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Only timely & effective decision can revitalize jute sector - BJSA
May '09
The jute sector has seen better days and was one of the most vibrant sector in the post independence period in India and in Bangladesh, what was know then as East Pakistan. Millions of people including farmers, jute mill workers etc received their sustenance from this industry. But government apathy in both the countries led to the gradual downfall of what is called the yellow and golden fibre.

To get a real image of the state of the sector in current times, Fibre2fashion spoke exclusively to Mr. Shabbir Yusuf, Chairman of Bangladesh Jute Spinners Association (BJSA). We began the discussion by questioning him about the real and accurate reasons for the gradual decline in the jute sector, he answered by stating “It is the lack of govt. decision about the de-nationalization process of govt. owned enterprises and only timely effective decision can revitalize jute industry in the country”.

“There is indecision on the financial re-structuring of the public enterprises, to make it workable and self reliant. The World Bank's policy to finance generously towards restructuring of jute sector, led to skilled manpower leaving the sector and without any substantial & effective programme to build & maintain a skilled working force for the remaining industries, has saddled and rendered the sector with unskilled force & incompetent management”, added Mr. Yusuf.

We carried on the conversation by asking about his expectation of the jute sector from the government to which he firmly said, “While launching the re-structuring programme, the World Bank helped jute sector financially in a very big way and to revitalize the industry, similar drive needs to be initiated, because nothing tangible has been achieved in last 50-60 years and no mentionable R & D activities both in public & private sector”.

Next we tried to know how the rising jute fibre prices in recent months had impacted the real stake holders; the farmers and its effect on the end product, to which Mr Yusuf replied by saying, “With the present shape of jute industry within our country if we pin point the major stake holders first in order are the farmers, then according to priority it is jute spinners (jute yarn manufacturers) i.e. BJSA, BJA, BJMC & BJMA”.

He continued by explaining, “Initial high price at the beginning of the season benefited mainly the growers, but later they had to sell at a very marginal price. The major stake holder BJSA mills bought at sky high prices, whereas the finished goods prices are still at the bottom”.

To know about its applications in technical textiles sector, we ended the interview by asking him about the same and steps the sector was taking to promote the same, to which he said, “We have been hearing from our scientists & technicians about cheap commercial textile fibre jute having a future as a technical textile fibre and its potential in geo- textiles is enormous in the field of soil protection & civil construction”.

“In this respect our neighboring country India, a major jute & jute goods producer is making a noticeable progress. All their research centre's & different government agencies are vigorously active as against a very disinterested role played in our country. However IJO/IJSG is trying to play some roll in it, he concluded by saying.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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