Pathshala, a center for the study and promotion of jute in the private sector, on Saturday launched the "Bangladesh Jute Goods Research and Design Centre", with the aim of reaping the best possible rewards for the country from its 'Golden Fibre'.
Its activities will include efforts to diversify the basket of jute goods produced in the country, as well as to aid marketing of Bangladeshi jute and jute goods for international markets.Former president Dr AQM Badruddoza Chowdhury Bikalpa Dhara Bangladesh (BDB) as chief guest inaugurated the center located in Banani.
Also present were Dr Mubarak Ahmad Khan of 'Sonali Bag' fame, widely acknowledged as the world's leading jute scientist and presently acts as scientific advisor to the Bangladesh Jute Mills Corporation (BJMC), and Bangladesh Jute Research Institute senior scientist Dr Nasimul Goni, among others.
Dr Badruddoza said, "We are proud of our jute. Once I spoke in parliament about the need for biodegradable bags. I want to thank Dr Mubarak for creating such a bag from jute."
"If we can utilize jute's full potential, we may expect good days ahead for Bangladesh. So alongside the government, we must keep our eyes open too. Jute must be used to produce a diverse array of goods. It is up to us, and the government needs to assist the process," the Bikalpa Dhara Bangladesh chief added.
The veteran politician concluded by issuing a call to immediate action , and thanked the chairman of Pathshala Sardar Shams Al-Mamun or "Chashi Mamun", for taking the initiative.
Dr Mubarak in his address explained how on returning to Bangladesh from a successful academic career in the USA, he wanted to create something from jute and that is how the potential replacement for harmful polythene shopping bags, the 100 percent biodegradable Sonali Bag, made from jute cellulose, came about."Jute is more than 'Golden Fibre', it is now a 'Diamond Fibre' when you consider the opportunities it offers, and yet there isn't a single department at any university in the entire country that is dedicated to jute research. We call it the Golden Fibre and yet we don't have a proper research center here. The government could take such initiatives," he added.
Dr Mubarak also added that Bangladesh's brand can be established and spread throughout the globe with just one hit product made from jute.
The leading jute scientist relayed that an American company wants to order 25,000 tonnes of Sonali Bag for the US market, but Dr Mubarak was unable to meet his demand "as we cannot launch it in markets." There is also a lack of funds for marketing.
"Jute is a potent resource for us. It is a valuable commodity that may soon be grown on our roofs," he also said.
Pathshala chairman Sardar Shams, in this setting 'Chashi Mamun', said the center was launched to promote jute goods made in Bangladesh for the global market.
"We have no dressing center or testing laboratories on jute in the country. So I decided to take the initiative myself and launch the centre to reap the benefits of jute," Chashi Mamun said.