Coconut fibre business creates jobs in Khulna
Nanda Kishore Chakrabortty
Producing yarn and other items through rejected coconut husks gained popularity in Khulna and Bagerhat districts in recent years, with an estimated 200,000 people are employed with the sector, both directly and indirectly.
Coconut husks are collected from coconut traders when they sell the item to coconut mills after removing the husks.
Then the husk is taken to nearby factory to remove the fiber from it. Soft seats of rickshaws and scooters, bead and other different forms of essential products are being made with the fiber. Some traders even export the fiber to India and China, local businessmen said.
Many small and medium scale mills have been developed in Khulna and Bagerhat over the years as the machineries are not so expensive.
Suresh Kumar Kundu (45), machine operator of Kathipara Mill at Morrelgong upazila under Bagerhat district, said, ‘‘We buy 1,000 coconut husks at about Tk 500-600.”
He also added it required Tk 500,000 to install a mill.
Aklima, who works at a mill at Banagram union under Morrelgong upazila, said, ‘‘I can earn Tk 175 a day working at the mill and can meet the expenses of my two kids”.
A mill owner as well as a coconut trader Tarapada Shaha of Morrelgong upazila said, “Some manufacturers are exporting the fiber”.
Another mill owner Millon Kumar Das of Kachua upazila says, ‘‘At least 1,000 people work at his mill.”