himalayan
foothills. The Van Gujjar communities there told us that smoking a
joint just before delivery eases pain. The paste of fresh bhang
leaves is also used to dress wounds and cure sores; its juice is
applied to cure lice infestation and dandruff.”
On another page, contributor Shyamal Banerjee’s piece
on jute pakoras is a call to rom≠ance: “As the finely chopped jute (Corchorus
capsualris) goes tender on the iron wok and the leaves lose some of
their glueyness, a wild aroma fills the kitchen, smelling of the hot
humid earth of the Gangetic delta, where jute grew in abundance. A
dash of mustard kasundi on the cooked leaves is likely to conjure up
images of the little mound of steamy white rice with the cooked jute
leaves neatly placed beside it on a big brass thaal (platter). The
bright yellow chutney of crushed mustard adds just the right punch
to let the flavours play on the palate for a while before they
invade the sen≠ses. The fibre in the leaves ensures there is no
constipation caused by all the overindulgence.”
“As the junk food culture surrounds
us, we stand to lose our local culinary tradition.”—Sunita
Back in his own kitchen, chef Manish Mehrotra, who
often infuses his menus with dashes of karanda, chaulai, makhana at
his fusion restaurant Indian Accent in Delhi, is quite smitten with
the idea of nostalgia marrying modern elements of cooking. “I’m
exc≠ited about what a book like First Food could do to help revive
old ways of cooking. While sourcing some of the ingredients could be
tricky, depending on which region you are based in, as a community
we should look at reinventing traditional fare and including it in
our daily lives.” His peer chef Rajiv Mal≠hotra has already begun
work on a menu for the eateries at the Habitat Centre in Delhi,
which will be promoting dishes from First Food in the coming month.
“I was so happy to see a recipe for Bajra kheer in the book—we had
become so used to feeding bajra only to the pigeons!” he chuckles.
Malhotra has stocked his pantry with bajra, sattu, drumsticks,
chaulai ka saag, and awaits the arrival of karanda, gongura, fresh
bamboo shoot to get down to cooking and sampling and working out the
finer details of the programme.
Could such initiatives presage a larger movement for
homegrown food practices? Not until they find a way into our
economic growth model, believes Devinder Sharma, agriculture and
food policy analyst, and a First Food contributor. “There is a kind
of assault on traditional food habits currently,” he observes.
“While the government of America is trying to drive away processed
junk food chains that are leading to obesity, in India we are
welcoming them with open arms. Till traditional and local
ingredients are swept into a viable industry, it cannot become a
movement. Cooking shows have done their bit to popularise
traditional dishes but then that’s a very niche market.” Sinha,
meanwhile, raises the vital question of our quickly changing
sociology, so intrinsically related to what we eat. “There are
dichotomies in how we approach indigenous practices,” she says.
“Take bhang, for example. It’s banned despite its benefits in
age-old practices like adding it to the feed of cattle to increase
lactation, but bhang is permitted to be used to make hemp fibre that
becomes your Levi’s jeans!”
Food also means an ecological niche. Sinha says,
“When we wonder why there isn’t all that much makhana in the market,
we need to wonder what happened to all our lakes, which is where it
grows,” she says. “There have to be policies and incentives to
encourage the production of ingredients that contribute to
biodiversity,” adds Sharma. Indeed, one of the issues a serious food
enthusiast may have with the book is that a chunk of the ingredients
may be difficult to source, dep≠ending on where you live. Says
Narain, who plans to take the initiative across the country through
food promotions and stirring debates on how biodiversity shows on
our plates: “There needs to be a mechanism by which we can source
these ingredients locally. You can’t protect anything in the wild
till you make it a part of your lifestyle. Urban Indians do
appreciate good food—we just need to value what we eat and make
links between now and what we ate in the past, and make it a part of
our diet, our tab≠les, our kitchens.” The future then lies in a
return to the repasts of the past.
Ghillie Jute String improves your Camouflage
When deciding to build a Ghillie suit, the
traditional Jute is no longer your only option. The Ultra-Light
Synthetic Ghillie string is another option and offers many benefits
over the traditional material.
(Newswire.net -- July 31, 2013) Lynden, WA
--Traditional jute string and burlap strips have been used for many
years as the default material to tie onto your netting when building
your Ghillie. Jute string is a good choice but also comes with some
It has a high flammability rating requiring you to
apply fire retardant. This can result in a strong chemical smell
that you may find unbearable. A quick search on flame retardants can
reveal a lot about their chemical nature and the effects it can have
Synthetic Ghillie String does not require flame retardant. Being
naturally flame resistant it is virtually scentless and also non
allergenic.The waterproof qualities of the synthetic
Ghillie Jute string help keep you from becoming waterlogged when
hunting or playing in heavy rain.
Jute is also heavy. A full coverage suit can weight 8 to 10 pounds.
Half a pound of Synthetic String equals 1.3 pounds of Jute in
volume. This means the weight of your Ghillie suit is cut by more
than half!The effectiveness of a
Ghillie suit is increased by the addition of local vegetation.
When building the suit you are matching the general area you will
use the suit in.
Upon arrival at your hunting or scenario gaming area
you should fine tune the camouflage pattern by adding some local
vegetation. This will add weight to the suit, but you will find out
how important this step is in achieving the best camouflage. A light
weight suit helps you stay cooler in the heat of summer. The
increased mobility will also improve your game.
to Miles Tactical for more information on
Ghillie Suit Supplies.
Tk 5.0b SoB credit for jute mills this week
mills will get Tk 5.0 billion in cash credit this week from four
state-owned commercial banks (SoBs) to buy raw materials for the
current fiscal year and meet other needs, sources said..
The Sonali Bank and the Janata Bank will provide Tk 1.5 billion each
while Agrani Bank and Rupali Bank will provide Tk 1.0 billion each
to the mills run by the Bangladesh Jute Mills Corporation (BJMC),
they added. The BJMC will repay all its debts to the banks on
receipt of Tk 10 billion from the Ministry of Finance which is
expected to be released by August next.
Besides, steps will be
taken to make available Tk 5.0 billion from the central bank's
refinance scheme in favour of the SoBs to help the jute mills repay
their debts. Sources said Jute and Textile Minister Abdul Latif
Siddiqui in a meeting in the conference room of his ministry last
week said the jute procurement season already started but the mills
had no fund to spend for the purpose.So, it won't be possible for
the state-run mills to buy jute, unless the banks provide necessary
funds, he said.
Mr Siddiqui informed
the meeting that Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina assured him of
repaying all the dues of the jute mills to the banks by the end of
August. Jute and Textile secretary Ashraful Moqbul said apart from
buying jute for the current fiscal, Tk 1.5 billion is needed to
settle dues under the third phase of implementing the pay
commission's recommendations in the BJMC-run mills. Besides, he
said, fund is necessary to pay workers due wages and bonuses before
BJMC officials sought
Tk 16.10 billion in cash credit for the jute mills. After threadbare
discussion, bank officials agreed to pay Tk 5.0 billion at the
request of the minister. The state-run jute mills earned Tk 13.63
billion by exporting jute goods in the just-concluded fiscal year
(FY) against Tk 10.84 billion in FY 2011-12 and Tk 9.38 billion in
Mr Moqbul told the FE
Tuesday that the fund had been arranged from the banks to meet the
immediate needs. "Process has already started to release the money
in favour of the jute mills." He said, out of 27 state-owned jute
mills, 26 are in operation, fully or partially. The remaining Monwar
Jute Mills is under the process of starting operation as a paper and
pulp mill. "We have asked the BJMC to take necessary steps for
reopening the mill immediately," he added.
Jute industry likely to lose Rs 1,000 cr on demand fall
Govt which purchases jute bags at an average price of
Rs 52,000 a tonne, has reduced demand
jute industry fears losing about Rs 1,000 crore due to a drastic
cut in the
demand for its bags this kharif season. According to industry
sources, state food procurement agencies are backing out of
commitments, leading to the government curtailing the projected
demand. The stand of food procuring agencies follows alleged
irregular supplies, high costs and the poor quality of jute bags.
Every year, the Food Corporation of India procures 35-40 per cent of
jute bags production (0.8 million tonnes, or mt) on behalf of states
such as Punjab, Haryana, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar
Pradesh, Odisha and Bihar. The industry's installed capacity is
about 1.5 mt. Though 75 per cent of jute mills are located in West
Bengal, the state doesn't have a policy to procure jute bags. Indian
Jute Mills Association (Ijma) Chairman Raghav Gupta wasn’t
immediately available for comment.
Sanjay Kajaria, managing director, Hastings Jute
Mill, and former Ijma chairman said, “The cut in demand is bound to
hit the industry. In fact, the impact is already visible in prices,
which have dropped 13.46 per cent---from Rs 52,000 a tonne to Rs
45,000 a tonne. Also, hessian (or gunny cloth) prices have fallen
7.69 per cent, from Rs 65,000 to Rs 60,000 a tonne. It seems the
government has no sympathy for jute bag manufacturers.”
The fall in demand is also expected to lead to
production cuts and job losses. About 4,00,000 industrial workers
are engaged in jute mills. An estimated 9.5-10 million bales (a bale
is 180 kg) of raw jute are expected to be produced this year. The
sector is already burdened with a stock pile of 2.7 million bales.
The industry apprehends most mandatory jute packaging
orders would be trimmed, resulting in further losses. Last year,
orders were cut 10 per cent for foodgrain and 60 per cent for sugar,
in favour of plastic bags. This year, the fall is expected to be 10
per cent and 80 per cent for foodgrain and sugar, respectively. The
jute/fibre policy of 2011 has recommended phasing out the mandatory
jute packaging order---Jute Packaging Materials Act, 1987---by the
14th five-year Plan. According to the Act, it is compulsory for
state procurement agencies to pack sugar and foodgrain in jute bags.
Jute' em up!
ESPADRILLES are to loafers what Uggs are to boots. These canvas
shoes with a jute sole ‚€” once merely a Spanish
peasant shoe ‚€” has become the footwear of choice for
celebrities. For the past few years, this style of shoes has been
making its presence felt.
Popstar Beyonce uploaded pics of her striped espadrille sneakers
while holidaying with husband
Cuba. Her shoes were from New York-based shoe designer Tabitha
Jute soles are what distinguish these shoes from other footwear.
Usually flat, some espadrilles are now available in wedges and
heels, and sport colourful fronts. Owing to their popularity at
street stores and designer boutiques, espadrilles come in many
styles such as open-toe, back-open, slip-ons, with tie-up laces or
as gladiator sandals. Stylist Pernia Qureshi says that espadrilles
are gaining popularity because they are casual and comfy. "These
shoes pair perfectly with shorts, dresses, denims and almost
anything casual," she says. She recommends
women pair wedge espadrilles with a loose-fitting top, cotton
shorts and a big tote.
Image consultant Yatan Ahluwalia says that with lighter hues ruling
men's fashion this season, espadrilles can be used to add colour to
men's attire. "Textured, coloured or striped espadrilles are
suitable to get a laidback leisure look," he advises. Bright numbers
are best sported with an all-white or muted ensemble. Slip-on and
flat espadrilles best suit men.
Times of India
Small venture, huge impact
Shahidul Islam, Brahmanbaria
Brahmanbaria Rupali Kutir Shilpo, a small cottege industry
enterprise, started by Aklima Akter Shiuly in 2005, has slowly
become a source of living for dozens of poor, jobless women and
Akter Shiuly, managing director of Rupali Kutir Shilpo, showing
carpets made by her enterprise.
Each of them now earn between Tk 2,000 and Tk 5,000 a month by
making a variety of mostly jute-based products such as carpets,
travel bags and buttons, which have attracted attention of both
local and foreign buyers.
the girls in Alkima’s workforce were ditched by the society as they
previously worked as prostitutes but later choose to return to
normal, respectable life.
items made by the business house on display. The products Rupali
Kutir Shilpo makes include jute carpets, woollen carpets, cotton
carpets, travel bags, jute buttons, cotton buttons, floor mats,
wall-mats, showpieces, flower vases, lamp stands, diary covers, and
Rupali Kutir Shilpo offered them work and hopes for a descent
The products they make include jute carpet, woolen carpet, cotton
carpet, travel bag, jute button, cotton button, yarn button, floor
mat, wall-mat, showpiece, flower vase, lamp post, diary cover, and
the managing director of Rupali Kutir Shiplpo, said jute carpets are
sold at Tk 200 to 50,000 a piece, Jute beg sold at Tk 50 to 400.
Such products have strong demand in the Middle East, United Arab
Emirates and India.
cotton and yarn buttons are specially made for “jubba,” a flowing
long robe used by most Muslims in Saudi Arabia and other desert
buyers do not come to shop at the Rupali Kutir in the Brahmanbaria
town directly. They have agents in this country who buy and supply
to the foreign customers.
Aklima said her enterprise could not meet growing demands for its
products due to lack of manpower and fund.
said she actually started the venture back in 2000 using her sewing
and painting skills learnt from her mother. Later she took trainings
at the Bangladesh Academy for Rural Development (BARD), an
autonomous national institution for training, research and
experiment on rural development, and also from some NGOs.
she officially opened Brahmanbaria Rupali Kutir Shilpo aiming to
produce jute based products and give a platform to jobless rural
women and socially ostracized girls.
Now 40 women and girls work in the small enterprise.
Private jute mills creating job opportunities in Bogra
Hasibur Rahman Bilu
About 50,000 jobs created in the last eight years:
Private-sector jute mills in Bogra, which saw
significant expansion in the last few years, have started offering
plenty of job opportunities for the unemployed people of the
district. Most of these mills are using second-hand machines bought
either from the country’s now-defunct jute factories or from India.
They produce various kinds of jute products and
accessories, including sacks and yarn, and sell them at local and
According to an estimate of Bangladesh Jute Miles
Corporation (BJMC), at least 50 jute miles were established in 16
northern districts, including Bogra, in the last few years – with
the investment totalling Tk10b. About 50,000 jobs were created in
the region’s private jute sector in the last eight years, a BJMC
Md Fazlur Rahman Paiker, managing director of Paiker
Jute Milles Limited, which was established in 2011, said he invested
Tk500m in his venture and created more than 700 jobs.
As well as producing for local consumers, he said his
company is now producing jute products for international consumers
in Europe and the Middle East. Most of his employees, he said, are
Nahida Begum, who has a family to care for, said, “I
was looking for a way to increase our family’s income and came to
learn of this job opening at Paiker’s mill one day. So I joined and
my monthly income is now Tk5,000.”
Another woman working at the mill, Reshman Khatun
said she is happy to be able to work at a place close to her home
and contribute to her family’s income.
Ranu Begum, who used to be a domestic helper, said,
“I used to earn only Tk300 every month as a domestic maid. Then I
joined a jute factory and started earning Tk5,000 a month.”
Sources said, the average monthly pay for workers in
these jute mills ranges from under Tk4,000 to Tk5,000.
However, it is not all roses for the entrepreneurs
coming in the sector these days and especially for those competing
on an international level.
Paiker said, “I started to expand my operation a few
months ago to meet the demand of my foreign buyers, especially those
in the Middle East countries. But the business has somewhat
slackened lately, because of the unrest in the Middle East and other
“If this situation continues, I may soon have to
temporarily stop operation for foreign buyers,” he said.
Like Paiker’s mills, Hasan Jute Miles Limited,
another jute-processing company, also expanded its operations to
cater to international markets and is producing export-quality
products. It uses second-hand machines bought at cheaper rates from
different jute mills in Bangladesh and India. The factory boasts of
having created more than 1500 jobs, mostly for women, in the last
two and a half years.
ATM Shafiquil Hasan Jewel, managing director of the
mill, said he had embarked on a business expansion project with an
investment of Tk150m. Prior to that, he said, he had invested Tk260m
in the jute mile. “It is our expectation that we will be able to
create another 800 jobs once we are fully into the business.”
Exploring new markets to achieve export target
The government set last week the export target at
$30.5 billion for the current fiscal year 2013-14, projecting a
12.84 per cent growth over the last fiscal. The target was fixed
against the backdrop of the latest situation in international market
and several accidents at garment factories such as Rana Plaza
collapse that killed more than 1,100 workers resulting in the
suspension of Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) by the United
The ongoing political crisis and infrastructure
shortage in the country and recession in the European Union (EU)
also contributed to such lower growth target. The industry is also
facing several problems including insufficient infrastructure,
shortage of power and prolonged political unrest.
The government had set export target at $28 billion - more than 15
per cent growth for FY 2012-13 - but at the end of the year the
country's export earnings fell $1.0 billion short of the target
standing at $27.01 billion with 11.22 per cent growth.
Though there are some challenges like probable
appreciation of taka against the US dollar and slow recovery process
of EU economy, the target is achievable, according to what some
financial analysts opine. They say woven and knitwear exports will
continue to do well in the year. But the country needs to give more
emphasis to diversification in products and markets in the year to
boost the export growth, they said.
It appears that the government has set the export
target this year keeping in view the export trend experienced in the
past fiscal year and also possible political unrest in the country
as well as global recession. It has emphasise on apparel products
which account for about 80 per cent of the country's export
earnings, agricultural products, leather and leather products, jute
and jute products and shrimp export to achieve the target. The
government is also encouraging exporters from other sectors to take
pro-active initiative to boost export of their products. It hopes
that the growth would continue to increase in the current fiscal
year in line with the gradual growth of export earnings in the last
Meantime, leaders of different exporters'
associations have demanded immediate development of communication
infrastructure, increased supply of gas and power, improvement of
port facilities and removal of setbacks exporters are facing in
exports to different countries.
All the major export products, including top export items like woven
and knitwear products, have been projected to grow. The ministry set
a target to earn $12.57 billion with 13.87 per cent growth from
woven garment export, $11.58 billion with 10.50 per cent growth from
knitwear, $1.16 billion with 12.89 per cent growth from jute and
jute goods, $831.10 million with 5.0 per cent growth from home
textiles, $545.12 million with 30 per cent growth from footwear,
$578.77 million with 6.42 per cent growth from frozen foods, $643.78
million with 20.17 per cent growth from agricultural products,
$407.11 million with 10.79 per cent growth from engineering products
and $132.21 million with 6.17 per cent growth from specialised
textiles products export.
The Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) has undertaken a plan to promote
the country's new potential items abroad besides major export items
including readymade garments (RMG), jute, shrimp and leather. But
the country's export basket is risky as a few items are dominating
Bangladesh's entire export. Some potential products have been
identified to promote abroad to widen the export basket. Such
potential products are printing and packaging, furniture,
electronics, shipbuilding, plastic and light engineering. The EPB
will soon send trade representatives to Latin America, Africa,
Russia and two or three countries in South Asia to explore markets
A stable shipbuilding industry can help maintain
export growth. Shipbuilding can be a good alternative to any
industry including garments because it has a link with backward
linkage industry that can create extra market if nurtured properly.
Shipbuilding industry can always be a dependable industrial sector.
It is good to see that the country's one of the
largest electronic manufacturing plants, Walton, has exported its
electronic goods to 17 countries including the UAE, Qatar, Kuwait,
Saudi Arabia, South Sudan, North Sudan, Tanzania, Myanmar and Iran.
There is also a huge market for local auto parts. Bangladesh can
earn a large amount of foreign exchange by exporting such goods. In
fact, the EPB should go for research-based promotion in offshore
market to explore more export destinations for country's potential
exportables. At present, the EPB is working with the Bangladesh
Industrial Technical Assistance Centre (BITAC) to upgrade our
products' standard up to the international level.
Country's export to comparatively slow and new
markets achieved a significant growth in the just-concluded fiscal
year thanks to cash incentive and other proactive initiatives of the
government. The countries where exports from Bangladesh are
comparatively poor, ranging between US$ 0.1 million to ess $ 30
million, are considered new or slow destinations. During the last
FY, export to those destinations grew up to 193 per cent whereas the
overall export fell by 3.51 per cent against target.
There are ample opportunities in the comparatively
new markets but for lack of proper knowledge and efforts both from
the local businesses and the government, these have so far remained
undiscovered. It has been found that the importers of African,
Russian and some other countries are eager to import items like RMG,
leather products and jute goods from Bangladesh.
It is expected that the country's exports would further be broadened
to the African and Russian territories if the government allows the
same cash incentive to such items as RMG. Besides the African and
Russian countries, some Asian and Middle Eastern nations are also
prospective destinations for local exports where the government's
effort is badly needed. - See more at:
The Financial Express
Desi fibre making noise
Jute, the eco-friendly fibre has become a fashion
statement. Take a look at jute products made in Madurai and sold
Some of the jute
products made in Madurai. Photo: A. Shrikumar
Bundles of jute,
half-a-dozen tailoring machines with women working on them and
mounds of finished jute products make Janaki’s modest house in Surya
Nagar look like a mini factory on the inside. She proudly calls it a
‘unit’ where jute bags, mats and pillows are made in express speed
and expert designs. Selvi, an employee, sits in a corner silently
cutting the fabric into pieces for making handbags. “This job has
given me self-esteem, regular income and a livelihood,” she says and
is happy that her bags and pouches are reaching overseas customers.
In over 15 such ‘home
units’ in and around Madurai, a silent eco-friendly revolution is
brewing where women have taken a resort in jute against plastics and
polythene. While some export the products through dealers, others
promote the use of the fibre among their neighbourhood and friends.
But each is making a difference. Two years ago Janaki started with a
single machine and two people. Now she supplies to a couple of
dealers regularly besides the individual orders. Bulk requirements
take three weeks to complete while the smaller items go out in a day
or two. The raw material is fetched from Bangalore and Kolkata every
Janaki says her
‘thamboola pais’ and album bags are a hit. Wall hangings,
embroidered surukku pais, cell phone pouches and yoga accessories
are the other items she makes.
“The market for jute
made yoga accessories in Europe and America is booming,” says Ganesh
from Dwarak Exports. “Jute is seen as a symbol of India in foreign
countries and our bags have become a style statement there,” he
Yoga pillows, mats,
rugs and bags are the items exported. “People like Indian ethnic
prints such as the ‘Om’ and ‘mantras’ or ‘kolams’ on the yoga bags.
Animal and flower print on beach bags is the current trend,” he
Ganesh rues the lack
of awareness and acceptance of jute in the domestic market. “Though
jute is the lone eco-friendly, recyclable and versatile replacement
to plastic, it’s not picked by many as it is expensive. It will take
time for people to embrace jute as a day-to-day utility product,” he
Ganesh sources his
orders from five different units and exports them to Netherlands and
Dubai. “The demand is increasing. We are currently working on making
jute products completely eco-friendly by using natural dyes and
Bags made in jute are
big time favourites among all classes of people. Coming in all
sizes, shapes and colours, it has become a craze among young and old
women. Shopping bags, beach bags, wine bags, handbags, purses and
pouches are the fast moving items.
“It’s difficult to
sell jute products at a cheaper rate as the process is labour
intensive and incurs a lot of fibre wastage. To it add the
transportation cost,” says Manjula, who started the jute business
with her friend Gayatri. Both work from their drawing room at
Andalpuram and supply exclusive products to individuals. Flower
vases, photo frames, vanity kits and wall hangings are their
specialities. “We also make hand-made eco-friendly wooden jewellery
and give them along with the jute items to promote the fabric,” says
For people like
Gayatri who promote the product within the known circles, jute is
not a year-round business. “The demand is seasonal. Orders are more
during Christmas, marriage season and festivals when people give
gifts,” says Gayatri. Exhibitions conducted by trade unions are the
other avenues where these women sell the jute goods.
There is no dearth of
innovation and design. Sudha John of Annai Women’s Self Help Group,
an 18-member team that runs a jute unit at Bethaniapuram, says,
“Four years back, we started with a few orders of surukku pais to be
given during Kolu festival. We tried new things like milk bags to be
hung on gates, door mats and grocery bags.” “Jute made lunch boxes
and pencil pouches are a hit among the area’s kids. We plan to open
a boutique soon,” beams Sudha.
Uma who runs a
full-fledged manufacturing place at Chokkalinga Nagar, says, “One of
our major innovations was jewellery pouches with cotton lining.
Today, we supply to many leading jewellery brands in southern
districts.” The unit employs 10 women and delivers up to 100 bags
per day. Stationeries like files, folders, pen stands and laptop
nags are also supplied to corporate and colleges in Coimbatore,
Tirunelveli, Tuticorin, Sivakasi, Chennai and Nagercoil. “We
recently erected a jute hoarding for a wedding in Salem. We are
working on expanding such possibilities,” says Uma.
Jute is obtained from
Corchorus plant that is found in abundance in West Bengal, Assam and
parts of Andhra Pradesh. Raw jute costs Rs. 45 per meter and the
coloured varieties may range from Rs. 80 to Rs. 150 per meter.
Finished products are sold at a profit of 25 to 30 per cent.
The fabric is cut in
required shapes and sizes and is stitched on machines using thicker
cotton threads. Blends like jute cotton and jute canvas are also
used for bags and pouches.
Logos, patterns and
designs are mostly screen-printed and rarely hand-painted with
chemical dyes or natural colours. Embroidery, patch work and stone
embellishments are also being done on jute products. In Madurai,
jute making units are spread over Thirumangalam, Narimedu,
Andalpuram, Kadachanendal, Kalavasal and Kochadai.
Jute products, eco-friendly
Export target set at $30.5bn for FY14
Political unrest, pre-election violence, shrinking
global demand are the challenges
The government has set
an export target of US$30.5bn for the current financial year
(2013-14), giving focus on the traditional export items. The
estimate is 12.84% higher than previous fiscal’s target of $28bn or
13% over the previous fiscals export earnings of $27bn.
Priority has been
given to readymade garment, woven, knitwear, leather, agricultural
products, shrimp, jute and jute-goods in achieving export target for
the current fiscal.
The export target was
fixed at a meeting at the Ministry of Commerce on Wednesday, with
the secretary in the chair. Representative from Bangladesh Bank,
National Board of Revenue, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, BASIS, EPB,
BGMEA, BKMEA and Ministry of Livestock were present.
Participants at the
meeting stressed on infrastructural development with increased port
facilities, training for woven and knitwear workers, removing
constraints in shrimp culture, continuation of incentives to enhance
In the last fiscal
year, Bangladesh’s exports rose by 11% to more than $27bn, despite
political upheaval, labour unrests and global economic slowdown.
However, it fell 3.5%
short of the target set for fiscal year 2012-13 ended on June 30,
according to latest data of Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) of
The growth of the
fiscal year was driven by woven garments that surged 14.96% to over
$11bn and knitwear garment exports 10.43% to over $10bn.
For the current fiscal
year, the export growth for knitwear estimated at 15.5%, woven
garments13.87%, frozen foods at 6.42%, shrimps at 5%, agriculture
products 20.17%, manufactured commodities at12.83%, leather at 15%,
leather products at 30%, jute and jute products at 12.89%, footwear
25%, ships, boats, and floating structures at 10%, and home textile
“The government has
set the export target for the current fiscal through consultation
with all the stakeholders. The target is achievable,” Commerce
Secretary Mahbub Ahmed told the Dhaka Tribune. “We took the decision
considering our last five years of experience on export growth.” He
said the export growth is on the rise and the trend will continue
also in the current fiscal.
Md Amin Ullah,
president of Bangladesh Frozen Food Exporters Association (BFFEA),
said the target is quite achievable as it adds a few compared to the
He stressed the need
for strict monitoring along the border to stop smuggling of hilsa
fish to achieve the export target and urged the government not to
withdraw 2.5% cash incentives from shrimp sector. He also urged the
government to allow restarting export of frozen hilsa fish.
“Political unrests and
frequent hartals are great threat in the way of achieving 12.84%
export growth,” said SM Mannan Kochi, second vice president of
Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA).
He urged the government as well as all political parties to shun
violent politics for the sake of the country’s development.
“The export target is
attainable, if the government extends hands to cooperate in
relocating tanneries and to set up effluent treatment plant,” said
Belal Hossain, chairman of Bangladesh Finished Leather, Leather
Goods and Footwear Exporters’ Association.
“12.84% export growth
target is not much to attain, but we have to keep in mind that this
year will be more volatile because it is the last year of this
government,” said Abdus Salam Murshedy, president of Exporters
Association of Bangladesh.
“The big challenge for
us is to ensure compliance in all sectors, including workers safety
as we are on pressure from international buyers and rights
organisations,” he added. He also emphasised on proper
implementation of the policy supports taken by the government.
Tk 6714.66 cr earned thru exporting raw jute, jute goods in
2011-2012: Jute Minister
DHAKA: Textiles and Jute Minister Abdul Latif
Siddiqui on Tuesday said in Parliament that Bangladesh earned Tk
1906.76 crore exporting raw jutes while Tk 4569.42 crore through
exporting jute products to 69 countries of the world in 2010-2011
“The countries are UAE, Albania, Argentina,
Australia, Benin, Brazil, Belarus, Canada, Switzerland, China,
France, UK, Italy, Japan, Indonesia, Poland, Pakistan, Thailand and
Russia,’ he said this while responding to a tabled question of
lawmaker M Shahriar Alam (Rajshahi-6).
Siddiqui also said the country produced around 7 lakh metric tonnes
of jute products and the products were exported to 105 countries in
the same fiscal year.
Responding to another question of lawmaker Begum Nilufar Chowdhury
Moni (Women Seat-37), Latif Siddiqui said Bangladesh earned Tk
1540.66 crore through exporting raw jute while Tk 5174 crore by
exporting jute products in 2011-2012 fiscal year putting the total
jute exports to Tk 6714.66 crore.
Jute finds a special place in ‘Cotton and Silk mela’
and coir normally bring fancy handbags, wall hangings and artefacts
to mind, but there seems to be more to it now.
‘Cotton and Silk Mela 2013’, currently on at Sri Thyagaraja Mandapam
in Tirupati under the aegis of Lepakshi, the flagship brand of
Andhra Pradesh Handicrafts Development Corporation Limited, is
witness to the rising number of takers for impressive and
eye-catching products made of jute.
garments intricately woven with jute thread and fibre have turned
out to be the highlight at the mela. Shirts, kurtis and tops of
vivid hues have vibrant designs with bountiful use of jute fibre.
have participated in such expos in Tirupati in the past, but the
response is quite good this time,” says Rathindra Nath Biswas of
Nakshi Pat Kendra, which has its lone production centre in Nimta,
Kolkata. The patronage down south is however not quite encouraging,
compared to north and east, he avers. “Jute was never considered an
option in clothing in the past, but the taste of consumers is
changing slowly,” admitted K. Vani, a visitor who bought a couple of
kurtis for her daughter.
Similarly, the sofa set and ‘diwan’ covers woven with jute thread,
sell in encouraging numbers at the neighbouring stall. Nadeem Khan
from Panipat (Haryana), a first timer at the Lepakshi expo, said
that sofa set covers made of jute were selling in equal numbers as
the regular ones.
expo closes on July 21 (Sunday).
Private jute industry may get funding
fund is required for private jute factories to reduce burden of bank
loans from them'
government is planning to pump funds into the country’s ailing jute
industry in private sector, said official sources.
of a Jute mill are continuing their regular job
recent letter to finance minister, Jute Minister Abdul Latif
Siddique wrote: “Adequate fund is required for private jute
factories to reduce burden of bank loans from them.” The letter
placed five recommendations in this regard.
Minister indicated the fact that 30m people are directly and
indirectly involved with the sector which critically demands
letter recommends the government giving blocked account facilities
to private jute factories against bank loans and interests since
July 30, 2011. The facilities include pre-payment of loans with the
interest rate at 8-10%.
recommendations, the government will also provide 30% grant to
purchase machineries from aboard. The Indian government, too, has
arranged such facilities for jute industry in private sector, said
letter recommends Bangladesh Bank provide Tk0.50 incentive against
each dollar earning from the export of jute products while
commercial banks will give current capital at 7% interest.
Ministry’s letter mentions total principle amount of loan stood at
over Tk10bn taken from different commercial banks. The ministry
urged government to block the loan accounts for 30 months and set
payment period at 10 years.
Official data show export earnings from jute products dropped to
$283m in fiscal 2008-09 from $318m in previous year. The 2006
earning from jute exports was around $321m while the just concluded
fiscal year also witnessed a 21% decline in export of jute goods
exports as the destination countries were going financial meltdown.
Carry-over stocks, low demand may put pressure on raw jute prices
An estimated five-seven per cent rise in raw jute
production; higher carry-over stocks and an anticipated drop in
demand for sacking from sugar and food grain industry, is likely to
exert pressure on raw jute prices this year. Raw jute prices (TD5
variety) have dropped by nearly 13 per cent in the last three
months. Prices are hovering around Rs 2,700-2,800 a quintal
currently, down from Rs 3,200 in April. According to Raghav Gupta,
Chairman of Indian Jute Mills’ Association, sowing was down by 5-10
per cent this year in most parts of North and South Bengal and
South Bengal districts of Murshidabad and Nadia
together account for almost 60 per cent of the country’s total jute
production. “Despite a lower sowing, production is estimated to be
5-7 per cent higher this year on account of a better yield aided by
good weather conditions and rains,” Gupta told Business Line. Area
under jute cultivation was also down by 11 per cent to eight lakh
hectares this year. Raw jute cultivation typically happens on an
area of about nine lakh hectare and Bengal accounts for almost 67
per cent of the total area under cultivation.
The carry-over stock is close to 27 lakh bales this
year. The high carry-over stocks was primarily due to sluggish
demand and poor procurement by food grains industry during the rabi
season (mid November to April), Gupta said. The likelihood of a
further dilution in the mandatory Jute Packaging Materials Act (JPMA)
of 1987 for packing food grain and sugar might further suppress the
JPMA provides for mandatory use of jute bags for
packaging of food grain and sugar up to 100 per cent by the
Government procurement agencies. The Cabinet Committee on Economic
Affairs had allowed for 60 per cent and 10 per cent dilution in the
JPMA for packing sugar and food grain respectively in 2012-13.
The industry produces nearly 16-18 lakh tonnes of
jute bags and clothes annually. Of this, about 35-40 per cent is
purchased by the Food Ministry on behalf of different State food
procuring agencies and the Food Corporation of India. According to
industry insiders the Cabinet might approve further dilution in JPMA
to the extent of 20-30 per cent for food grains and up to 80 per
cent for sugar.
“We are yet to get information on this (dilution) but
a further dilution looks most likely this year,” Gupta said.
Carry-over stocks, low
jute prices, lower
The Business Line
Jute sacks for packaging food products
use of jute sacks for packing, especially food grains, has for long
been viewed as a critically important matter for a variety of
reasons. In the wake of the global hype on the use of environment
friendly, biodegradable natural materials in as much areas as
possible, it was highly likely that Bangladesh, being the producer
of world's finest variety of natural fibre -- jute, would make the
best use of it to draw benefits in tangible economic terms.
Unfortunate as it is, this has not happened so far mainly because of
stray efforts. The government had framed a law on the use of jute
sacks in 2010, but in the absence of rules to be followed, it was
largely ignored. Lately, however, a set of rules for implementation
of the law has been formulated which, among others, seeks to ensure
use of jute sacks in packaging food grains. The initiative meant to
be strictly complied with, will no doubt go beyond environmental
security. Observers believe that it will ensure better price for
jute growers and jute goods manufacturers, currently facing a
deepening slump, in view of the likely growth in demand. The rules
already published in government gazette will come into force in
August. Meant for compliance by both public and private sectors, the
rules will also be applicable to imported food grains.
While there should not be any arguing the merit of the move, the
important issue lies in the adequate availability of jute sacks, and
needles to say, in the likely event of non-availabilty, the entire
exercise is sure to be stuck with no move ahead. This aspect of
framing laws and rules disregarding the ground realities has been so
common to the country's governance culture that one can very rightly
feel sceptical whether execution of the rules on use of jute sacks
in packaging can at all be made compulsory. On the other hand, the
pretext for inadequate supply, in the absence of proper record of
available stock, can also be a potential deterrent to the
implementation of the rules.
The Bangladesh Jute
Mills Association (BJMA) has expressed a note of concern saying the
industry at the moment cannot take full advantage of the compulsory
packaging law, as there is shortage of sacks. Of the 300 million
pieces of jute sacks presently produced by public and private jute
mills a year, 100 million pieces are reportedly exported. Three
state agencies -- Bangladesh Agricultural Development Corporation,
Directorate General of Food, Bangladesh Sugar and Food Industries
Corporation -- have reportedly started using jute sacks. But the
private sector businesses including rice millers, flour processors
and sugar refiners are reluctant to use sacks as the price of jute
sacks is higher than polypropylene bags, which they fear will add to
the retail cost of food grains at the consumer level. However, there
are counter arguments in view of the repeat use that can be made of
jute sacks. As a starter, it would be imperative for the authorities
to determine the quantities of food grains likely to be packed by
jute sacks and the country's current production of sacks in order to
initiate a planned action aimed at enforcing the rules.
Jute exports take a hit from steep fall in India’s rupee
Bangladesh has seen a decline in exports of jute and
jute goods to India, one of the major markets, as the rupee’s slide
has pushed the neighbouring nation’s import costs up.
“Our orders have dried up over the last several months,” said Kaihan
Rahman, deputy managing director of Pubali Jute Mills, a leading
exporter to India. “Even if they [Indian buyers] wish to place
orders, they quote prices which are unacceptable to us.” The rupee
fell 15 percent against the dollar in the last one year, according
to Gopi Kishon Sureka, chief executive of Fiber ‘N Fibre, an
exporter of jute products. “This has been very unkind to us.” The
development comes at a time when markets in the Middle East have
been shrinking amid sanctions against Iran by the Western nations
and protracted political turmoil in Syria and Egypt. The Eurozone
recession, too, had an impact. The dollar traded at Rs 59.64
yesterday, which was Rs 54.73 on January 1, meaning the Indian
currency lost 9.04 percent in value in 2013 alone.
In contrast, the local taka gained against the
dollar, due to increased foreign exchange reserves and lower
imports. The taka advanced 2.5 percent to Tk 77.75 against the
dollar since January 2013.
Sujit Bhattacharyya Laxman, owner of Uttara Jute Traders, said: “We
shipped our last consignment to India in May. We have not received
any order since.”Meanwhile, Sureka said the weakening of the Indian
currency has been a boon for Indian exporters, while the
appreciation of the taka a disincentive for local exporters.“The
Indian exporters are offering lower prices for their products than
ours, which is forcing us to reduce our prices to stay in
competition.” Sureka fears the situation might get worse owing to a
possible fall in prices of jute goods, influenced by increased
supply from the new mills that are on way.Already, the prices of
jute yarn, jute bags and other jute products have reached the lowest
in four years. “But the costs of production inputs and wage rate
He urged the government not to reduce the cash incentives for
exports of jute yarn to help the sector weather the bad time. Jute
and jute good exports rose 6.54 percent year-on-year to $1.03
billion in fiscal 2012-13, according to data from the Export
Jute exports hit billion-dollar mark in FY'12
Income from exports of jute and jute products again crossed the US$
1.0-billion mark in the just-out fiscal as new markets did well,
official data showed. The exports first hit the billion-dollar mark
in 2010-11 financial year (FY). Exporters and officials said
earnings from jute and jute goods registered a remarkable growth
following increasing demand for natural fibre-made products across
Data from the Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) said the country's
earnings from the jute and jute goods stood at $1.01 billion during
the FY 2012-13 marking a growth of 6.54 per cent compared to that of
previous fiscal 2011-12. Earnings from the sector were $967.38
million in FY 2011-12, $1.11 billion in FY 2010-11, $787.99 million
in FY 2009-10 and $417.42 million in FY 2008-09.
During the July-June period of FY 2012-13, earnings from jute yarn
and twine earned $506.74 million marking a 8.24 per cent growth
while that of from jute sacks and bags stood at $237.42 million with
a robust growth of 28.16 per cent. However, the raw jute export
decreased by over 13 per cent with the earnings of 229.92 million
compared to that of previous fiscal. It also fell short of target by
23.86 per cent.Earnings from jute sacks and bags surpassed the
target by 13.84 per cent.
The EPB data, however, showed the overall earnings from the jute
sector in the just-concluded fiscal fell short of targets by 4.80
per cent. Despite failure in achieving the target, a senior EPB
official said exports grew following a good performance in the new
markets like Thailand, Vietnam and China.
Export is also increasing in the traditional market like Turkey, he
added. "The export earnings grew from the sector because of high
demand for natural fibre made products following a ban on plastic
products, especially plastic bags in some countries," Bangladesh
Jute Spinners Association Chairman Md Shams-uz-Zoha told the FE.
Managing Director of Creation Pvt Ltd Rashedul Karim Munna said
demand for diversified jute products especially for used for
packaging, house furnishing and house hold are in the high demand
following the campaign for natural fibre made and
Secretary of Bangladesh Jute Mills Association Abdul Barik Khan said
the mandatory jute packaging act, which also raised the local
consumption of jute and jute products, has also an impact on the
growth of export. He said the price of jute and jute products was
high during the last fiscal compared with a year ago. Industry
people said the jute bag export increased as some new jute
bag-manufacturing units were set up in the country in private
sector. The factories went into operation in the last couple of
years and entered into export market. The sources said the earning
from jute yarn and twine is increasing as the number of spinning
mills in the country rose to about 90 recently from 24 earlier. Jute
spinners mainly export jute yarn to Turkey, Iran, Belgium, Syria,
China and India.
However, the industry leaders stressed diversified products that
have huge demand in the global market.
They also sought the government's policy support including
increasing the cash subsidy for the sector, organising more fairs,
explore new markets and their desired designs, exchange of
delegations to increase the export earnings.
Jute mills face cartelisation charges, get CCI notice
Indian Jute Mills
Association represents 34 of the 83 operating mills in the country.
Among these, 54 are in West Bengal
Competition Commission of India (CCI) has sent showcause notices
to all member-mills and officebearers of the Indian
Jute Mills Association (Ijma),
the apex body of the jute industry, for alleged violation of the
Competition Act of 2002.
Ijma represents 34 of the 83 operating mills. Among
these, 54 are in West Bengal. The members and officebearers are to
reply through filing of affidavits within two weeks from the date of
the notice. The officebearers will have to appear in person before
the Commission. Ijma chairman Raghav Gupta said, “We will furnish a
reply to the notice within the due date. The allegations are
totally baseless.” Gupta added the notices would not impact supply
The Indian Sugar Mills Association (Isma), had accused Ijma of
violating Section 3 and Section 4 of the Competition Act by
cartelising, manipulating and rigging prices to exploit consumers of
jute bags. Ijma is also accused of creating an anti-competitive
market, thereby limiting technical progress and development. CCI
found substance in the allegation and investigated the matter.
The Commission concluded that Ijma and its members
had contravened provisions in sub-section 1 and 2 of Section 3 of
the Act. The sugar association further alleged the jute body was
hand-in-glove with the Gunny Trades Association (GTA), a merchant
body engaged to offer daily price quotes of jute goods, especially
According to the recent notice issued by Saroj Kumar Gupta, deputy
director-general (law) of CCI, the Commission has concluded that
Ijma members and officebearers had contravened Section 3 of the Act
and its clauses. The accused will have to disprove the charges
The notices will also assess the role played by Ijma
and its officebearers under Section 41 (2), 36 (2) and 48 (1) of the
Act. The notices were sent on the basis of a case filed against Ijma
and GTA by Isma, All India Flat Tape Manufacturers Association and
National Federation of Co-operative Sugar Factories on August 2,
In 1998 and 2002, the government exempted the cement and fertiliser
sector from packing their materials in jute bags. In the
agricultural season of 2012-13, the sugar industry was allowed to
pack 60 per cent of its materials in plastic bags. In 2013-14, the
jute Standing Advisory Committee has raised this to 80 per cent.
Jute goods ends up on Jodia Bazaar
The trading in jute
goods twine ended up on Jodia Bazaar here on Tuesday. The following
changes were noted.
JUTE GOODS TWINE (Per kg): 20X3 brown finished higher by Rs 6 to Rs
93, 16x3 CRT/Indus moved upward by Rs 6 to Rs 93, 8x3 went higher by
Rs 15 to Rs 145 and 40x2 brown closed upward by Rs 4 to Rs 87.
HESSIAN CLOTH (Per
91.44 meter): 45x10 Amin was quoted at Rs 2,900 and 45x11 was also
quoted at Rs 3000.
DAE estimates bumper jute production in northern region
The farmers did not face any problems in procuring
quality jute seeds:
Officials of the Department of Agriculture Extension
(DAE) are predicting a bumper production of jute in the northern
region despite the cultivated area being less than that targeted for
the year, reports BSS.
The department’s horticulture specialist, Khandker Md
Mesbahul Islam, said: “Excellent jute production is expected
following favourable climatic conditions and adoption of the latest
The DAE data shows that for the current season, the
farmers have cultivated jute on 220,333 hectares of land in the
region, which is 4,910 hectares less than the targeted. The
production target was 2,400,127 bales of which 2,203,371 bales were
to be of Tosha variety to be grown on 202,144 hectares; 174,291
bales of native variety from 20,376 hectares and 22,465 bales of
Mechhta jute from 2,723 hectares of land.
However, farmers have cultivated Tosha variety on
202,880 hectares, native variety on 13,281 hectares and Mechhta
variety on 4,172 hectares of land this season.
DAE sources also said the farmers did not face any
problems in procuring quality jute seeds as Bangladesh Agriculture
Development Corporation and other concerned organisations ensured
Associate Director Agriculture of BRAC International
(South Asia and Africa) Dr MA Mazid said jute farming had gained a
new dimension following increased exports, revival of closed jute
mills, disbursement of incentives and other effective steps taken by
“The farmers have started adopting the latest line
sowing jute technology using seed sowing machines, resulting in
savings of the quantity of seeds required and reducing farming costs
to get bumper production and increased profits in recent years,” he
DAE sources said farmers are cultivating jute using
the six-line pick up jute seeding method that requires only 2kg
seeds to cover an acre of land. The traditional method required
sowing 2.5-3.5kg of seeds for the same area.
The department’s deputy director, Feroz Ahmed, said,
“Farmers have started becoming more interested in cultivating jute
as the industry is seeing a resurgence due to the increased demand
for the eco-friendly fibre in the international markets.”
Tribune Online Report
Jute yarn exports
see tough time in FY13 for Eurozone crisis
Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) data show the export
earnings from jute yarn remained at the same level of previous
fiscal year about $465m
Despite an increase in the prices of raw jute as well
as the manufacturing cost of jute yarn in the fiscal 2012-13, the
country’s jute yarn exporters are facing losses as the international
prices keep falling due to unrest in the Middle East and the
Eurozone crisis. Although the total earnings from jute yarn export
are expected to stand higher than in the previous fiscal, the price
per unit has been in the downtrend over the same period, observed
Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) data show the export
earnings from jute yarn remained at the same level as previous
fiscal year, at about $465m. The industry insiders, however, noted
that the figure looks high due to the huge increase of export in
India and China at a lower price compared to the prices obtained
while exporting yarns to the Middle Eastern and the Eurozone
The demand from the most valued buyers of Bangladeshi
yarn and twine, that include Turkey, Syria and Iran, have come down
sharply over the last couple of years, leading to the partial
relocation of the country’s export to Indo-China, but with a lower
profit, they observed.
Bangladesh Jute Spinners Corporation (BJSA) Secretary
Shahidul Karim told UNB that the carpet weaving industries in Turkey
Syria and Iran have reduced carpet production in the face of the
recent political unrest in the Middle East and the economic
recession in the Eurozone.
“The carpet-weaving countries are the main buyers of
yarn. The carpet weaving industry in Turkey is reported to have cut
the operation by 60%. The industries in Syria and Iran are also in a
bad shape,” he said, “Carpet is a luxurious item… you can’t expect
people to buy carpets in time of economic hardship as posed by the
“We’ve not been able to finalise the figures of the
total yarn exports in the immediate past fiscal. But the export to
Syria is expected to stand at 10,000 to 15,000 tonnes, while to Iran
at 30,000 to 35,000 tonnes,” said Karim, adding that the figures
were much higher just four years back – about 30,000 tonnes for
Syria and about 60,000 tonnes for Iran.
“The fall in the export to the Middle East has been
recovered by the increase in export to India and China, but not to
the full extent as India and China offer lower prices,” he added.
Within a scale of four-five years, the yarn export to
India has creased from about 2,500 tonnes to about 50,500 tonnes.
For China, it increased from about 2,000 tonnes to about 55,000
tonnes, according to BJSA records.
BJSA Chairman Muhammad Shams-uz Zoha said: “The
buyers of India are also becoming reluctant about paying us prices
as high as before due to the devaluation of the Rupee (Indian
currency) against the US dollar.”
Besides, the country’s yarn exporters are also facing
a lower exchange rate of the US dollar with the Taka, as it has got
appreciated against the greenback, he added.
“The yarn exporters are facing a cut in the profit
due to many other reasons, including the increase in raw jute prices
by 20%, transport cost by 20%, machine parts prices by 10%, jute
batching oil (JBO) prices by 10% and the labour cost by 10%,” Zoha
Tribune Online Report
Jute mills might face ban, stricter action on supply default
Jute Commissioner noted some millsregularly delayed
or defaulted on supplies:
mills defaulting on supplies of bags to
Food Corporation of India (FCI) could face a two-year ban if the
recommendations of the
Jute Commissioner (JC) are accepted. The ban was recommended by
the JC at the previous meeting of the standing advisory committee
(SAC) on jute recently. He noted some millsregularly delayed or
defaulted on supplies.
"Around 15 mills might
face the ban. The JC has also favoured inclusion of a higher penalty
clause in the contract between the mills and the director general of
supplies and disposal (DGSD)," said a source in the JC office. The
DGS&D would give an action taken report to the government. The jute
industry faces accusations of supplying poor quality jute bags. The
Competition Commission of India is probing the industry on its
Annually, FCI procures
35-40 per cent of all jute bags. The current price of one tonne of
jute bags is Rs 56,000 or Rs 3,700/100 bags. FCI purchases the bags
on behalf of state food procuring agencies for packing foodgrain.
Every year, the government spends around Rs 5,600 crore to purchase
the bags. The jute industry manufactures around 1.1 million tonnes
of bags, against an installed capacity to produce 1.5 mt.
At the SAC meet, most
stakeholders were against continuing with 100 per cent use of jute
bags for packing foodgrain and sugar in 2013-14. The JC suggested
de-reserving the mandatory use under the Jute Packaging Materials
Act by 10 per cent in the case of foodgrain and 80 per cent in the
case of sugar packing.
Last year, irregular supply of jute bags had led to law and order
problems in Madhya Pradesh. The Haryana and Maharashtra governments
also favoured use of plastic bags, due to irregular supply. Jute bag
prices are fixed on a 12-year formula worked out by the Tariff
Commission. During this period, the government disallowed cost
escalation on half the items necessary for production of bags.
These include stores, repairs, overhead, other packing,
depreciation, interest and return.
Jute mill on the verge of closure
Proprietors of CM Jute Mill have started the process
of closing down the factory, citing losses due to irregular energy
supply, expensive electricity demand charge and the lack of
incentives from the government.
The factory employs 500 individuals and produces 22
tonnes of jute every day. “Due to the government’s apathy, we are
not in a position to operate the factory,” said Nandu Rathi,
proprietor of the factory. “We found it worthwhile to shutter it
down instead of incurring millions of rupees of losses.”
He said energy problems and increased labour costs
have been a big burden for the factory, which has been incurring
losses for the last five years.
Local industrialists said other jute factories will
also be forced to close down if the government fails to provide
regular energy supply, export incentive, spare parts and store
material. There are 11 jute mills in operation in the country.
Failing to compete in the Indian market due to higher operation
costs, two jute mills have already been closed down.
Rajkumar Golchha, central chairman of Nepal Jute
Industry Association (NJIA), said all jute industries will
ultimately close down is the current problems are not solved. “The
government should introduce incentive packages in the upcoming
budget for jute industries that have been employing thousands of
individuals,” he said, adding the exemption of customs duty and
value added tax (VAT) on the import of spare parts and store
materials should be continued, and similar exemption should be given
on diesel and furnace oil used operate generator during
Although the Ministry of Commerce and Supplies had
promised to offer a 10 percent cash incentive on the export of jute
items to India, no jute factory has received the facility so far,
according to industrialists.
Stating that the Bangladeshi government offers a 10
percent cash incentive on the export of jute items, the
industrialists said domestic jute products could become competitive
in the international market if the Nepal government offers a similar
Golchha said jute factories export more than 95
percent of their products, amounting to Rs 5 billion, to India
annually on an average.
Mohan Chandra Ghimire, a jute expert, said the
factories could also get some relief if the dependence on imported
raw materials could be minimised by increasing the production of
jute in the local level.
The industries are forced to import more than 70
percent raw materials from India and Bangladesh. “An institutional
provision is required for the development and expansion of jute
farming in the country,” he said.
Jute sector explores advantage of carbon credit
Transition to a more sustainable
bio-based economy, as a political consequence of the
Kyoto protocol on global climate change (UN FCC, 1997),
includes a shift of feedstock for energy and chemical
industries from petrochemical to renewable resources.
The use of non-food crops as major source for renewable
resources, however, requires careful consideration of
the environ-mental impact.
It is a good sign that also industries
have by now recognised that the concept of
"eco-efficiency" is an important way for businesses to
contribute to sustainable development (Lawn 2001). As a
major renewable resource lignocellulosic fibres derived
from the structural plant tissues will play an important
role in this transition.
Jute (Corchorus capsularis & Corcho-rus
olitorius), is lignocellulosic, vegetable bast fibre
plant next to cotton in importance. Depending on demand,
price and climate, the annual production of jute and
allied fibres in the world around 3.5 million tons. The
fibre finds its use in the producing as well as in
consuming countries in the agricultural, industrial,
commercial and domestic fields.
Sacking and Hessians (Burlap) constitute
the bulk of the manufactured products. Sacking is
commonly used as packaging material for various
agricultural and industrial commodities. Fine Hessian is
used as carpet backing and often made into big bags for
packaging other fibres viz. cotton and wool. Diversified
uses of jute as technical fiber and in natural fiber
composites (NFC) are enormous.
Bangladesh and India produce about 95% of
world jute and these two countries are comparatively low
CO2 emitting countries. Forestry is one of the three
major sectors in which the GHGs can be reduced through
CDM mechanism. Jute cultivation could be regarded as a
forestation and reforestation. Total area of jute, kenaf
and allied fibres cultivation is around 1.5 million
One hectare of jute plants consumes about
15 MT CO2 and liberates 11 MT of O2 in only 120 days.
Whereas, the tropical tree plantations of pine and
eucalyptus can sequester an aver-age of 33 MT of CO2 per
hectare per year. The total amount of CO2 consumed per
year is about 22.5 million tons which is equivalent to
22.5 million CER.
At the rate of 15 Euro/ton of CO2 the
total value is 337.5 million Euros, equivalents to 448.9
million USD. Estimated revenue per ha out of jute
cultivation is about 299 USD equivalents to 23,322 BDT.
However, due to emission of small amount of CH4 at the
time of retting a little amount will be deducted.
Jute crops incorporate 5.43 million tons
of dry leaves per year to the soil during defoliation
stage prior to retting. Through such Green maturing
process soil is enriched by an equivalent amount of
168,750 tons of Nitrogen, 56,250 tons of Phosphorous and
150,000 tons of Potassium. Savings of the said
Fertilizer cost may be considered as CER revenue to Jute
Fibre 2 Fashion
On a jute trail
Vazeer and his wife Zothina Vazeer tell why they are in love with
the roughness of jute
In the need of shopping bags without having to use
plastic carry bags led a couple on a hunt for an alternative. This
search then led them to a research and the research set them on a
journey across the state to the eastern region. Till about that
time, jute, its uses and its importance in totality were unheard of
for M. A. Vazeer and wife Zothina Vazeer. “I was a techie and jute
was the last thing on my mind. I didn’t feel the need to know and
associate myself with jute. Then suddenly out of no where I came
across something made of jute and I started seeing its utility and
use. This was the time when I was becoming aware about the
environment and the impact it has on us and how we as human beings
are pushing the limits with the environment,” recollects Vazeer.
This time around Vazeer was also a part of a workshop
which dealt with jute. This was the baby step for him and despite
being a novice, with the support of his wife, he quit his cushy job
and decided to get on with jute ‘full-time’. His wife then slowly
introduced the idea of running a small industry which made jute
“A thought backed by my wife’s support became a goal
and then eventually that was to become the source of our family
earning. So came into being ‘Facco di carta’ meaning jute bags. And
my wife runs the show. I was so involved and amazed at the things
which can be done out of jute and protect the environment at the
same time by getting rid of plastic carry bags and shopping bags
that I was almost very sure this project will succeed. So I quit my
job and stayed in a place called Behala in West Bengal to learn more
about jute. In a place like West Bengal where jute is sufficiently
available people do everything with jute. The rice bags are made of
jute, the shopping bags and even the floor mats in front of the
house are made with jute,” recollects Vazeer.
Vazeer says at Behala he saw the plight of the people
where they work for Rs. 20 and live on one meal a day. “It wasn’t
the best of the situations but what they made was probably something
very unique and beautiful,” says Vazeer.
After returning from WB, Vazeer purchased two special
machines to stitch jute and the two began their journey on a modest
note. “We started with small bags and thank God for my wife being a
fabric designer she was able to put more thoughts and ideas into the
bags and stitching styles. Initially we felt at sea, unsure of how
things would shape up. But gradually it seemed that people do use a
lot of jute bags in the city to carry their lunch boxes to work,
also as hand bags,” says Vazeer.
But Vazeer’ goal was not just to make jute items and
sell, while learning about jute in WB, he also learned how the
material is an alternative source of income for those involved in
agricultural activities. He observed that men and women were
involved in the jute industry to make extra money when they were not
working in the fields. “I wanted to do the same for poor farmers. I
couldn’t give them anything for free because I wasn’t making
surplus, I was barely breaking even and whatever little we would
make, went in procuring the materials or updating ourselves. So it
took us numerous visits and talks with the rural people in districts
to assure them of something different. This is a cottage industry
product and even one person working extra with us meant surplus end
products which only two of us cannot do. After those numerous visits
we had a few people from the rural areas agreeing to do what we were
doing. The moment one person agrees, it is nice to see that they are
able to get a few more,” Vazeer.
But Vazeer says, this is not a flourishing industry.
The struggles they have are manifold and while the ideas are lapped
up in other countries, Indians are yet to appreciate the value of
the material. Vazeer and his wife operate from a small place at
Neredmet, in Secunderabad and though they haven’t been able to make
big money they are happy that they are able to provide a new skill
to people who cannot do anything but work hard for a living.
Now Zothina and Vazeer constantly work on items that
will make jute more attractive and in the process they have even
come up with decoratives for the Christmas tree, jewellery “and
everything that one can think of. Our shopping bags come with a
message of the environment and Zothina is constantly sitting and
making dummies which can be transformed into jute items for use.
M. A. Vazeer, Zothina
Jute cultivation acreage ‘marks 7pc rise’
Jute cultivation acreage marked a rise by 7 percent
this fiscal compared to that of the previous fiscal, said officials
at the Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE) on Monday. Deputy
Director of DAE’s Field Service Wing (FSW) Rafiqul Hasan told that
the acreage under jute cultivation this year hit 7.5 lakh hectares,
which is about 99 percent of the targeted acreage of 7.57 lakh
hectares earlier fixed by the department. This year’s jute acreage
has touched the acreage mark of 7.5 lakh hectares which was also
achieved two years back, he added. Director of DAE’s Cash Crop Wing
(CCW) Monzurul Islam said they are expecting an increase in this
year’s raw jute production by 8.5 percent this season due to the
increased acreage. CCW forecasts that the raw jute, excluding Mesta
and Kenaf, production of the current season, will stand at 77.5 lakh
bales. Raw jute production declined by 7.09 percent to 71.72 lakh
bales in the fiscal 2012-13 compared to that of the fiscal 20111-12
as farmers reacted to the continuous price fall in the previous
years, according to Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS). - See
more at: http://unbconnect.com/jute-acreage/#&panel1-1
Use of jute in automobile industry: A new prospect for Bangladesh
Jute was once known the golden fibre of Bangladesh as
it was the most important cash crop of the country. Bangladesh used
to have a monopoly of jute business internationally. Its share in
the export basket of the country was 80 percent in the fiscal
1947-48 but in 1975- 76 it fell down to only 25 percent. Later, the
polypropylene products started to substitute traditional jute
products causing the jute market go down gradually and our biggest
jute mills — Adamjee Jute Mills — was officially closed on June 30,
2002 by the government. It is a glaring example of miss-management.
Day by day all the jute mills started to stop their production one
But now time has come to again put emphasis on the production of
jute. Western countries are promoting ‘green’ and environment
friendly products, and jute packaging and products are being
The US’ biggest automobile manufacturer Ford
introduced its all-new model made with sustainable materials. The
“green” car employs green solutions to reduce petroleum-based
content such as seat fabrics and interior plastics. Among the
production materials, the company has added the use of recycled
cotton, clear plastic bottles and soybeans. Renewable and recyclable
materials are being used in ford cars, utilities and trucks to
reduce negative impact on the environment. Toyota and Honda are
trying to do the same. They plan to use green and natural material
replacing synthetic petroleum product.
Natural fibres have the advantage of being
environmental friendly, light in weight and yet high in tensile
strength, all at a lower cost than synthetic alternatives.
Traditionally jute was used in textile machineries. Jute has a long
history of use in the sackings, carpets, wrapping fabrics, and the
construction fabric manufacturing industry. It can be used to create
a number of fabrics such as Hessian cloth, sacking, scrim, carpet
backing cloth and canvas. The fibre is used alone or blended with
other types of fibres to make twine and rope. Hessian, lighter than
sacking, is used for bags, wrappers, wall-coverings, upholstery, and
home furnishings. Jute butts, the coarse ends of the plants, are
used to make inexpensive cloth. Conversely, very fine threads of
jute can be separated out and made into imitation silk.
As a wood fibre jute has many promising features. The
government and local investor should take initiatives to make sure
the diversified use of the fibre. If the jute research organisations
confirm the quality of the jute products and the products reach the
global green market in time then Bangladesh may be able to
monopolise the world jute market again. The major breakthrough has
been made when the automobile, pulp paper, furniture and bedding
industries started to use jute and its allied fibres with their
non-woven and composite technology to manufacture technical textiles
and composites. They are ideal alternatives for petrochemical based
fibres currently used in manufacturing many composite products.
Also, the fibre has made an excellent replacement for fibreglass.
Ultimately, the manufacturers are interested to offer profitable
‘green’ solutions to their customers.
The writer is an Advance Automotive Engineer who
writes from Michigan, USA. - See more at:
The Daily Sun
20 June 2013
Two cheers for Jute fibre
consider Jute as something of great value to the life of the
majority of people living in the deltaic plains washed by the three
mighty rivers – the Padma, the Jamuna and the Meghna. Biologically,
it is a fibrous tropical plant that grows in wet soil and can
survive in standing water. Its fibre is coarse and is used to make
gunny, burlap and cordage. In the fifties and sixties it became the
then Pakistan’s prime foreign exchange earner; hence it was named
the golden fibre. To me its significance is more than what gold
means to most people. It has played a crucial role in changing the
fate of the Muslims of East Bengal.
After the Battle of Palasi, the conditions of the Muslims
deteriorated. Most them were cultivators and depended on the produce
from the soil. They faced two challenges from the elite who
comprised the British and the Hindus. The British looked upon them
with mistrust as they belonged to the religion of the Muslim rulers
whom they had dethroned. The prejudice with which the Muslims were
maltreated and exploited can be seen in William Hunter’s account of
The Inidan Musalmans. The Muslims too looked upon the British as the
usurper after the fall of Nawab Shirajuddoula and a hundred years
later, the exile of the last Mughal emperor Bahadur Shah Jafar. So
when the colonial rulers introduced a new system of English
education, the Muslims naturally were averse to the English
education system. So, the only way they could survive was
agriculture. But cultivating just paddy was not enough to send their
boys to school.
mid nineteenth century, the Muslim attitude to English education
started to change. They too wanted their boys to receive English
education and get a share of the jobs that so far had gone to the
Hindus. It was during this time that history came to play a dominant
role in the life of these illiterate Muslims. The outbreak of the
Crimean War (1854-56) cut off the supply of Russian flax which posed
a threat to the running of the Dundee Mills. They experimented with
Jute as alternative raw material and it proved a success. So that
made for a huge demand for jute fibre. The Muslim cultivators now
concentrated on growing jute which provided them with a little extra
cash. So the poor cultivator was now able to send his son to an
English school. That’s where the Muslims started their journey in
the world of capital and trade which enabled them to educate their
children. Without this miracle happening in the 19th century, the
political awakening of the Muslims would have been impossible in the
early 20th century. The demand for a separate homeland for the
Muslims would not have emerged without Jute coming to their aid.
second good turn Jute did to the Muslims was after the establishment
of Pakistan in 1947. In the sixties, Jute again came to play a
dominant role in the economy of the country owing to the Vietnam War
(1959-1975). The War led to the use of Jute as gunny, hessian,
cordage in an unprecedented volume. The price of Jute spiralled and
the rural Muslims could now afford to invest money in small
businesses. That’s where their journey from the paddy field to the
drawing room began.
Jute had its bad days too – in the seventies, the use of artificial
fibre and plastic material led to its decline. And we all know how
the biggest Jute Mill in Asia had to close down owing to incurring
losses that it could no longer sustain. And now after the Rio
convention, artificial fibre is considered harmful to the ecology
and Jute has found its place of honour once again. It is today used
not only as gunny or hessian or cordage. Jute has made an impact
into the world of fashion – sari, handbag, briefcases etc are made
from Jute. But the men who produce jute still live in the villages.
In their worst days in the 19th century, the forefathers of today’s
jute growers were happy with a morsel of rice. They may not have
learnt the three R’s, but they never forgot to send their boys to
the madrasah or the nearest masjid to learn the basics of their
religion. Those private madrasahs still exist alongside the Alia
madrasahs established by the British. These Qaumi madrasahs have
stood the test of time and have been the source of spiritual sap for
the majority of these Muslims who have lived with jute for centuries
The Dhaka March of the Hefazat-e-Islam was mainly arranged and
manned by students and teachers of the Qaumi madrasahs. They
suddenly discovered that their firm belief in their Prophet and
Allah is in danger. So they decided to assert their belief and take
to the street. The jute growers and sons of jute growers in white
did not want to compromise as they sat under the open night sky .
The operation on their gathering that fateful night has had an
indelible effect on the minds of the rural community – the community
of the jute growers. They don’t believe what the law enforcers claim
to be the number of casualty. I shall not be surprised if jute
again comes to fill the ballot boxes in the way it shapes its
growers’ mind. So, for now I would say two cheers for jute. We will
have to wait until the time comes to say three cheers.
writer, a professor of English at the IIUC, Dhaka Campus, is
Associate Editor of The Independent. He is also a former DG and
President of Bangla Academy and can be reached at:
Thursday, 27 June 2013
Low quality jute bags: 5 firms in trouble
The Punjab Government has accused five firms of
supplying substandard jute bags. The Director General Supplies and
Disposals (DGS&D) has sought deputation of five more teams to
conduct extensive inquiry into the quality of the bags.
According to an earlier inspection by a DGS&D senior
officer, inferior quality bags were supplied by five manufacturers,
including Abhishek Projects Private Limited, Ganges Jute Private
Limited of Kolkata and Bihar Raffia Industries of Jamshedpur.
The payment for these five suppliers has been stopped
pending inquiry. And if the charges are proved, the firms will be
blacklisted and slapped penalty.
Meanwhile, the DGS&D has procured 2.22 lakh bales of
HDPE/PP bags from 87 suppliers to meet the jute bag shortage. The
arrangement, made in a short span of two months, is covered by
warranties and guarantees of the suppliers that they are liable to
be acted against in case of quality or quantity shortfall.
The Indian Express
June 19, 2013
Rules designed for mandatory use of jute sacks
government has framed new rules to enforce a compulsory use of jute
sacks to pack food grains and other items.The compliance with the
law is expected to give jute goods makers and farmers a cushion from
a slump in prices due to reduced demand for jute items abroad.The
rules gazetted early this month will come into effect in August for
public and private sectors. It will also be applicable to goods
imported in bulk, according to the rules.Businesses have largely
been ignoring the law passed in October 2010, as the authority could
not enforce it due to absence of the rules.
rice millers expressed concern that the use of jute sacks would put
a extra price burden on them due to high prices of the bags.“It will
make a positive impact on the industry,” said Najmul Huq, chairman
of Bangladesh Jute Mills Association (BJMA). An advisory panel
headed by Textiles Secretary Md Ashraful Moqbul will determine the
amount of food grains and other items to be packed by jute sacks
next month based on the annual availability and production of jute
Formation of the rules has cleared ways to enforce the law, the
“The increased domestic use of jute will prevent prices from falling
amid reduced demand in international market. So it will protect
farmers’ interest to grow jute.”
“We will be able to bargain more with the buyers with the
enforcement of the law,” said Huq.
The BJMA, however, said the industry cannot take full advantage of
the compulsory packaging act, as there is shortage of sacks.
30 crore pieces of jute sacks produced by public and private jute
mills a year, 10 crore pieces are exported, said Huq.So far, three
state agencies — Bangladesh Agricultural Development Corporation,
Directorate General of Food, Bangladesh Sugar and Food Industries
Corporation — have started using the sacks.But private sector
businesses, including rice millers, flour processors and sugar
refiners, have not yet started using the sacks due to its higher
prices than the polypropylene bags.
A polypropylene sack costs Tk 13-15, but a jute bag requires Tk
50-55, said Layek Ali, convenor of Bangladesh Auto Major and Husking
Mill Owners Association.
“We have no problem in using jute sacks to pack rice. But such use
of sacks will increase prices of rice at consumer level.”“We sell
rice in bags. So it is difficult for us to use the sack again.”
Rice prices would also go up by Tk 1 a kilogram due to the use of
jute bags, he said. “Jute sacks may have higher prices, but these
could be used two times more than the polypropylene ones.”
Ali said millers use jute sacks for paddy, not for rice.
The Daily Star
June 20, 2013
DGSD revises payment terms for jute industry
Move to have Rs 650 cr implication for the industry
jute industry is sore over the decision of the directorate
general of supplies & disposal (DGSD)
payment terms for the industry.The DGSD has decided to withhold
10 per cent payment made to jute mills for supplying gunny sacks to
Food Corporation of India (FCI).
"The decision is unilateral and against the interest of the jute
industry. It will have an implication of Rs 650 crore on the
industry," said an industry source. FCI annually procures around
12-14 million tonne of jute bags valued at around Rs 6,500 crore.
The current price (in June) of one tonne of jute bag is around Rs
56,000 or Rs 3,700/100 bags.
The jute industry is crying hoarse on DGSD's
decision. According to industry, it is a rate contract system and is
not applicable to them. Supply of jute bags are made on orders
issued by DGSD and production control orders from the jute
commissioner. The prices are fixed by the jute commissioner.
The industry has approached the director general S N Mohanty holding
the decision as 'unilateral'. As per the industry, it will foment
labour unrest and disrupt production. The industry claims it has
limited capital and cannot absorb the shock of extending credit to
As per the Jute Packaging Materials Act (JPMA), in 2012-13, 90 per
cent of food grains produced in the country were packed in jute
sacks. For 2013-14, the standing advisory committee on jute recently
decided to maintain the same level. Originally, they had planned to
reduce it to 70 per cent.
Jute bag prices are fixed on a 12-year old formula worked out by the
Tariff Commission. During this period, the government disallowed
cost escalation on half the items necessary for production of one
tonne of jute bag. They include stores, repairs, overhead, other
packing, depreciation, interest, return and others.
June 17, 2013
Exports grow 15.5pc year-on-year in May
Star Business Report
Exports accelerated 22.11 percent to $2.53 billion in May from the
previous month, helped by higher demand for garment items, jute and
jute goods abroad.Overseas sales grew 15.5 percent year-on-year in
May, according to data from the Export Promotion Bureau. But exports
in May were about 4 percent lower than the $2.63 billion target.
Shubhashish Bose, vice chairman of EPB, attributed the export growth
to rising exports to new destinations, diversification of products
and low-cost.“The trend is still good despite some odds such as
hartals and building collapse. I hope the exports will pick further
up in June,” Bose said.
Between July and May, exports grew 10.67 percent to $24.32 billion
from the same period last year, but were lower than the target for
$25.16 billion, according to the data.Bangladesh exported knitwear
worth $9.40 billion and woven garments worth $9.92 billion in
July-May, registering year-on-year growth of 9.56 percent and 14.10
Jute and jute goods exports grew 6.57 percent to $947.91 million
between July and May, from the same period a year ago.
All these data belong to the exports made nearly three months
earlier, said Atiqul Islam, president of Bangladesh Garment
Manufacturers and Exporters Association.
The effects of political violence and accidents in the garment
sector will be felt on exports in three months from now, Islam said.
International buyers are now negotiating the prices for the next
spring season. “We hope the environment will calm after the next
The Daily Star
June 06, 2013
57,800 bales of jute to be produced in Narsingdi
ARSINGDI, JUNE 5: A target has been fixed to produce 57,800 bales of
jute in Narsingdi district in the current season. A source in the
Agriculture Extension Department (AED) said that there had been a
bumper production of jute in the district last year. The demand for
raw jute has increased manifold in the local and the global markets
after the banning of polythene bags in the country in 2003.
Besides, the demand for jute fibre has also increased in the
People in other countries prefer jute fabrics to synthetic, as
clothes made of synthetic fibre pollute the environment, the source
The AED has taken up a programme to bring 6,500 hectares of land
under jute cultivation with a production target of 57,800 bales of
jute in the district this season. Of the total target, about 2,900
hectares of land has been brought under cultivation of local variety
with a production target of 28,600 bales of jute, while the
remaining land under Tosha variety with a production target of
29,200 bales of jute.
Last year, jute was cultivated on 5,800 hectares of land with a
target to produce 48,900 bales of jute. Production of jute from
1995 to 2004 faced a setback in the district due to smuggling of law
quantity jute seeds into the country from India. But during the
last three years there has been a bumper production of jute, but
farmers are yet to get fair price of their produce.
Jute cultivators have to face loss financially while middlemen are
The soil of the district contains enough moisture and early rains
make the soil more fertile, some agriculture experts said. Farmers
of the district are preparing their lands for sowing jute seeds.
June 06, 2013
Int’l Jute Study Group celebrates World Environment Day
International Jute Study Group (IJSG) yesterday organized a painting
competition for children, a debate competition for university
students and a tree plantation programme at its secretariat in the
capital marking the World Environment Day. Indian High Commissioner
Pankaj Saran attended the event as the chief guest. IJSG Secretary
General Bhupendra Singh spoke at the event.
The Daily Star
June 06, 2013
Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation's unique scheme to encourage
jute bag usage
Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) commissioner M T
Krishna Babu on Wednesday launched a novel scheme 'Sanche Bangaram'
to dissuade people from using
plastic bags at the Kukatpally Rythu Bazaar.
Citizens can buy jute bags and win
gold worth Rs 1 lakh. The GHMC has taken up the scheme in
coordination with the Kukatpally Rythu Bazaar management and a
According to the scheme, a gift coupon would be given to a person
who comes with a jute bag to the Rythu Bazaar.
The shopper has to drop the coupon in a box. "A draw will be held at
Rythu Bazaar on July 15," the GHMC commissioner said.
The lucky winner will get Rs 1 lakh worth gold. Based on the
response to the scheme, the GHMC would rope in private companies to
organize such schemes at Rythu Bazaars and shopping malls in the
The Times of India
June 06, 2013
Five-day jute exhibition begins in Ooty
UDHAGAMANDALAM: As part of the World Environmental Day celebrations,
a jute promotional exhibition was inaugurated in Ooty by
the National Jute Board (NJB), a body set up by the ministry of
textiles, on Wednesday. For the first time, the Board has organized
an exhibition in Ooty.
The five-day jute exhibition will display lifestyle products made of
jute. Around 15 jute entrepreneurs from states including
Tamil Nadu, Kerala,
Andhra Pradesh, and
West Bengal will showcase their consumer products.
"The main objective of organizing the exhibition-cum-sale is to
create awareness about eco-friendly products made from natural
fiber," said T Ayyappan, market promotion officer, NJB. The
exhibition was organized with the support of Small Industries
Product Promotion Organization (SIPPO), a Madurai-based NGO, with
the hope of encouraging jute entrepreneurs and SHGs in various
marketing related activities and employment opportunities, Ayyappan
Nilgiris collector Archana Patnaik inaugurated the exhibition at the
USSS hall, where jewelry, gift articles, consumer products, wall
hangings, foot wear and floor coverings made of jute were on
P Jayaprakash, 30, a jute product manufacturer from Palladam, who
has displayed his products including knee pads made of jute told TOI,
"Ultimately, the earth is very important. We don't have any right to
pollute the earth. Hence, I decided to do something eco-friendly for
my livelihood, manufacturing jute products including trays, baskets,
bags etc." The knee pad made of jute, a first of its kind and
manufactured by him, is waiting patent registration. "Once the
patent formalities are over, I will circulate the jute knee pads in
the market," he said.
Ayyappan said the main advantage of jute is its eco-compatibility.
It has been considered an ecologically sound fiber because of its
inherent properties. Jute as a natural fiber is finding keener
acceptance as an environment-friendly product since its contents are
cellulose and lignin which are biodegradable.
Mainly grown in West Bengal and botanically known as 'Corcorus
Capsolacier' or Corcorus Olitorius', jute holds bright prospects in
the global trend of opting for natural products in various sectors.
The Times of India
Bid to popularize jute carrybags
AMSHEDPUR: The Adhunik Power and Natural Resources Limited (APNRL)
distributed jute bags among its employees at the company's Padampur
plant in Seraikela on Wednesday.
comes in the wake of efforts to minimize the use of polythene bags.
"It's time we start responding to issues that call for our
attention," said APNRL president Naresh Goyal.
R N Chaudhary, regional director of the
Jharkhand State Pollution Control Board (JSPCB), who was the
chief guest on the occasion, said the board has launched a campaign
to remove polythene bags from peoples' day-to-day lives. Chaudhary
also planted a sapling to mark the World Environment Day.
The Times of India
June 06, 2013
Plant a sapling, use a jute bag and educate hawkers this World
Want to do something cool and green on World Environment Day but
don't know what? Here's a list of fun ways to turn eco-friendly on
Wednesday: 1. Young Environmentalists Programme Trust (YEPT) along
with Hiranandani Gardens are conducting tree plantation at open
spaces in the area. During the tree plantation, citizens will be
imparted knowledge on the right way to plant trees and which
indigenous trees adapt better to roadsides. Starting at 10 am at the
New Hiranandani School ground, if you wish to join, contact the
2. YEPT will also be kick starting a month long project for students
on BAN ON PLASTIC BAGS. Students will have to conduct surveys and
derive conclusions on why are plastic bags still being used, while
stressing on the fact that plastic bags can clog drains and cause
flooding during the rains. Participants will receive a certificate
and a letter of recommendation. All those interested can call on the
3. Mumbai University is organizing a tree plantation drive at 5pm at
the Vidyanagari Campus, Kalina. Anybody interested can join.
4. A summer camp on waste management from 1:30 to 5:30 pm by NGO
Srushtidyan at Anandwadi, Kurar Village in Malad (E).
The three hour session on waste management is open to public.
5. The Beauty of Recycling festival at Phoenix Market City and
Phoenix mall in Pune between 5th to 7th June. Waste workshops, art
exhibits, toys from trash workshop, puppet theatre and street plays
will be hosted to educate people about the merits of recycling.
6. A Bikeathon in Delhi organised by WWF India, where people will
pedal a special bike that generates electricity to light up a
specific area. The bike will go through different parts of Delhi by
the WWF team. Occurs between 6 pm to 8 pm at Dilli Haat.
7. The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) will plant trees in
Hooper garden, near Five Gardens, Dadar (East) at 9.45 am. Feel free
to take your saplings and go along.
8. Going shopping? Carry your basket or jute bag along. In fact, get
your creative juices flowing and craft stickers reminding people to
carry shopping bags. Paste them at every elevator landing in your
9. Buy recycled goods, gift recycled goods: Tyres turned into
furniture, tyre-rubber bags and wallets, plastic bottles recycled
into brooms and knick-knacks -- options are aplenty.
10. Educate hawkers down the street, persuade them not to give
plastic bags with their goods.
June 04, 2013
Making women self-reliant through handicrafts
Since 2008, Act Now for Harmony and Democracy (ANHAD) has been
working with rural women in the impoverished areas of Bihar to make
them self-reliant and conscious of their rights.And now the
socio-cultural organisation is giving these women an opportunity to
become a part of the national mainstream by organising an event at
the Constitution Club here on June 5.
According to ANHAD founder Shabnam Hashmi, the organisation has been
working diligently for the past five years to make the women stand
on their own feet and become aware of their rights.
“We have introduced literacy programmes, intervened in local issues
and formed pressure groups in order to ensure that government
schemes are implemented. We need to understand that these are
extremely poor areas where 70 per cent of the men have migrated to
different parts of the country to earn their livelihood. Average
income is Rs.7,000 to Rs.8,000 for a family of ten. Literacy level
for women is under 25 per cent. So we have engaged them in producing
jute bags and want these activities to become self-sustainable,” she
ANHAD has been training hundreds of women in weaving mats, durries
and making aesthetically appealing jute products in Araria and
Purnia districts of Bihar.
To bring in professionalism and ensure more women are introduced in
income-generating activities, Ms. Hashmi has roped in the services
of a group of young film-makers, Progressive Films, and an Internet
marketing company, Reprise Media. Initially, ANHAD started with
providing relief to flood victims. But the relationship with the
local community has grown exponentially.
Sahir Raza who has worked with ANHAD intermittently said the basic
purpose behind the whole exercise is to enable the women to secure a
market for their products in urban centres.
Designer Saumya Nagar who supervised the work of women in Purnia
district of Bihar said a large collection of bags, cushions and
lifestyle products will be launched and marketed.
For this National Institute of Fashion Technology alumna, travelling
to rural areas of the State was an interesting learning experience.
She got a close look at the hardship faced by rural women on a daily
basis. The products have also been produced by women of Nizamuddin
Basti in Delhi and Uri in Kashmir.
May 30, 2013
Tk 500m jute goods remain unsold
Zahid Hossain Biplob
KHULNA: A huge quantity of jute and jute products worth millions of
taka remain stockpiled in the silos of jute mills under Bangladesh
Jute Mills Corporation (BJMC) for long, pushing the local jute
industry into a deadlock.
Sources said prevailing political unrest across the country and a
falling demand of jute products in the domestic and overseas markets
are taking their toll on the jute industry of the region. Some 5000
tonnes jute hessian, sacking and worth Tk 500 million have been
lying unsold in the mill silos of Khalishpur Jute Mill at Khulna
industrial belt Khalishpur since the last two years.
Besides, the mill authority owes cores of taka to the businesses and
commercial bank, added the source.
Khulna BJMC officials informed that after reopening of the
Khalishpur Jute Mill in March 2011, the mill has been producing some
69 tonnes of jute goods in a single day. A total of 22,215 metric
tones of jute products have been produced at the mill since its
Official sources said India, Iran, Syria, Iraq, Thailand, South
Africa, Sudan and some other African countries are the key importers
of Bangladeshi jute and jute products. But the recent political
impasse in Bangladesh and political rifts in the importing countries
has contributed a lot to the declining export.
An official of the mill, preferring anonymity, said difficulty in
getting loans on easy terms, shortage of labour and a lack of high
quality products are some of the key problems putting the jute
industry in a tight corner.
Fazlul Haq chowdhury, deputy manager of the mill, said the
production saw a reasonable volume at the factory as electricity
supply and other supports were more or less available for few
months, adding that the production has been severely disrupted due
to the unrest in the country’s political arena.He also informed that
the mill exported 16,938 tonnes products after the resuming
production on March 5, 2011.
While contacted, Mollah Alamgir, chief engineer of the mill, said
the mill has been shut down on July 31, 2007 as it was incurring
huge losses. Later on July 7 of 2008, the mill was leased to Kazi
pharmacy Limited. However, the mill could not be taken out from
losses and was handed over to the BJMC.
In 2010, the BJMC resume production at the mill on an experimental
basis. Later, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina officially reopened the
mill on March 5, 2011. Currently, the mill is running with 65
officials and 239 staffs. There are 3500 workers in the factory. The
mill, established on 72 acres of land on the bank of river Bhairab
in 1952, was nationalised under Bangladesh Jute Mills Corporation (BJMC)
The Daily Sun
May 25, 2013
The Uses and Abuses of Plastic Bags
Elisabeth Rosenthal raises an important issue. Plastic bags pose a
conundrum. Though they create a significant problem for the
environment, plastic bags offer a clean and convenient solution for
collecting and disposing of food scraps and materials not accepted
for recycling in New York City.
For residents in multifamily dwellings, replacing trash chutes with
garbage disposal units probably cannot be mandated retroactively.
Imposing a charge of, say, $1 a bag at supermarkets and stores or a
tax would place an undue burden on low-income families.
Reusable bags may solve the shopping problem but not the
garbage-management problem. We need an infusion of entrepreneurial
spirit to develop a cost-effective process for collecting and
recycling polyethylene bags or a process for modifying the plastic
in bags so it degrades in landfills.
NANCY M. TOONEY
The writer is a retired chemist.
The Daily Star
May 26, 2013
Reviving jute's lost glory is daunting but not impossible
Farmers, according to a report carried in this newspaper on May 21,
are showing more interest than last year's to cultivate jute.
Conventional wisdom tells them this year jute will be in high demand
and therefore fetch higher prices. This is because, they reason,
after two consecutive years' price slump, the price ought to be
competitive this time. This simple fact reveals some positive trends
in the country's agriculture. Earlier, farmers had few options and
they were compelled to cultivate either paddy or jute. The 'golden
fibre' as the jute was known then lost its status with the invasion
of polythene bags and other artificial alternatives in the late
80's. Also there was no serious research work with the fibre then
for its diversified use.
With their backs to the wall, only those farmers who had no options
other than cultivating jute in low land used to cultivate jute.
Since the demand for the fibre was dull and price was far too low,
irate farmers often made bonfires of their produce at marketplaces.
It is at this moment some dedicated people successfully carried out
research with jute for its diversified use. Yet it was not enough to
revive the crop's fortune. But awareness of environmental pollution
due to artificial packaging materials among people in the West was
about to reverse the course in favour of jute.
Unfortunately, the government of the time and people overseeing the
affairs of jute missed the signal of the opportunity that was coming
their way. Once the number one jute producing country, it has
surrendered the top spot to India which is using advanced
cultivation technique for growing the crop. But Bangladesh is still
the largest exporter of the fibre and the finest quality is grown
here. As the largest producer of jute, India is also the largest
consumer because it has adopted the national policy for use of jute
for packaging. As a producer of the finest variety of jute,
Bangladesh could as well introduce such a national law in order to
promote jute. Even an executive order to the effect that no
government offices and the country's embassies abroad will use
carpets on floors and window curtains other than those homemade,
would have sufficed to boost the use of jute.
Such carpets and curtains made from the best variety of jute are
already of high quality; they could be improved further through
involvement of both traditional artisans and modern graphic
designers. Advanced technology of graphic and textile designing can
be happily combined with the traditional skills of carpet makers.
These items have markets abroad but they have to compete with
Kashmiri and Persian (Iranian) carpets. Where it concerns window
curtains, the ones made from high quality jute have few matches. But
unfortunately, faulty policy has been responsible for importing
synthetic or cotton curtain from abroad. Surely, the locally
produced jute curtains could have served the purpose very well. On
the promotion front, jute has suffered tremendously although people
in high places often wax lyrical about the lost glory of jute.
It would not be easy to revive the golden fibre's fortune and wrest
the top position from India in terms of production. There are two
distinct disadvantages: first, the acreage of jute cultivation. This
will have to be increased even if the most advanced technology and
method are employed for its cultivation; second, Bangladesh's food
production may suffer a reversal as a result. However, this is
unlikely to be a daunting task if the price tag of jute stays where
it is now -- Tk 2,300 to 2,500 a maund of jute is the market price.
This shows that the mills can afford this much price and still have
their profit margins. There is no denying that most new jute mills
particularly in the private sector, unless of course in exceptional
cases, are running at a reasonable level of profit. But no one can
guarantee that the come harvesting season of jute will not see a
sudden pluming of its price.
Even the government stands a silent spectator when farmers are at a
disadvantage with their commodities. If cultivation proves nowhere
near cost-effective, there is no reason for farmers to stick to
cultivation of the same crop. Paddy cultivation has been facing such
a dilemma on account of the falling price although the profit margin
is guaranteed for millers, hoarders and wholesalers. But the
difference between paddy and jute is that rice is the staple here
and paddy is not. So even if farmers have to incur losses on paddy,
they can at least rest assured that there are customers for their
produce but the same cannot be said about jute. So a drastic price
slump can devastate farming families depending solely on jute
cultivation. This is unlikely to happen in case of paddy
Yet environmental awareness has brought jute, natural fibre next
only to cotton, into the spotlight. Cotton is pricier than jute and
some purposes jute serves better than cotton. Now it is exactly at
this point, planning with crops matters. If jute has to be
cultivated, the produce must not be exported in its raw form. This
will not prove profitable. It is the mills that will have to be
modernised and complemented by advanced research. The task has been
made easier by the sequencing of jute genomes by a Bangladeshi
scientist. To derive the full benefits of his phenomenal work, the
research laboratory he set up here should be devoted to his honour
and more research and experiments carried out with the aim to have
their practical use. This is how jute can get back the position it
The Financial Express
May 24, 2013
Food ministry for 30% dilution in jute bag use rule
Jayajit Dash | Bhubaneswar
Food ministry for 30% dilution in jute bag use rule
Mill body protests, says arguments not factual and sector will lose
Rs 2,000 cr
In a setback to the jute sector, the Union
food ministry has recommended dilution of the
Jute Packaging Materials Act of 1987 (JPMA), pressing instead
for a 30 per cent use of plastic bags for packing foodgrain in the
It has based this on a recent price policy report on raw jute for
2013-14 by the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices (CACP).
The CACP said reservation in the JPMA should be reduced to 70 per
cent of the total need. JPMA provides for mandatory use of jute bags
for packaging of foodgrain and sugar up to 100 per cent by
government procurement agencies. The food ministry is the biggest
purchaser of the annually produced 2,000 million jute bags. About
35-40 per cent of jute bags produced by the industry are purchased
by the food ministry on behalf of different state food procuring
agencies and the Food Corporation of India (FCI).
"The dilution proposal is very unfortunate. If implemented, it will
shrink further. The industry will lose around Rs 2,000 crore if this
happens. Though the textile ministry is supposed to take care of the
industry, it is neglecting our concerns. There are alternative jute
bags available for packaging of foodgrains but these are not being
used," said Sanjay Kajaria, joint managing director, Hastings Jute
Mill and former chairman, Indian Jute Mills Association. The total
market for jute bags, including exports, is estimated at around Rs
In 2012-13, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs allowed 10 per
cent use of plastic bags for packing foodgrain and 60 per cent for
sugar. According to the food ministry, the industry has a peak
capacity to supply 2.5-3 million bales (a bale is 180 kg) of jute
bags, while the yearly requirement is 3.5-4 million bales.
In a recent letter, Union food secretary Sudhir Kumar complained to
his counterpart in the textiles department, Zohra Chatterjee, that
for the past two to three years, the state grain procuring agencies
were facing many problems regarding timely supply of packaging
material. To relax pressure on the grain producing farmers, the JPMA
should be eased by 30 per cent, Kumar suggested.
In 2011, Madhya Pradesh witnessed law and order problems because of
irregular supply of jute bags. In its proposed arguments before the
coming meeting of the Standing Advisory Committee on jute, the
industry has claimed the demand for jute bags is lower than
production. And, that there are no proven records of supply default
to food procuring agencies and FCI.
The Jute Advisory Board at its meeting on May 10 had projected an
estimated total production of 12 million bales for 2013-14 . This
includes 11.2 million bales of jute and 0. 8 million bale of mesta.
In 2012-13, the production was 11.4 million bales, including 10.8
million bales of jute and 0.6 million bales of mesta.
The Business Standard
May 24, 2013
Raw jute prices might fall 10%
The availability of raw jute for 2013-14 has been projected at 13.5
The price of raw jute is poised to fall 10 per cent, owing to a
better supply position, though crop output is likely to fall by five
per cent for 2012-13 to 10.6 million bales, according to the advance
estimates of the Union agriculture ministry.
The price correction will be on the back of an inventory of three
million bales (a bale is 170 kg). The availability of raw jute for
2013-14 has been projected at 13.5 mn bales. The ministry had
targeted a production of 11.2 mn bales. Actual output might be less,
due to delayed rains in Assam and parts of north Bengal and Bihar.
"The average prices of raw jute are currently around Rs 3,000 a
quintal. But prices are headed for a 10 per cent drop due to a
better supply position," said Sanjay Kajaria, joint managing
director, Hastings Jute Mill and former chairman, Indian Jute Mills
Says Manish Poddar, director, Budge Budge Jute Mill, "Even if crop
output drops five per cent, it will not have any major impact on
mill owners unless demand is stable. The raw jute prices are
presently Rs 700 higher than the minimum support price for the crop
(at Rs 2,300/qtl). Any significant price movement will depend on
An area of 389,000 hectares (ha) was covered under jute cultivation,
lower than last year's 426,000 ha. As mentioned earlier, an
inventory build-up of 3.1 mn bales between 2009 and 2012 is expected
to ease prices.
According to the Jute Advisory Board (JAB), import of raw jute from
Bangladesh went up from 300,000 bales in 2009-10 to 900,000 bales in
2012-13. Inventory build-up during this period registered almost the
same rise, indicating low consumption by mills. Between 2009 and
2012, consumption varied between 7.7 mn bales and 9.2 mn bales,
against total supply of 10.8 mn bales and 13.2 mn bales,
JAB has recommended import of high quality raw jute from Bangladesh
and revised its import estimate from 800,000 bales to 960,000 bales
for the current year. This, it says, would facilitate Indian
manufacturers in producing specialised carpet quality yarn and other
The Business Standard
May 17, 2013
Jute makes eco-friendly and cute bags
Jute bags are not just pretty things, they are eco-friendly too.The
world is becoming eco-friendly and people are now realizing how
important it is to care for the environment. Jute is one of the most
affordable natural fibers available.
One of the products made extensively from jute is a bag. Jute bags
are rustic, natural, fashionable, and bio-degradable. Jute bags are
artfully designed and skillfully embroidered to suit your fancy. The
golden fiber of jute makes the jute bag appear more elegant and
desirable. To add to these qualities, jute bags are elegant,
affordable and natural. They are very versatile and can be used as
shopping bags, bags for kids, college bags, as a handpurse, as
envelopes, pouches, lunch bags, mobile covers, and even as designer
To personalize your office space, jute bags can be used as folders,
envelopes, passport holders, business-card holders, pen and pencil
stands, and be rest assured that this wonderful fabric will add to
your corporate dťcor. The biggest advantage of a jute bag is that it
can be used as a perfect substitute for plastic bags, which have
been proved to be harmful to the Earth.
Jute bags are available in a wide range of colours, designs, and
imprints.They are available in different size and shapes depending
on your requirement. Being made of a versatile fabric, jute bags are
also available in a variety of colours such as yellow, pink, green,
orange to name a few. Patterns ranging from plain to floral
designand animal imprint are available making jute feel vibrant and
Thanks to their versatility, jute bags are available for both men
and women. Jute bags can be slung casually around a white top and
blue jeans and can also go well with ethnic wear like kurtaa or
salwar suits. If you choose not to carry a bag which hangs on your
shoulder, then you can go for jute hand purses or clutches with
ethinc designs on them.
There is a huge demand for jute bags now, as people are going
eco-friendly and natural. To completely stop the usage of plastic
bags, jute bags can be a great alternative. Investing on a jute bag
would be a good choice and totally valuable. Jute bags are cheap and
cost effective and do not tax your pocket. With light objects, jute
bags could even last for a long time if you would just gently care
for it. In fact, jute bags are known to improve overall wellbeing of
the individual, as the woody scent they give off is a natural
When you can go easy on your pockets, while being trendy and
maintaining your wellbeing at the same time, why choose anything
else? It’s time to go jute!
The Deccan Herald
May 18, 2013
Bid to use jute to stop Darjeeling soil loss
Calcutta, May 19: Tea planters have decided to address the problem
of soil erosion in Darjeeling on an urgent basis and have sought the
National Jute Board’s help to conduct a feasibility study on the use
of jute to stop erosion.
Besides increasing production from the hill district of Bengal, the
move is aimed at preventing the loss of essential nutrients, which
are key to the quality and flavour of tea.
Recently, top officials of the Tea Board had met members of the Jute
Board, Darjeeling Tea Association, Indian Tea Association and Tea
Association of India. The Darjeeling Tea Research and Development
Centre and Tea Research Association were also present at the
“We had given a proposal and are going in for soil conservation in
Darjeeling. The idea is to cover the soil with jute textiles, which
is degradable. This will help to maintain the moisture content in
the soil and provide a protective cover. We are working on the
financial modalities and a few pilot projects should start. While
this move will not have any short-term effect, in the long term we
may see Darjeeling tea output go up 10-15 per cent,” said S.S.
Bagaria, chairman of the Darjeeling Tea Association.
According to sources in the Tea Board, the loss of soil has impeded
the replantation of bushes. The declining soil fertility has
necessitated urgent erosion-control measures to ensure the
sustainability of the industry. Heavy rainfall, which washes down
soil along the slopes, and the uprooting of bushes have contributed
In a study conducted in 2011-12, preliminary estimates suggested
that about 800 kg per hectare of soil have been lost during the
monsoon in July where there was a 45-55 per cent slope. The extent
of erosion was higher for steeper slopes. Replantation and infilling
activity were also not being done properly. According to estimates,
more than 30cm of valuable top soil has been lost through erosion
since the origin of tea estates in Darjeeling. Steep slopes, high
precipitation, deforestation and faulty land use practices were
considered the primary reasons.
“The Central Soil and Water Conservation Research and Training
Institute, Dehradun, along with the Jute Board had conducted an
exercise on the field application of jute geotextile in a tea
plantation in Ooty. Results have been encouraging. This will be
replicated here. In August, dissemination of information on the
available technology will be done through a seminar with the
planters,” the source said.
May 20, 2013
BD fails to capture jute shopping bag market in UAE for scarcity of
Bangladesh could not avail the opportunity of exporting billions of
jute shopping bags to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) due to
inadequate supply of fabrics of the biodegradable products, said
The UAE announced to ban all plastic carrier bags by 2013. Following
the decision a market of 9.0 billion pieces of jute shopping bags
has been created there.Market operators said the UAE has reduced the
use of synthetic shopping bags in the meantime in its shopping
So there is a huge demand for the eco-friendly product in the
oil-rich country, said Bangladesh Jute Diversified Product
Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BJDPMEA) General Secretary
M Rashedul Karim Munna. He said since last four years, the market
is ready to import jute goods mainly the shopping bags. "But we are
failing to supply the demanded products due to lack of required jute
Bangladesh produces high quality jute fabric which is being supplied
to the shopping bag makers at a very high rate. But it is not
necessary for the exportable jute carrier bags, he added. If
Bangladesh produces jute fabric ensuring quality like that of Indian
one and supply it at the same rates, the local shopping bag makers
will be able to stay in competition in international market, he
He also said now India is dominating the UAE market as it produces a
large quantity of shopping bag fabrics each year.
Not only that the neighbouring country has opened a warehouse in the
Muslim nation for smooth supply of the products. Mr Karim also the
Managing Director of Creation Private Limited said they cannot reach
big orders from the oil-rich country due to scarcity of raw
materials. "We got an order of 0.2 million pieces of shopping bags
from the UAE but could not receive it." Although Bangladesh grows
the best quality fibre in the world but it is failing to produce
value added product which can earn more foreign currency.
BJDPMEA leaders urged the government to modernise the state-run jute
mills to ensure quality fabric for diversified products. The
authority should bring the dyeing and laminating units under a one
umbrella so that the entrepreneurs get hassle- free service, they
India is importing raw jute from Bangladesh and they produce
diversified products according to the international requirement, he
added. Bangladesh Jute Mills Corporation (BJMC) finance director A.E
Muhammed Ali Chowdhury said they have taken all kinds of preparation
to tap export potentiality of the UAE market.
The BJMC director said the government has already launched the
Karnafuli Jute Mill which is capable to produce 3000 tonnes of Finer
Jute Fabric (FJF). The jute shopping bag makers will get a good
support from the mill as the FJF is the perfect fabric for making
export quality products, he said. Besides, the commercial attachť in
different emirates in the UAE are trying to create demand of
Bangladeshi jute shopping bags, he added.
The Financial Express
Sunday, 05 May 2013
Rates supplied by the Bangladesh Jute Association
VARIETY BALES FOB Narayanganj
(One bale = 180 kg) (Taka per bale)
Ready Position (in taka) Bangla white special (BW special) 13,400
Bangla white A (BWA) 13,100 Bangla white B (BWB) 12,200 Bangla white
C (BWC) 10,700 Bangla white D (BWD) 10,250 Bangla white E (BWE)
9,800 Bangla tossa special (BTS) 13,700 Bangla tossa A (BTA) 13,400
Bangla tossa B (BTB) 12,500 Bangla tossa C (BTC) 11,000 Bangla tossa
D (BTD) 10,550 Bangla tossa E (BTE) 10,100
WRS/TRS, HABIJABI, CUT ROPES Bangla white rejection (BWR) 8,750
Bangla white habijabi (BWH) 6,800 Bangla tossa rejection (BTR) 9,000
Bangla tossa habijabi (BTH) 6,800
CUTTINGS Bangla white cuttings A (BWCA) 6,300 Bangla white cuttings
B (BWCB) 6,100 Bangla tossa cuttings A (BTCA) 6,600 Bangla tossa
cuttings B (BTCB) 6,400
MESHTA Meshta special 13,400 Meshta A 13,100 Meshta B 12,200 Meshta
C 10,700 Special meshta cuttings 6,300 Ordinary meshta cuttings
6,100 Meshta- SMR 8,500
STATE OF THE MARKET--REMARKS Quality - good Condition - fair
Narayanganj imports - About 10,000 Qntl. Daulatpur imports - About
20,000 Qntl. Market trend - As usual
NOTE Raw jute exports during 2012-2013 (01.07.2012 to 31.10.2012) =
557.561 bales Value 3.77 billion taka ($1 = 77.94 taka) Source:
Bangladesh Jute Association, Dhaka +880-2-9552916, Narayanganj
JONESING FOR JUTE, Espadrilles are go-to fair-weather friends for
NEW YORK — If you’re craving a little more summer in your springtime
wardrobe and you’re hesitant to break out the white pants (it’s OK,
but that’s another conversation), try espadrilles.
The rope-soled shoes have long been a staple of the fair-weather
seasons, no matter if there’s a chill in the air or the sidewalks
are steaming. It’s all good as long as the sun is shining.
“The espadrille for spring is like the riding boot in the fall,”
says Elisa Miller, creative director of the beachy brand Calypso St.
Barth. “It’s a rite of the season.”
Style options have increased exponentially as designers take
liberties with the definition — and have gotten a little smarter
about their construction. Flat versions, wedge versions, sandals,
slides and gladiator lace-up styles are some of the choices of a
shoe with humble roots that was made fashionable in France and Spain
in the mid-20th century.
“I’d call anything with the jute sole an espadrille,” Miller says.
“You could have any fabric for the top — canvas, leather — it could
be plastic, but you have to have the jute. That’s what defines it.”
Luckily for wearers, especially those who have been caught in the
rain, many espadrilles now have a bottom layer of rubber, too.
But such practicality likely isn’t driving the renewed interest.
Alexis Bryan Morgan, executive fashion director at Lucky magazine,
traces this “huge espadrille moment” to last year’s Valentino spring
runway. Seeing lacy black espadrilles paired with a long lace dress
left editors swooning, she said. “It was styled so elegantly that
suddenly this disposable go-to shoe was also chic and elegant. This
brought it to a whole new level.”
You can’t really say they’re a “trend” because they’re pretty much
an annual tradition, says Tracey Lomrantz Lester, women’s editorial
director at Gilt, but she agrees this season marks a rebirth. They
elevate an outfit without ever looking “too done,” she says.
And, they’re fun, says Tana Ward, senior vice president and chief
merchandising officer for American Eagle. They can bring graphic
prints and bright colors to an outfit without a major commitment,
Lucky’s Morgan sees them as a more fashionable alternative to
flip-flops. They can go to the beach or to dinner, prices tend to be
affordable — or at least less expensive when you are talking
Valentino — and the nautical vibe keeps things relaxed and summery.
As a vacation shoe, it’s ideal, she adds. “You’re probably already
wearing them so you don’t have to pack any shoes.”
Espadrilles are instantly transporting, Lester agrees. To her, they
evoke Brigitte Bardot on the French Riviera, an inspiring image even
if you’re headed to the office or running errands, she says. Just
throw on striped bateau-neck top and white jeans — and voila!
Lester says a white sundress also works, while Morgan suggests a
long maxi or a simple black dress. She’s worn espadrilles with black
satin pants and jeans rolled to a capri length.
Calypso’s Miller says a white linen shirt with jeans and silver
espadrilles is a favorite look of hers, but they offer a lot of
flexibility, complementing shorts, skirts and pants with all sorts
of hemlines and silhouettes. That helps them live through other fads
For them to last that long, though, Miller suggests using fabric or
leather protector on the uppers, and glue on the rubber bottom if it
starts to separate from the jute.
Still, Morgan likes to refresh her closet with a new pair. “So
they’re not hearty shoes, but that’s part of the appeal. They’re
casual, they’re go-to, they’re beachy. There’s a huge variety, but
the message is the same: It’s time to relax and be in the sun.”
May 01. 2013
Dubai to say no to plastic bags
you are in the UAE next month, and you go shopping and see a staff
member of the Dubai Municipality approach you with a free jute bag,
do not decline it. “It is not an optional goodie. In fact, it is a
planet-saver. We can no longer afford to view the rustle of plastic
bags in just about every area of our life as a functional sound. It
is a sound that needs to be silenced,” the Gulf News daily said in
Dubai Municipality’s campaign to reduce 500 million plastic bags in
six months is a great step forward in this regard and each one of us
needs to support it, it said.
“Every plastic bag declined at source is one more cleansing breath
for the environment and by extension, for all of us. So, make a
difference, say no to plastic,” the daily added.IANS
April 27, 2013
Jute export earning 'to remain stagnant this fiscal'
country's export earnings from jute are expected to remain almost
stagnant this fiscal compared to that in the last fiscal, as shows
the export trend from July 2012 to March 2013, reports UNB.
Statistics also reveal that the value of export of jute goods,
except for yarn and twine, over the last nine months of the fiscal
has remained much lower than what observed in the previous fiscal.
The average values of jute goods exports by jute mills under
Bangladesh Jute Mills Corporation (BJMC) and Bangladesh Jute Mills
Association (BJMA) have declined by 2.48 percent and 6.27 percent
respectively in the first nine months of the current fiscal compared
to the average value of the total exports in the previous fiscal.
Although the average value of yarn and twine exports by mills under
Bangladesh Jute Spinners Association (BJSA) has increased by about
12 percent in the first nine months compared to the average value of
the total export in the previous fiscal, the quantity of yarn and
twine exports over the first nine months of the fiscal 2912-13
remained much lower than the previous fiscal.
The export quantity of yarn and twine by mills under BJSA stood at
4,58,210 tonnes in the last fiscal, whereas the quantity of the
exports until March of the current fiscal stood at only 2,96,100
tonnes, showed the statistics provided by Bangladesh Jute Mills
Talking to UNB, BJMA secretary A Barik Khan said: "The export
earnings from the jute goods manufactured in both public and private
mills only stood at Tk 4221.48 crore until March this fiscal. The
earning last fiscal was Tk 5355.82 crore. So no significant change
is on board."
"Rather, the value of the exports has decreased. The mills under
BJMC and BJMA are exporting more in quantity compared to the
previous fiscal, but earning less per unit product," he said.
According to the April 2013 issue of the Jute Matters, a monthly
publication of Dhaka-based International Jute Study Group (ISJG),
the export price of raw jute in Bangladesh declined sharply during
the fiscal 2011-2012 because of a fund crisis for jute procurement
faced by local traders and industries which might in turn pulled
down the jute prices in local market as well as in export market.
Barik of BJMA said the government needs to facilitate the jute goods
exporters with some incentives similar to those offered to the
exporters of the readymade garment (RMG), frozen food and leather
goods in order to facilitate growth in the jute goods exports.
Earlier, on April 16, the Jute and Textiles Ministry sent a letter
to the Finance Ministry with recommendation to facilitate the jute
goods exporters with the provision of current capital loans on 7
percent interest from commercial and specialised banks, as like the
Export Cash Credit (ECC) offered to the leather goods exporters.
Source: The Financial Express
Published: Saturday, 27 April 2013
Cultivation of jute starts in Nilphamari
NILPHAMARI, Apr 23: Cultivation of jute has started in Nilphamari
district. The farmers ploughed the jute land and are waiting for its
miniaturisation. After recent rain farmers started spraying jute
seeds in their moistured farmland.
In the meantime Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE) has set
the target of jute cultivation in Nilphamari district at 12770
hectares of land of both local and Tossa varieties out of which
local variety to be cultivated in 1831 hectares and Tossa in 10939
hectares of land.
Sources added cultivation of another local variety of jute called
Mesta which is sporadically cultivated in highlands across the
district is also to begin soon.
The Financial Express
Published: Wednesday, 24 April 2013
Extensive jute cultivation programme in Gaibandha
GAIBANDHA, Apr 22 (BSS): Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE)
has taken up an extensive programme on jute cultivation in the
district during the current season.
DAE office sources said a total of 13,309 hectares of land would be
brought under this cultivation programme with the production target
of 1, 43,151 bales of jute.
Of the total, some 2,145 hectares would be cultivated in Sadar
upazila, 990 in Sadullapur upazila, 400 in Palashbari upazila, 1,020
in Gobindaganj upazila, 3,380 in Sundarganj upazila, 1,970 in
Shaghata upazila and 3,404 in Fulchari upazila of the district,
To make the cultivation a grand success, the Bangladesh Agricultural
Development Corporation (BADC) has taken up an initiative to
distribute high quality seed like O-9897, O-72 and JRO-524 among the
farmers through their recognized dealers and three sale centers at
Sadar, Gobindaganj and Palashbari upazila headquarters in the
district this year, sources said.
The DAE has also taken up necessary measures for growers' training,
easy availability of fertilisers, pesticides and other agri inputs
at fair prices to help the farmers.
Source: The Financial Express
Published: Tuesday, 23 April 2013
Tough choices for Bangladesh
Western sanction on Iran: Tough choices for Bangladesh
Iran-US confrontations are edging closer to direct conflict. As a
result there are fear and tension rising over polarization of
international politics and down fall in certain areas of
international trade and business. The whole situation is in a
deadlocked because both the parties have gone for hard-line stand. A
developing world’s representative like Bangladesh is trapped in a
duel crisis due to its strategic relations with both the
countries-United States & Iran. Relation important with both the
states is mainly economic. Bangladesh has historic and continuous
economic relations with these countries, which are major export
destination of Bangladeshi products. Among export items raw jute,
and apparels are the main product items. Bangladesh is one of the
world's largest producers of the vegetable fiber Jute, which is used
to create a wide range of products including carpets, car interiors
etc. Bangladesh used to enjoy almost a monopoly in Jute as its share
in the world market was almost 80% in 1947-48; but in 1975-76 it
fell to only 25%. This fall in market share was due to the fact that
many other countries had started growing jute and allied fibers.
Over 25% of the population in Bangladesh is involved in jute in one
way or the other including production and post-harvest handling.
Hundreds of established firms transform the raw material into a
range of diversified jute products such as yarn, bags, sacks and
handicrafts. Tens of thousands of people are engaged in this type of
off-farm employment with the majority being women (60 to 70%).
Until 1987 jute accounted for more than 50 percent of export
revenue, with manufactures accounting for an increasing portion of
the total (as compared with raw jute). Jute is a major industry in
Bangladesh with an estimated 1.8 million metric tons in production
and US$1.1 billion in exports in 2010-2011. A Bangladeshi daily The
Financial Express reports, the 27 jute mills under the Bangladesh
Jute Mills Corporation (BJMC) exported nearly 0.13 million tons
worth BDT10.84 billion in the fiscal 12 (July-June), which was
BDT9.38 billion a year ago (July 12, 2012). But, consistent with the
global pattern, the United States market eroded fairly steadily over
the years. Previously, the market for jute sacking was assisted by
the fact that some recipient countries of American food aid
specified burlap for their consignments from the United States
because they had a secondary market for the bags.
Iran is also a large destination of raw jute and jute made products
of Bangladesh. Iran uses Bangladeshi jute to weave the famous
Persian rugs and carpets. But since sanctions hit Iran, jute exports
of Bangladesh have dropped. Due to US blacklisting of Iranian banks,
including the central bank of Iran, financial transactions have been
restricted. Hence, Bangladeshi exporters’ shipments and orders are
being cancelled, and hundreds of millions of dollars have been lost.
Bangladesh exports of jute goods in Iran amounted to $889.45 million
during July-May period of 2011-2012 fiscal, down from $1.0 billion
in the 2010-2011 fiscal years, according to the Export Promotion
Bureau (ERB). Export of jute in July 2012 was down by 13%, not only
to Iran but also to Egypt, Syria, and Libya due to the effects of
the Arab Spring, economic gloom in Europe, earthquake in Turkey, and
flood in Thailand. Jute Mills Association leaders say, “Those who
exported to Iran got caught in the embargo and their money has been
tied-up in there.” Whatever goods the local millers have delivered
could not yet realize payments as the world leaders have blacklisted
most of the Iranian Banks from whom local banks collect export
payments. Bangladesh's billion-dollar jute trade, which about 40
million people in the country rely on to make a living, has suffered
major losses due to sanction on Iran. Al- jazzier reports that, it
is a matter of worry if black market traders try to take advantage
of the situation by shipping through illegal channels that will only
mean bad for Bangladesh as it will boost the black-market and hamper
the international price. 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 set back in jute export. Government of
Bangladesh has fallen into the dilemma of “which way to go”.
Bangladesh can’t overlook United States factor as well as its need
of national economic growth. Unless new markets are created,
Bangladesh can’t ignore Iranian market. Alongside, Iran has a
legendary carpet market and Iran-Bangladesh developed a strong tie
over the times. Decision and policy makers of Government of
Bangladesh falls between the devil and the deep sea. Now they have
to choose a road from crossroads. For the time being she can take a
stand of neutrality. But in the long run neutrality may not help
Bangladesh in the bilateral relations with the disputed parties.
Bangladesh may choose the Indian road. India pursue a dynamic
strategy to ensure economic interest of hers by denying embargo and
sanction on trade with Iran and legitimate approach in United
Nations forum on issue of Iran’s nuclearization programme. As far as
the national interest of Bangladesh, it doesn’t have privilege of
breaking up relations with Iran because then trade interests in the
Iranian market will be spoiled.
Foreign Affairs Insights and Reviews
23 April 2013
Earth Day: The Face of Climate Change
Earth Day: Monday, April 22 is International Mother Earth Day. A
social media campaign compiles “The Face of Climate Change,” photos
from around the world.
The theme of 2013′s
Earth Day campaign is “The Face of Climate Change.” Photos from all
over the world have been posted on the
Earth Day Network’s website.
“The Face of Climate Change is keeping our oceans clean and safe
for all life,” reads the comment on a photo of a girl splashing
joyfully in the ocean, submitted from Ixtapa, Guerrero, Mexico.
A couple stands on the beach in Brussels, Belgium (bundled up well
for the still-chilly spring weather). The woman holds out her hand,
in which she is holding sea shells. The caption reads, “The Sea is
changing and needs our help.”
One photo shows a water pump in Samashpur, Bangladesh. The post
states, “The Face of Climate Change is treasuring limited natural
Vibrant yellow and orange flowers in Karachi, Pakistan are show,
with the words, “The Face of Climate Change is being open to
changing your habits.”
A lady bug rests on the hand of a woman in Tirana, Albania. “The
Face of Climate Change is enjoying Earth’s little critters.”
A young girl holds up a note book with the words “The Face of
Climate Change” written on it in Gilbert, Arizona. “The Face of
Climate Change is every person doing one thing to help.”
The United Nations (U.N.) Secretary General Ban Ki Moon released
a statement in honor of Earth Day: “International Mother Earth
Day is a chance to reaffirm our collective responsibility to promote
harmony with nature at a time when our planet is under threat from
climate change, unsustainable exploitation of natural resources and
other man-made problems.”
“When we threaten the planet, we undermine our only home—and our
future survival. On this International Day, let us renew our pledges
to honor and respect Mother Earth,” he said.
Around the world, coastal communities try to cope as sea levels
rise, polar bears try to find solid footing on melting arctic ice,
and droughts plague others. The U.N. urges the worlds people to work
against a global problem and nurture Mother Earth this Earth Day.
An estimated billion or so people are taking action in 192 countries
on Earth Day.
“Bolivians call Mother Earth Pachamama and Nicaraguans refer to her
as Tonantzin,” states the U.N. website. “Mother Earth is a common
expression for the planet Earth in a number of countries and
regions, which reflects the interdependence that exists among human
beings, other living species and the planet.”
22 April 2013
FBR tells RTOs, LTUs: 5pc ST be charged on supply of jute bags to
ISLAMABAD: The Federal Board of Revenue has categorically conveyed
to the Regional Tax Offices (RTOs) and Large Taxpayer Units (LTUs)
that the supply of jute bags to government departments is chargeable
to sales tax at the rate of 5 percent.
Sources told Business Recorder here on Saturday that the FBR has
issued instructions to all RTOs and LTUs to issue a clarification of
applicability of sales tax rate on supply of jute bags to government
departments under SRO.221(I)/2013, SRO.154(I)/2013 and
According to the FBR's instructions, M/s Thai Limited's letter No.
TL/2013/1451 dated 22-03-2013 on the said subject and to say that
the issue of chargeability of sales tax rate on supply of jute bags
has been examined in the Board. According to condition (vi) of SRO
1125(1)/2011 dated 31-12-2011 (as amended vide SRO 154(1)12013 dated
28-02-2013 and SRO 221(1)/2013 dated 19-03-2013) supplies of the
goods mentioned in the Table to persons outside the five sectors are
chargeable to sales tax @ 5 percent. Since government departments do
not belong to the five sectors, therefore, supply of jute bags to
government departments is chargeable to sales tax @ 5 percent. The
instructions have been issued to the field formations including
Chief Commissioners of all RTOs/LTUs for information and guidance,
the FBR added.
21 April 2013
Pre-budget meeting with NBRBJMA urges govt to withdraw 5.0pc tax at
source on cash subsidy against export
Bangladesh Jute Mills Association (BJMA) urged the government
Thursday to withdraw 5.0 per cent tax at source on cash subsidy
against export of jute products as the government provides the
support to encourage exporters.
The association leaders also demanded reduction of tax at source on
export earning to 0.40 per cent from present 0.80 per cent to make
the jute exporters stay competitive in the international market.
The BJMA leaders made these proposals at a pre-budget meeting with
the National Board of Revenue (NBR). The NBR arranged the meeting
with the oil, gas, food, jute, sugar and cloth sectors businessmen.
However, none of the representatives from cigarette and bidi sector
attended the meeting.
NBR chairman Ghulam Hussain while presiding over the meeting said
the NBR has received 10 DO letters signed by members of parliament
(MPs) for not increasing tax on bidi sector.
"NBR is flooded with the letters sent favouring bidi industry. It is
not that NBR will encourage the bidi sector following those
letters," he said.'Should we encourage the bidi and cigarette
sector?" he posed a question.
In the meeting, dal (pulses) businesses samity general secretary
Safiul Alam said they have to spend increased cost to import Indian
dal from Nepal. "Import cost could be reduced if the government
negotiates with its Indian counterpart to allow export of dal to
Bangladesh," he said.
Cloth Manufacturers Association vice president Ali Akbar said import
of finished cloths dropped significantly after the government
increased tax to 130 per cent.
"Such high rate of tax is also causing smuggling of cloths and loss
of revenue," he added.
BJMA requested the NBR to introduce duty drawback system through
banks to ease the procedure, reduce bank interest rates and increase
cash incentives to 15 per cent from existing 10 per cent.
AK Alamgir Khan of Bangladesh CNG association said profit margin of
CNG companies is not increasing as maintenance cost has increased
19 April 2013
Private jute mill owners for facilities similar to those of
Private jute mill owners have demanded facilities similar to those
of state-owned mills as the sector is struggling to survive due to
the lack of government policy support, industry people said.
They claim that if the private jute millers get the same facilities
as provided to the state-owned ones, both production and export will
increase by 25-30 per cent, creating employment opportunities for
Bangladesh Jute Mills Association (BJMA) and Bangladesh Jute
Spinners Association (BJSA), two platforms of private sector jute
mills, alleged that private mills have become the victims of the
government's 'dual policy'.
"Private jute mills perform better than the public ones but the
government supports only the loss-making state-owned mills," a
private jute miller told the FE Friday. The government is providing
fund to the BJMC (Bangladesh Jute Mills Corporation) mills though
the corporation is yet to become a holding company, he alleged.
"We are contributing to the national exchequer but are deprived of
support," Md Shams-uz-Zoha, chairman of BJSA said. Despite global
recession and political crisis in Middle Eastern countries,
Bangladesh earns Tk 53.56 billion annually by exporting jute and
jute goods, with the private mills' contribution being 80 per cent,
The government has offered financial support worth about Tk 50
billion (Tk 5,000 crore) to the mills run under the BJMC, he said
adding that the private jute millers are yet to get the cash
incentive worth about Tk 5.0 billion since fiscal year (FY) 2009-10
to FY 2012-13.
The government provides a 10 per cent incentive for the jute sector
to inspire the exporters with a view to enhancing the shipment.
The government allocated Tk 3.0 billion against the targeted amount
of Tk 3.94 billion as incentives in FY 2009-10 whereas Tk 3.0
billion was allocated against Tk 5.01 billion in FY 2010-11, Tk 4.50
billion against Tk 5.35 billion in FY 2011-12 and Tk 3.50 billion
against Tk 5.35 billion in FY 2012-13.
If the government offers the same package to the private
entrepreneurs, both production and export earnings would increase by
30 per cent, he noted.
Unlike the readymade garment, frozen food and leather industries,
both private and public mills are operating in the jute sector, he
said."Private jute millers are facing uneven competition due to the
government's dual policy," Mr Zoha said.
Earlier last week, the jute and textiles ministry further requested
the finance ministry to take necessary steps of action to implement
the recommendations of the advisory committee on jute.
The recommendations include providing the same facilities to the
private jute millers as those of the public ones saying the private
millers contribute 80 per cent to the jute export earnings.
The recommendations also include facilitating the private jute
industries by keeping their previous loan (until June 30, 2011) and
its five years' interest in a 'Blocked Account' (BA), with the
provision to start repaying the amount after 30 months of the
creation of the BA at an 8.0 per cent rate of interest within ten
The jute advisory committee's recommendations came in July, 2009 but
these are yet to be materialised, Mr Zoha, head of 90 private
spinning mills, said.
The jute ministry in its recent letter also recommended for
providing fund on easy terms for balancing modernisation,
rehabilitation and expansion (BMRE) to replace old machinery and
also provide 30 per cent fund of the total capital machinery
procurement from the government as provided in the neighbouring
It also suggested that commercial banks should not offer less than
Tk 0.50 for per dollar exchange rate on export price. As an
agro-based industry, the jute sector should get loan at 7.0 per cent
interest rate, it added. There are about 240 jute mills in the
country, of which 120 are under BJMA, 90 under BJSA and 22 under
BJMC, according to official data.
5810 kgs jute seeds allotted in 2 dists
JAMALPUR, Apr 6: Seeds Marketing Office, a wing of Bangladesh
Agriculture Development Corporation (BADC) has allotted jute seeds
in Jamalpur and Sherpur district this year, reports BSS.According to
Seeds Marketing Office sources, some 4,160 kgs local variety of jute
seeds and 1,650 kgs of Tosha variety jute seeds were allotted
against the requirement target of 3,000 kgs and 14,000 kgs
respectively in Sherpur district.
On the other hand, a total of 21,140 kgs of local variety of jute
seeds and 14,650 kgs of Tosha variety of jute seeds were allotted
against the requirement target of 12,250 kgs and 1,14,500 kgs
respectively in Jamalpur district.Md. Hasmat Ali Miah, Deputy
Director, Seeds Marketing, said that enough stock of Tosha variety
seeds in BADC and the rest requirement of Tosha variety seeds will
come soon in the district.Seed Marketing Office said, the seeds will
sale to the farmers by its 400 dealers in the two districts. Farmers
of the districts can purchase it directly from the two-sale centers-Melandah
upazila in Jamalpur and Sherpur Sadar upazila in Sherpur district.
The News Today
target fixed in Jamalpur
Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE) has fixed the target of
jute production in Jamalpur. The department has fixed the jute
production target at five lakh bales of jute. The department has set
a target to cultivate jute on 47,389 hectares of land in the
district this year. According to DAE sources, four varieties of jute
are being cultivated in the district this year. The varieties are
Deshi, Tosha, Mesta and Kenaf.
The DAE office said, last year 3,19,421 bales of jute was produced
on 43,366 hectares of land as jute on 7,728 hectares of land was
damaged by flood.
The office said, 6,554 hectares of land with a production target of
56,062 bales of Deshi variety jute, 38,887 hectares of land with a
production target of 4,23,868 bales of Tosha jute, 225 hectares of
land with a production target of 1,856 bales of Mesta jute, and
1,723 hectares of land with a production target of 14,215 bales of
Kenaf jute will be brought under cultivation.
Upazila-wise break-up of land is as follows: Deshi on 475 hectares
and Tosha on 1,811 hectares of land in Jamalpur sadar, Deshi on
2,165 hectares of land and Tosha on 4,165 hectares of land in
Sarishabari, Deshi on 1,570 hectares of land and Tosha on 12,447
hectares of land in Islampur, Deshi on 190 hectares of land and
Tosha on 4,500 hectares of land in Melandah, Deshi on 1,275 hectares
of land and Tosha on 6,290 hectares of land in Madarganj, Deshi on
252 hectares of land and Tosha on 4,118 hectares of land in
Bakshigonj and Deshi on 627 hectares of land and Tosha on 5,556
hectares of land in Dewanganj.
Seed Marketing Office, a wing of Bangladesh Agriculture Development
Corporation (BADC), has allotted jute seed in Jamalpur and Sherpur
districts this year.
According to Seed Marketing Office sources, 4,160 kilograms of Deshi
variety seed and 1,650 kilograms of Tosha variety seed were allotted
against the requirement target of 3,000 kilograms and 14,000
kilograms respectively in Sherpur district.
On the other hand, 21,140 kilograms of Deshi variety seed and 42,000
kilograms of Tosha variety seed were allotted against the
requirement target of 12,250 kilograms and 11,4500 kilograms
respectively in Jamalpur district.
When contacted, Md Hasmat Ali Miah, Deputy Director of Seed
Marketing, said, “We have available stock of Tosha variety seed in
BADC.” Seed Marketing Office sources said, the seeds are being sold
to the farmers by its 400 dealers in Jamalpur and Sherpur districts.
Besides, farmers can buy seed directly from two sale centres of
Melandah upazila of Jamalpur and sadar upazila of Sherpur district.
Crops Production Specialist of DAE, Shafiqul Islam, said, farmers
have already planted Deshi variety jute and plantation of Tosha
variety jute seed has been started.
16 April 2013
going on in Mymensingh
MYMENSINGH, APR 16: The Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE)
has taken up a programme to cultivate jute during the current season
in the district DAE sources said; the department has fixed a target
of 10,495 hectares of land to cultivate jute with a production
target of 95,057 bales. Sources said, the cultivation of jute has
been ongoing in all 12 upazilas of the district under the
supervision of field level officers of the department. To make the
programme a successful, BADC distributed over 19 metric tones of
quality seeds among the jute farmers through their recognized
dealers and five BADC’s sale centers in Muktagacha, Gafargoan,
Nandail, Iswarganj and Phulpur of the district. Deputy Director of
BADC (Seed) Subrata Kumar Karmaker told that there is no shortage of
seeds during the season in the district. The farmers could easily
collect seed they need from the dealers and sale centers. The
government allotted a total of 25 metric tones of quality seeds in
order to enhance jute production as well as achieve the target of
jute production in current season. Over 19 metric tones of seeds
have already been distributed among the jute growers So far, sources
said. Of the total allotted seeds, 19 metric tones of local
variety, 4 metric tones of tusa and 2 metric tones of Indian
variety, said the Deputy Director. Deputy Director of DAE Narayan
Chandra Basak said, 50 percent of the land has already been
cultivated so far against the targeted land. In some areas of the
district the farmers could not sow jute seeds yet due to drought
17 April 2013
Dundee plans to renew world’s oldest jute mill
A man at work in a Dundee jute factory in 1958. Picture: TSPL
DUNDEE city councillors are being urged to back a new draft planning
brief which could pave the way for the oldest operating jute mill in
the world to be given a new lease of life.
• Proposals to revitalise Dundee’s Queen Victoria Works and Regent
Works area could see the world’s oldest jute mill given new lease of
• The Queen Victoria Works, known as the High Mill, has lain
derelict since 1980s
The Queen Victoria Works, built in 1828, is sited near the western
boundary of the Blackness Conservation Area, and has lain derelict
since it closed in the late 1980s.
Blackness is the largest inner city industrial area in Dundee and is
Scotland’s oldest urban industrial area, granted special
conservation area status in 1997.
Part of the Queen Victoria Works complex, which is known as the High
Mill, is Category B-listed by Historic Scotland but the mill is
currently on the Buildings at Risk Register for Scotland due to its
Dundee City Council planners are recommending that councillors adopt
a new draft site planning brief for the mill and the Regent Works
between Brook Street and Douglas Street to enable the buildings to
be redeveloped as high quality homes and offices.
Their report states: “The Queen Victoria Works was an extensive
former flax mill which dated from 1828 and is situated towards the
western boundary of the Blackness Conservation Area. Until its
closure in the late 1980s the mill was the oldest operating jute
mill in the world.
“The draft Site Planning Brief has been prepared to stimulate
interest for the redevelopment of the site. It supports residential
use and a mix of appropriate uses such as small scale commercial
workspace. It is considered that a mix of housing and commercial
workspace offers a good opportunity to capitalise on the established
uses of the wider area and the careful arrangement of buildings and
open spaces should buffer any perceived amenity conflicts from
adjacent land uses.”
Councillor Will Dawson, convener of Dundee City Council’s city
development committee said: “This is a prominent site in the
Blackness Conservation Area with an industrial past stretching back
almost two centuries. Although the buildings are likely to be in
poor structural condition we would like to see as much of the
material as possible salvaged for re-use.
“The local sandstone the mill was built from as well as the slate
roof and cast iron columns could be used in a way that reflects the
building’s long manufacturing history.”
16 April 2013
Lack of rain delays jute sowing in Assam, Bengal
Sowing of raw jute in early sowing areas of Assam and West Bengal
has been slow and delayed due to poor rainfall. Sowing of jute
usually starts by March-end and continues till May-end. Sowing
requires a hot and humid weather with regular bouts of showers. Jute
requires 5-8 cm of rainfall weekly and more during the sowing
period, sources said. However, this year, the State has not received
adequate showers till now.
According to Manish Poddar, Chairman of Indian Jute Mills’
Association (IJMA), it is still too early to estimate the quantum of
sowing this year. “We need rain, the weather is very hot at
present,” he said.
The sowing of the crop in the south Bengal districts of Murshidabad
and Nadia, which together account for almost 60 per cent of the
country’s total jute production, is yet to commence.
Sowing in these districts usually start in end April or early May,
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has approved a hike of Rs
100 a quintal in the minimum support price for raw jute this 14
season for the TD-5 grade. This is likely to encourage farmers to go
in for a higher sowing of the crop this year, Poddar said.
Prices of certified seeds have also dropped by about 37 per cent to
Rs 50 a kg this year. “There was ample stock of seeds from last
year. This, coupled with the supply of fresh seeds, has brought down
prices,” said a senior industry official.
However, despite these favourable factors, sowing of raw jute could
be slightly lower this year. “Farmers are looking to grow other
remunerative crops such as corn (in north Bengal) and sesame seeds
(in Hooghly district),” the official said.
Area under jute cultivation has remained constant at about 9 lakh
hectares over the last few years. Bengal accounts for almost 67 per
cent of the total area under cultivation at 6 lakh hectares.
The carry over stock is likely to be close to 27 lakh bales (of 180
kg) this year. “A number of stockists have been holding on to their
stock in anticipation of prices appreciating further if rainfall
situation does not improve. This has kept prices stable,” an
Raw jute prices are hovering around Rs 3,200 a quintal this month
compared with Rs 2,700 in January this year, an official said.
The Business Line
April 14 2013
Govt approves hike in minimum support price of jute
In order to
increase production and productivity of jute in the country, the
Government has approved an increase in the minimum support price (MSP)
of jute by Rs.100 to Rs.2,300 per quintal for 2013-14, reports
The Jute Corporation of India would continue to
act as the nodal agency to undertake price support operations of the
MSP in the jute growing states.
Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs also
approved the proposal of the Home Ministry for continuation of the
Scheme for Special Infrastructure in Left Wing Extremism affected
states during the 12th Plan period.
The proposal includes an added objective of
upgradation and critical gap filling of training infrastructure,
residential infrastructure, weaponry, vehicles and any other related
items pertaining to Special Forces of Left Extremism affected
The scheme will enhance the security in the
region which would provide an enabling environment for development.
The total cost would be 373 crore rupees
comprising Rs. 280 Crore as central share and Rs. 93 crore as state
government share .
SME Times News
April 9 2013
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs approved a Rs 100/quintal
hike in minimum support price for raw jute on Tuesday.
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs approved a
Rs 100/quintal hike in minimum support price for raw jute on
Tuesday. However, it deferred key decisions relating to sugar
decontrol and reduction of subsidies for non-urea fertilisers.
The decisions were deferred by the Cabinet panel
since Finance Minister P. Chidambaram is away in Tokyo to attract
foreign investments. The support price for jute for the 2013-14
season for TD-5 grade or the main grade is approved at Rs 2,300 a
quintal across the country. This represents an increase of Rs 100 a
quintal over the MSP announced by the Government for the last
season, an official statement said.
The increase in the support price for raw jute is
expected to encourage farmers to step up jute cultivation and
thereby production and productivity of the fibre in the country. The
Jute Corporation of India (JCI) will continue to act as the nodal
agency to undertake price support operations for jute.
The issue of decontrolling the sugar sector and
reduction of fertiliser subsidies may be taken up at the next
meeting of CCEA. The Fertiliser Ministry has proposed a cut in
subsidy of the non-urea complexes such as di-ammonium phosphate and
muriate of potash for the 2013-14 season in line with the decline in
global prices of these nutrients. Under the nutrient based subsidy
scheme, the Ministry has proposed subsidy of Rs 20.88 a kg of
nitrogen for 2013-14 against last year’s Rs 24 a kg.
Similarly, for phosphorous, the proposed subsidy is
Rs 18.68 a kg against last year’s Rs 21.80. For potassium, the
subsidy is proposed at Rs 19.5 a kg against Rs 24. However, for
sulphur, the subsidy component is likely to be unchanged at Rs 1.68
For complexes like di-ammonium phosphate, the
proposed subsidy cut is of Rs 2,000 a tonne and Rs 2,700 for muriate
of potash for the 2013-14. The subsidy on di-ammonium phosphate is
likely to be pegged at Rs 12,350 for 2013-14, down 14 per cent
against last year’s Rs 14,350. Similarly, the subsidy for muriate of
potash is likely to be pegged at Rs 11,740 a tonne in 2013-14, down
19 per cent against last year’s Rs 14,440 a tonne.
The Business Line
April 2 2013
Political crisis in
ME hits jute export
The political crisis in the middle-east particularly in Syria and
global sanction on Iran have hit the export market of jute yarn,
said Muhammad Shams-uz Zoha, chairman of Bangladesh Jute Spinners
He was speaking at the annual general meeting of the BJSA in the
city on Sunday. He said political crisis in Syria resulted in export
loss of 28,000-30,000 tonnes of jute yarn. The world sanction on
Iran has also hit export of jute yarn. Bangladesh earlier used to
50,000-55,000 tonnes of yarn to Iran a year. Bangladesh's export to
Iran has become vulnerable against the backdrop of global sanction
Muhammad Shams-uz Zoha, also Director of Shams Group and Supreme
Jute and Knitex Ltd, demanded scrapping of 5.00 per cent duty on
export cash subsidy in the ensuring national budget.The BJMC mills
exported 1.24 lakh tones of jute year valued at 1028.35 crore taka
and BJMA exported 1.14 lakh tones of jute yarn valued at 1.14 lakh
tonne of jute yarn valued at taka 919.76 crore. The member of BJA
exported 22.86 lakh bales of raw jute valued at 1540.66 crore.
During 2011-12 fiscal year, total jute goods export stood at 6.96
lakh tonnes valued at taka 5315.13 crore .
During the July-February period
of 2012-13 fiscal year, Bangladesh exported 268,000 tonnes of jute
yarn valued at taka 1715.20 crore. During same period of 2010-11
fiscal year, Bangladesh exported 255,000 tonnes of jute yarn valued
at 1544.85 crore taka. The export of jute yarn increased 5.00 per
cent while income rose 10 per cent.A total 92 BJSA member bills have
a production capacity of 4.00 -4.5 lakh tonnes . India exports
70,000-80,000 tonnes of jute yarn to the international market. The
total world market size is 5.00-6.00 lakh tonnes.
Muhammad Shams-uz Zoha also
cautioned that a number of jute spinning are being set up with a
production capacity of 2.00 lakh tonnes leading unhealthy
competition in the export sector.
With the capacity of new jute spinning mills, the production
capacity of jute mils within years will be 9 lakh tonnes that in
turn will lead to under cutting among exporters. The export market
of jute yarn is now oversaturated, said Muhammad Shams-uz Zoha, new
BJSA president. Muhammad Shams-uz Zoha was reelected president of
Jute Spinners Association at the AGM held at its office on Sunday.
Zoha said that that Bangladesh Jute Spinners Association (BJSA) 92
member spinning mills, Bangladesh Jute Mills Corporation (BJMC) has
27 member spinning mills and Bangladesh Jute Mills Association (BJMA)
has 109 small and large spinning mills.
The members mills of BJSA exported 458210.27 lakh tones of jute yarn
valued at taka 3367.02 crore in 2011-12 fiscal year as against
export of 394,389.68 lakh tonnes of jute yarn valued at taka 3396.17
crore in 2010-11 fiscal year. Jute and Textiles Minister Abdul Latif
Siddique was present as the chief on the occasion. He said that
government will meet the legitimate demands of the BJSA members and
disburse the cash incentives among the genuine exporters.
The News Today
April 2 2013
Earnings from jute sacks, bags rise by 35pc in 8 months
Mkt diversification deemed as
The country's earnings from
export of jute goods increased significantly in the first eight
months of the current fiscal year (FY) 2012-13, following a rising
demand for the items in some newly-explored markets across the
globe, industry people said.
According to the Export Promotion
Bureau (EPB) data, the country earned US$ 159.89 million and $329.06
million from export of jute sacks and bags and jute yarn and twine
respectively during the period under review.
Earnings from jute sacks and bags
increased by over 35 per cent and those from jute yarn and twine
increased by nearly 10 per cent during the period over those of the
Exporters said economic meltdown in the European Union (EU),
political turmoil in Syria, and sanction on Iran could not hinder
export growth of the country's second largest foreign currency
earning sector after apparel.
"Our export of jute goods to
different new destinations increased notably in recent times due to
relentless effort of the exporters for market diversification of
those items," Ishara Jute Products Ltd managing director Mahfujul
Huq told the FE Sunday.
"There is demand for the items in
the new markets, especially in Africa, Sudan, Morocco, the United
Arab Emirates (UAE) and some other middle-eastern and African
"However, due to image crisis of
Bangladesh and lack of adequate efforts from the government we
cannot materialise the opportunity properly," added Mr Huq, also
chairman of the Bangladesh Jute Association (BJA). He also pointed
out capital shortage of the exporters as another impediment towards
achieving potential growth of the sector."We have urged the
government several times to make a block allocation of Tk 5.0
billion for the exporters of jute products, which, in turn, would
increase earnings from the sector to a substantial extent." "But we
are yet to receive any positive response from the government," Mr
Huq further added. Shamsul Haque, former marketing director of the
Bangladesh Jute Mills Corporation (BJMC), said people across the
world are gradually opting for environment-friendly jute items,
which has emerged as a boon for the local exporters.
"The government should now concentrate on finding new markets for
jute goods along with renovation and upgradation of local jute mills
to cope with the increasing demand for such items," he added.
"The UAE and some other countries are now considering imposing ban
on use of artificial shopping bag from next year, considering
adverse impact of the item on the environment. We have to capitalise
such opportunities to regain the lost heritage of the golden fibre
of Bangladesh," he added.
"The UAE will require importing over 11.6 billion shopping bags from
the calendar year 2014. If we can export a small portion of the said
number of bags, the total export earnings from the jute industry
will increase manifold."
Jute and Textiles Minister Abdul
Latif Siddique said the government is set to reopen the closed jute
mills soon to revive the country's jute industry and the lost glory
of the golden fibre.
01 April 2013
seeds allotted for Jamalpur, Sherpur
JAMALPUR Mar 28 (BSS): Seeds
Marketing Office, a wing of Bangladesh Agriculture Development
Corporation (BADC) has allotted jute seeds in Jamalpur and Sherpur
district this year.
According to Seeds Marketing Office sources, some 4, 160 kg's local
variety of jute seeds and 1, 650 kg's of Tosha variety jute seeds
were allotted against the requirement target of 3, 000 kg's and 14,
000 kg's respectively in Sherpur district.
On the other hand, a total of 21,
140 kg's of local variety of jute seeds and 14, 650 kg's of Tosha
variety of jute seeds were allotted against the requirement target
of 12, 250 kg's and 1, 14, 500 kg's respectively in Jamalpur
Md. Hasmat Ali Miah, Deputy
Director, Seeds Marketing, said that enough stock of Tosha variety
seeds in BADC and the rest requirement of Tosha variety seeds will
come soon in the district. Seed Marketing Office said, the seeds
will sale to the farmers by its 400 dealers in the two districts.
Govt targets 8.5pc rise in jute output next fiscal
The government has targeted to increase jute
production by 8.5 per cent in the next fiscal year (FY '14) from
that of the current fiscal (FY '13).Some 7.172 million bales (1 bale
= 180 kg) of jute was produced in the current FY.Experts concerned,
however, think that it will be difficult to achieve the target due
to apathy of farmers following lower price of the produce during the
Jute production target has been set as 7.75 million
bales (excluding Mesta-Kenuf) at 0.725 million hectares of lands of
which Tossa variety comprises 7.19 million bales at 0.66 million
hectares in FY '14, an agriculture ministry official said.He said it
is nearly 8.5 per cent more than the production achieved in the
current fiscal year. The latest data of Bangladesh Bureau of
Statistics (BBS) revealed that jute production in FY '13 dropped by
7.09 per cent due to reduced acreage.In FY '12, jute yield was 7.69
million bales at 0.722 million hectares which reduced to 7.172
million bales at 0.67 million hectares in FY '13, an official at BBS
He said price debacle in two consecutive years
discouraged farmers from jute farming in the last season which may
continue in the upcoming season (March-April to August-September).The
official said the morale of the farmers should be boosted up at the
field level with availability of equipment and assurance of fair
price. He said the handsome price of raw jute in FY '10 encouraged
farmers to increase jute production.The country got a bumper output
of 8.1 million bales of jute in FY '11 at 0.769 million hectares of
land thanks to the fair price in previous years, he said.
President of Faridpur-Gopalganj Jute Producers
Association Md Obaidur Rahman told the FE that the price of
Faridpur's special Tossa variety was Tk 1,150-1,200 during the
harvest season in September which is now Tk 2,000-Tk 2,200."Since
all profit goes to the pocket of middlemen, why will farmers
continue jute farming?" he questioned.
However, farmers of the Faridpur region Sunday placed
a 15-point demand to the Prime Minister to protect their interest by
ensuring fair price and providing quality seeds, Mr Obaidur informed
the FE. Jute seed expert Dr M Sobhan told the FE that the country
grows only 1,200 tonnes of jute seed locally out of her demand of
4,500 tonnes.He said locally developed high yielding seeds should be
promoted and distributed among the farmers and subsidies should be
provided to boost production."Duplicate and low quality Indian seeds
are hampering production," he said.
Economist Dr Khandker Mustahidur Rahman said ensuring
profitable price is now most important to attract the farmers to the
jute sector which contributed more than US$ 1.0 billion to the
country's export basket.He said the government's move to form a
'price commission' should be completed soon."Apart from government
initiatives, the private sector should also take the lead in the
field level research and market promotional activities," he added.
The country's jute industry needs nearly 7.6 million
bales of raw jute annually for some 220 jute mills, according to the
state-run Department of Jute (DoJ).
Brazilian minister may visit BD next month
Talha Bin Habib
Brazilian Minister for
Development, Industry and Foreign Trade Fermando Pimentel is likely
to visit Bangladesh next month aiming to boost bilateral trade and
investment, a high trade official said. With this end in view the
ministry of commerce (MoC) is going to send a formal invitation
letter to him for paying a visit to Bangladesh.
"We are going to send formal
invitation letter to him within the next few days to pay a visit to
Bangladesh. We believe the visit will help further increase the
bilateral trade between Bangladesh and Brazil," Commerce Secretary
Mahbub Ahmed told the FE Friday. Brazil, the biggest country in
Latin America (LA), maintains excellent political and business ties
with Bangladesh. And the two countries could elevate their bilateral
relations to new heights for mutual interests.
A high profile Bangladeshi delegation comprising government and
private sector representatives visited Brazil, Chile and Colombia
from February 16- 27, 2013 to explore market there. Commerce
Secretary Mahbub Ahmed led the Bangladesh team. The commerce
secretary said Bangladesh has huge potential to boost its exports to
several promising export destinations to the countries of LA.
He said that many businessmen of the Latin American countries don't
know much about Bangladesh business opportunities. Their recent
visit enormously helped them (businessmen) to get the clear picture
of Bangladesh's export potential, he said. And they expressed their
interest to do business with Bangladesh, he added.
Mr Ahmed said apart from sittings
with the private sector and businessmen there, he held meeting with
the Brazilian Vice- Minister for Industries and External Trade
Affairs Ricardo Chauffeur to gearing up mutual trade and
investment."We apprised him of the quality of Bangladeshi products
and their price competitiveness," he said. He said that the
Brazilian businessmen expressed their keen interest and asked us
what types of products we would be able to export to Brazil? We
informed them "Bangladesh will be able to export from shirt to
ship," he said.