The Golden Fiber of Bangladesh
Bangladesh is the unchallenged monopolist of this wonderful crop. It is our pride and our most valuable asset. Jute products are being favored in the international market as an environment friendly bio-degradable green product.
What is it?
Extracted from the stem and outer skin of the plants Corchorus capsularis and C. olitorius, jute is a strong vegetable fiber and ranks second only to cotton in terms of world production quantity. During the Industrial Revolution, jute yarn became an important source of sackcloth – known variously as hessian, burlap and gunny. At present a host of innovative products with high value-addition has been developed. Typical application of jute includes floor coverings, jute fiber composites, geotextiles, nonwovens, paper pulp, technical textiles, chemical products, handicrafts and fashion accessories.
Who produces it?
The jute plant flourishes in climatic conditions of Bangladesh .Bangladesh is world’s main jute producer. Small amounts of jute are produced for example in Myanmar, Nepal, India and Brazil. Generally jute crop production takes place in micro and small businesses.
In Bangladesh it is estimated that some 2 million people earn their living – and support 10 million dependents – from jute cultivation, while hundreds of thousands work in the jute manufacturing sector.
How is it produced?
The plant stem is cut close to the ground level and left in the field to defoliate. The stems are retted in gently flowing water over a period of one to three weeks. Retting process is complete when the outer fiber layers of the stem are easily separated from the inner woody core. The fiber is stripped by hand from the stem. Then washed and dried and made ready for sale.
The jute sector is labour intensive with limited mechanization. Generally very small amounts of inputs such as fertilizer and pesticides are used.