Govt targets to double jute production in 2011-12 season

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Govt targets to double jute production in 2011-12 season
United News of Bangladesh . Dhaka

Inspired by the healthy production trend of jute as well as its better price and multipurpose use, the government is eying for a record production target of jute in the 2011-12 season.

In the upcoming season, some 7.5 lakh hectares of land would be brought under jute cultivation in the country aiming at producing 87.37 lakh bales, said Agriculture Information Service director Nazrul Islam. Per hectare production of jute has been projected at 10.6 bales.

The production target of jute in the upcoming season has been doubled as the farmers are now more encouraged on jute cultivation due to its rising demand as well as its increasing trend of price, he told the UNB.

The AIS director said that in the current season (2010-11), some 4.8 lakh hectares of land were brought under jute cultivation with a production of 50.76 lakh bales. Per hectare yield was 10.58 bales.

In the 2009-10 season, jute production was 49.39 lakh bales as some 4.56 lakh hectares of land were brought under cultivation. Per hectare yield was 10.83 bales.

Nazrul Islam informed that in the current fiscal, some 15 lakh farmers were provided with ribbon retting device worth Tk 30 crore and the method gained popularity among the farmers.

Bangladesh Jute Research Institute in cooperation with the Department of Agricultural Extension imparted training to the farmers on the use of ribbon retting on limited water.

According to the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics, jute production ranged between 40-50 lakh bales from fiscal 2004-05 to 2008-09. The production of jute was 40.35 lakh bales in 2004-05 fiscal, 46.19 lakh bales in 2005-06 fiscal, 48.84 lakh bales in 2006-07 fiscal, 46.22 lakh bales in 2007-08 fiscal and 46.78 lakh bales in 2008-09.

The local jute industry, employing about 1,50,000 workers, is now the second largest export earner after RMG.

In fiscal 2009-10, the jute sector logged 76 per cent higher earnings at $736 million (Tk 5,225 crore) than the previous year and the demand remains buoyant in the current fiscal.

In the first six months of the current fiscal (July-December), export of jute and jute goods totalled $548.66 million, showing a 58.33 per cent rise. Raw jute exports fetched $184.66 million, jute yarn and twine $248.40 million, jute sack and jute bag $92.67 million while other jute products $22.93 million.

The jute sector in the country where 40 lakh farmers are engaged is also set to reap the benefits of the packaging law passed last year.

The law made it mandatory for certain percentage of food items and fertilizers to be packaged with jute materials to give a boost to the industry and cut the use of environmentally-harmful polypropylene bags.

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