• Short Summary

    The price of Bangladesh's main export earner -- jute -- ha??? collapsed, threatening to provoke?

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    The price of Bangladesh's main export earner -- jute -- ha??? collapsed, threatening to provoke an economic crisis. Jute is responsible for nearly eighty percent of the country's foreign income. An international effort has been launched to save the industry.

    SYNOPSIS: It is generally agreed in Bangladesh that a glut of jute has been the main cause of the low prices. About 27 million unsold bales were left over from the 1978 season and although the government has tried to impose a minium price, farmers are selling their new harvest at less than the cost of production. Forty percent of the population depends on jute for its livelihood, but most are too poor to wait for higher prices before selling what has been called 'the golden fibre of Bangladesh'. Many of them accuse middlemen of profiteering.

    The government has campaigned to boost demand abroad and to encourage jute mills to step up production. But spokesmen for the industry say neither the mills nor the state-run trading corporations have enough money to buy more.

    The crisis -- which some believe could mean the downfall of Bangladesh's visit jute industry -- has prompted action from the World Bank and other world agencies, who plan to invest about ten million pounds (sterling) (about 4.7 million dollars U.S.). The funds will help encourage some jute farmers to grow rice, and buy a buffer stock of twenty million bales for selling later when prices rise.

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    Reuters - Source to be Verified
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    Available on request
    Black & White
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