The government has made jute packaging mandatory for poultry feed and fish feed to boost domestic use of the golden fibre as exports of jute and jute goods are facing difficulties including anti-dumping duty imposed by India on Bangladeshi jute products.
The textiles and jute ministry on August 6 issued a gazette notification, amending the Mandatory Jute Packaging Rules-2013 and making use of jute bags for the products mandatory.
With the inclusion of the two items, the number of products that have come under mandantory jute packaging has increased to 19.
The government in early 2015 started enforcing the rules of the mandatory jute packaging law to increase the use of environmental-friendly natural fibre and discourage the use of synthetic one.
Seventeen other products for which use of jute packaging is mandatory are paddy, rice, wheat, maize, fertiliser, sugar, spices, turmeric, onion, ginger, garlic, coriander, pulses, potato, flour, crude flour (ata) and rice bran.
Bangladesh’s exports of jute and jute goods have been facing problems particularly after India imposed anti-dumping duty on Bangladeshi jute and jute goods in January, 2017.
Though the overall export earnings increased by 6.56 per cent in last fiscal year of 2017-2018, earnings from export of jute sacks and bags declined by 3.69 per cent in the year, according to the Export Promotion Bureau.
India is the major market for Bangladeshi jute sacks and bags.
Officials of the textiles and jute ministry said that poultry and fish farming were the two growing sectors in the country and mandatory use of jute bags for poultry and fish feed would significantly increase the local demand for jute.
The government is also planning to make the use of jute bag compulsory in packaging cement, which would also boost domestic use of jute, they said.
They said that production of jute almost doubled since the independence of the country.
In recent years, the average production of jute stood at more than 82 lakh bales.