Agriculture Minister Dr Md Abdus Shahid said jute production has increased by 3.3 million bales in the last decade due to the jute-friendly policy of the government led by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
“In 2015, jute production was 5.1 million bales, while in the financial year 2022-23, the country produced about 8.4 million bales. Of this, about 4.3 million bales of jute and jute products have been exported. About Tk 80.00 billion has been earned through the export of jute and jute products,” he said.
The minister said this while addressing a seminar titled “Success and Prospect of Jute Research Genome Centre” at Bangladesh Jute Research Institute at Manik Mia Avenue in the capital on Monday.
The minister said, “Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina started the activities of genome sequencing of jute in 2009 to bring back the lost glory of jute and established the Genome Centre. As a result, the mystery of jute life was revealed for the first time in the world in 2010. As a result of unraveling the mystery of life, there is a huge opportunity to invent high-yielding varieties suitable for cultivation in the country.
“And the soil of the country is also very suitable for jute cultivation. Therefore, there are many opportunities to increase jute production.”
Addressing the scientists, the minister said high-yielding varieties and production technology will have to be invented to increase jute production. To this end, they have to pay more attention to research and work with sincerity and dedication to make full use of the genome sequencing lab.
Mentioning that work is underway to achieve self-sufficiency in jute seeds, the minister said, “We have not yet been able to become self-sufficient in jute seeds. Most of the demand is imported from India. Therefore, the government is working on priority basis to reduce import dependency of jute seeds, achieve self-sufficiency in jute seed production and produce more jute in less land.”
“Although the use of polythene has increased, there is a huge demand for environmentally friendly jute and jute products worldwide in the current era of sustainable development. The versatile use of jute fiber is increasing day by day,” said Shahid.
“At present, the domestic market of geotextile is around Tk 7.00 billion. Not only in Bangladesh, the value of environmentally friendly and excellent jute geotextile is increasing instead of synthetic geotextile made from ‘metal netting’ or polymer for various purposes around the world. Besides, black ash from Bangladesh is currently being exported to China, Taiwan, Japan, Hong Kong and Brazil,” he added.
Executive Chairman of the Agricultural Research Council Sheikh Md Bakhtiar; Agriculture Ministry Joint Secretary Rehana Parvin and Jute Research Institute Director General Abdul Awal, among others, spoke on the occasion.