In Bangladesh, a national campaign has started in order to increase the production of jute, the country's main export earning crop.
In Bangladesh, a national campaign has started in order to increase the production of jute, the country's main export earning crop. The campaign is aimed at reducing Bangladesh's increasing dependence on foreign aid.
SYNOPSIS: Jute provides Bangladesh with nearly 85 per cent of its export earnings. One hundred and 86 million pounds sterling (325 million dollars US) is earned each year from the crop.
Authorities in Bangladesh are now greatly worried about the continuing fall in jute production. The country is failing to meet its international commitments. At the same time a losing battle is being fought in the world market against the onslaught of synthetic fibres.
However officials are confident that if production is stepped up from an annual harvest of three million bales to seven million, Jute can recapture a major share of the world market.
Farmers are being given a wide range of incentives by the government. Loans are being offered on easy terms and a guarantee has been given of a reasonable price for jute in its raw stage. The government hopes that the new incentives will help lift Bangladesh out of its current recession. Jute carpets and handicrafts are still much in demand in Europe and the United States, but hopes of taking advantage of the market through increased sales have received a setback with this month's devastating floods. The fear is that this year's jute harvest will be greatly reduced.