Nonchalant govt attitude toward jute criticisedNew Age Online
Jute farmers, millers, researchers and experts at a workshop on Monday expressed resentment over the government’s nonchalant attitude for not implementing the mandatory jute packaging act.
The law was enacted three years ago.
They called for increasing local consumption of jute fiber through immediate implementation of jute packaging act to boost its demand at home and abroad.
They also emphasized on ensuring fair prices of the natural fiber, once known as ‘golden fiber’, among growers to help increase the production of the crop in the country.
The speakers, who are working in the field, made their remarks at the workshop on ‘revisit the roadmap for jute’ at the International Jute Study Group secretariat in the city.
Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad, chairman of jute commission, attended the workshop as the chief guest.
Kholiquzzaman said better technology should be adopted to increase farm productivity including jute.
He emphasized on diversification of jute products to catch the global market.
Kamran T Rahman, former chairman of Bangladesh Jute Mills Association, said although millions of people are involved in producing jute and manufacturing jute products, the government has ‘failed to increase the domestic consumption.’
Neighboring India has started mandatory use of jute since 1987, but Bangladesh enacted the mandatory jute packaging act in 2010.
Fazlul Haque Hannan, president of jute and vegetables growers’ association, said if the farmers were given seeds and other inputs timely and were ensured fair prices, they would be happy to cultivate the fiber.
Humayun Khalid, chairman of Bangladesh Jute Mills Corporation, said demand for jute goods has been increasing day by day, so time has come to do something more for the jute sector.
He urged all concerned to play positive roles to develop the sector.
The BJMC chairman said he is ready to provide all-out cooperation to provide training necessary to strengthen the industry.
Although jute is called environment friendly fiber having tremendous prospects, use of jute goods are not seen everywhere in Bangladesh, said Kamal Uddin, director general of Bangladesh Jute Research Institute.
Jute can be used in place of cotton, he said, adding that farmers were being motivated to produce more jute.
Jahangir Alam, former director general of Bangladesh Livestock Research Institute, stressed the need for extending the real benefits to the farmers who grow jute with their hard labours.
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