There is no reason why jute-based products from Bangladesh cannot be a formidable presence in the world market
It is wonderful to see that we are all set to begin commercial production of jute polymer-based bags, which, unlike plastic bags, are biodegradable and therefore environmentally sustainable.
Jute is known as the golden fibre, and has, throughout the history of this country, had a very special place in our heritage. And yet, the potentials of the golden fibre have sadly been ignored for too long.
But now, things may be looking up, as we aim to not only diversify our export basket, but also become more and more eco-conscious.
Back in 2002, the Adamjee Jute Mill was shut down, which was a big blow to the industry and the prospects of jute, but now it would do good to reopen mills and encourage production across the nation.
The ready-made garments sector has long dominated our exports, but there is no reason why jute-based products from Bangladesh cannot be a formidable presence in the world market.
We should be looking to new and exciting products -- going beyond the obvious jute merchandise -- like jute charcoal and jute tea; and as younger consumers take a greater interest in the environmental impact of their buying habits, these products will be seen as trendy, thereby strengthening our economy even more.
The new jute-based bags are, of course, great news for a variety of environmental reasons; indeed it is high time we ditch the use of plastic, but it is important to note that encouraging greater jute production is not just good for the health of the planet: It is good for our economy.