Call to produce eco-friendly pulp, viscose from jute

Dhaka,  Wed,  23 August 2017
Published : 13 May 2017, 21:58:51

Call to produce eco-friendly pulp, viscose from jute

Govt plans to set up Tk 4.51b viscose plant
FE Report

Speakers at a city seminar on Saturday suggested production of eco-friendly pulp and viscose from jute aiming to grab a significant portion of US$ 16.78 billion global market by 2021.

They said quality fibre and viscose could also be processed from quality green jute.

The observations were made at a seminar titled "Eco-friendly pulp and paper processing from jute" organised by Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI) at the trade body's office.

Director (technical) of Bangladesh Jute Research Institute (BJRI) Dr. Asaduzzaman in his presentation said, "We can process pulp from jute and from pulp we can also produce eco-friendly paper."

He said viscose is cheaper than cotton. "Worldwide production of cotton has been cut down to seven per cent with demand of viscose gradually on the rise."

According to him, "Viscose is normally produced from wood but technology gives us an opportunity to produce viscose from jute pulp too."

The government, he said, will set up a plant at a cost of Tk 4.51 billion for producing 30,000 tonnes of viscose annually.

"We need to ensure the revival of jute through innovation and diversification. Bangladesh has the potential to become a major pulp and paper producer from green jute," said DCCI president Abul Kasem Khan while referring to jute as the golden fibre of Bengal.

He said Bangladesh produces 33 per cent of the total raw jute while the country imports 500-600 tonnes of pulp annually worth $ 600 million.

"We need to set up mills to produce high quality pulp from green jute which could meet its entire demand for producing paper," Mr Khan said.

State minister for textiles and jute Mirza Azam said the country's jute has already lost its glory, but the present government is working hard to bring back the glory days.

"At present," he said, "we import 90 per cent of jute seeds from India. Our government has decided to observe March 06 as the 'National Jute Day' every year to promote this sector."

The government has also enacted mandatory jute packaging act in 2010 to protect the jute sector and thereby discourage its export, he noted.

Regarding viscose, he said our importers pay Tk 8-10 billion for viscose import annually.

The government will establish a paper mill that will only use jute pulp, he informed.

"BJMC has enough land. If private sector is interested, they can get land from the BJMC to establish paper or textile mills that will use pulp and viscose," he said.

Additional secretary of the ministry of agriculture Md. Fazle Wahid Khondaker was of the view that if Bangladesh produces pulp for paper and viscose alone, it will help the country's economy a lot.

Director general of the BJRI Dr. Manjurul Alam said demand for non-wood fibre is increasing day by day.

DCCI convenor Rashedul Karim Munna suggested for diversification of jute. "Jute bag alone has a world market of $500 billion," he said, calling for short, mid and long term strategy for the development of jute sector.

DCCI senior vice-president Kamrul Islam, FCA, gave the vote of thanks while DCCI vice-president Hossain A Sikder, directors Asif A Chowdhury, Kh. Rashedul Ahsan, Imran Ahmed and secretary general AHM Rezaul Kabir, among others, were present.
Editor : A.H.M Moazzem Hossain
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