Demand for jute products growing in Rangpur
RANGPUR, Jan 7: An increase in demand for jute products, especially handicrafts has made small enterprises of the north optimistic of going ahead.
More than 150 enterprises in Rangpur division are now producing jute goods such as mats, travel bags, vanity bags, wall mats, sandals, pen-stands, wallets, curtains and various kinds of showpieces, as per the data of various commercial banks and Bangladesh Small and Cottage Industries Corporation (BSCIC).
Some of them have opened showrooms at the district and divisional headquarters to display and sell their products. Most of the enterprises produce jute goods at their own factories and supply them to Dhaka and other parts of the country. Some enterprises are served by homemade jute goods of their contracted craftsmen.
“Though marginal, we are running our business lucratively,” said Masuduzzaman Tuheen, director of Begum Rokeya Craft at Payerabandh under Mithapukur upazila in Rangpur. The jute goods’ demand has incresed in the country for several reasons, Tuheen said. First of all, the craftsmen can procure jute as raw materials for jute goods easily as it grows in abundance in the region, he said.
Information technology, mainly the internet, has opened up many opportunities for them to get elegant designs from various handicraft sites, he said. “We can produce very fashionable jute goods now which was not possible in the past.
A number of government and non-government organisations, including Bangladesh Rural Development Board (BRDB), BSCIC, Jute Diversification Promotion Centre (JDPC), Palli Karma Sahayak Foundation, RDRS Bangladesh and CARE Bangladesh, have been organising trainings for the craftsmen on producing jute goods for years.
About 26,000 female workers in five northern districts have so far been trained up in making and dealing in various jute goods. JDPC has been trying to establish linkages with marketing. The centre was set up in 2002 in Rangpur to promote jute products. “We are working as a bridge between the commercial buyers and enterprisers to share business information,” said Saher Hossain, regional marketing officer of JDPC.
Tuheen alleged that many of the famous handicraft companies in Dhaka purchase jute products from them. But they sell the products with their own trade name of their company showrooms in the capital. He said some enterprises of the north display and sell their jute goods at different fairs across the country.
Anwar Hossain, proprietor of Beauty Handicrafts Factory at Mongla Kutti village under Pirgachha upazila in Rangpur, said he took part in almost all the handicrafts fairs and exhibitions across the country.He said he took part in the Baishakhi Fair at Bangla Academy in Dhaka that concluded recently. He sold Satranjis (jute made multi-coloured mats) worth of about Tk 2 lakh.
Mosharraf Hossain, director of Sonar Bangla Handicraft in Rangpur said, fifty craftsmen are working in his factory who had previously taken part in trainings at JDPC in Rangpur, Each of them earns around Tk 7,000 to Tk 8,000 a month by producing jute goods, he added.
Hossain said, Bangladeshi jute goods have its demand not only in the domestic markets but also in foreign markets. He said he had received an order for supplying jute bags for HP laptops in China. Unicol Solution, a buying house in Dhaka, purchases jute-made Satranji, mobile bags, vanity bags, and shopping bags from him for a Japanese buyer, he added.