Pakistan's jute industry has virtually collapsed, prices are soaring and the national economy is in serious trouble.
Pakistan's jute industry has virtually collapsed, prices are soaring and the national economy is in serious trouble. The jute fields of East Pakistan are largely unharvested and the mills are only just beginning to regain their labour force--most of the workers fled when the civil war flared up in March.
Jute comprises more than 55 per cent of Pakistan's entire export revenue, and all of the annual crop is grown and processed in East Pakistan. Jute is of world-wide and varied use in all forms of industry, agriculture, and commerce. Most jute is made into fabrics--usually either burlap or sacking. A lighter fabric is also widely used for packing, cable insulation, and plastering.
The partition of India in 1947 affected the jute industry vitally. The greater part of lands used for jute cultivation ended up in East Pakistan while the entire manufacturing capacity was left in India, mainly in Calcutta. Pakistan had to build up a jute manufacturing industry, at a time when jute was beginning to be challenged by other, synthetic materials.
The civil war in East Pakistan has seriously affected the jute mills of Dacca. Practically all the labour force fled when the fighting broke out last March. The situation is improving as the workers gradually return after fleeing the city when martial law was declared. The Adamjee mill, where VISNEWS cameraman Bill McConville shot this film, is the largest jute mill in the world. It employs 20,000 workers. The production line is slowly returning to normal, but raw jute is in short supply because the fields are unattended. Total exports for 1971 will be well behind last years' figures.