Bringing back the glory days of jute

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Jute, a once sought-after cash crop, has experienced an industry-wide slump in the last few decades

Dubbed as “Sonali Aash” or “golden fibre” – jute harvest used to be the source of livelihood for many people.

The centre of origin of white jute is said to be Indo-Burma including South China, and that of tossa Africa. The word jute is probably coined from the word jhuta or jota, an Orrisan word.

The use of juttapotta cloth was mentioned both in the Bible and Monushanghita-Mahabharat, indicating the ancient uses of jute materials by the people of these areas. There is evidence of the trade of jute cloth in the 16th century. Ain-i-akbari (1590) mentions sackcloth originating from Bengal.

It is grown in Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, Nepal, China, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Brazil and some other countries.

Bangladesh used to enjoy almost a monopoly of this fibre commercially; its share in the export market was 80% in 1947-48 but in 1975-76 it fell to only 25%.

The fall was a result of substitutes emerging, such as multi-walled paper bags, poly-propelin, polyethylene, and natural fibres from kenaf, hemp, sida, and sunhemp.

Recent focus and incentives by the government has seen a new surge of production of the crop.

This year, jute farmers in Manikganj have a reason to smile.

A better harvest has left the Ghiorupazila, a famous wholesale jute market, buzzing with happy buyers and sellers.

Farmers are able to command better prices for the crop which is also eco-friendly

Cut down on plastic, represent your country.

Use jute products.

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