The earnings were 17% higher than the target set by the government for the industry
The Covid-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc across all aspects of life in Bangladesh, from people’s health to their livelihoods and the economy at large. With businesses taking a hit in every sector, it has been rare to come across any good news regarding improvements anywhere.
To that end, the news that export of jute and jute products saw an increase in income of 14% in the period of July-April -- earning $791m in the current fiscal year -- is certainly welcome. What makes this more encouraging is that the earnings were 17% higher than the target set by the government for the industry.
The golden fibre has long been ignored at large, and in a world where sustainability is so highly valued, we as a country have historically failed to capitalize on the immense potential of jute and jute products.
It is high time that changed. With the Covid-19 pandemic, Bangladesh will have to, in many ways, rethink its strategy for future growth and development.
With remittance and RMG exports -- the twin pillars of our economy -- both understandably taking a serious hit due to the pandemic, the time has never been more right for us to look for alternatives. For too long, we have failed to diversify our export basket, and we are paying for this currently.
However, the time to rebuild is now. With the government looking to expand the jute industry through numerous initiatives and projects to encourage the farmers and cultivate higher-yielding varieties, the future is encouraging.
Now, it is time we use the momentum from the industry’s increased earnings to propel jute and jute products to reach its full potential and make it a cornerstone of our economy.