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Jute Industry Overview

1.1 Introduction Jute is a natural fibre popularly known as the golden fibre. It is one of the cheapest and the strongest of all natural fibers and considered as fibre of the future. Jute is second only to cotton in world's production of textile fibers. India, Bangladesh, China and Thailand are the leading producers of Jute. It is also produced in southwest Asia and Brazil. The jute fibre is also known as Pat, kosta, Nalita, Bimli or Mesta (kenaf). Jute, as a natural fibre, has many inherent advantages like lustier, high tensile strength, low extensibility, moderate heat and fire resistance and long staple lengths. It is a biodegradable and eco-friendly. It has many advantages over synthetics and protects the environment and maintains the ecological balance. Jute is not only a major textile fibre but also a raw material for nontraditional and value added non-textile products. Jute is used extensively in the manufacture of different types of traditional packaging fabrics, manufacturing Hessian, sacking, carpet backing, mats, bags, tarpaulins, ropes and twines. Recently jute fibers are used in a wide range of diversified products: decorative fabrics, chic-saris, salwar kamizes, soft luggage's, footwear, greeting cards, molded door panels and other innumerable useful consumer products. Supported by several technological developments today jute can be used to replace expensive fibers and scare forest materials. 1.2 Background of Jute Industry Jute Industry played an important role in the economic development of Bengal. At the beginning of the twentieth century, Bengal could boast of only one manufacturing industry - jute. It employed about a half of the total industrial workforce of Bengal. In 1900-1, the export value of jute manufactures accounted for nearly a third of the entire export trade of Bengal. The industry was dominated at the beginning, by Europeans and later, by Marwari. During most of its history, threequarters of the labourers in jute factories were non-Bengalis. Bengalis generally occupied only the intermediate position in the industry. The raw jute for the industry used to come from Eastern Bengal. Prior to the establishment of the first jute mill in 1855, handloom weavers used jute fiber to make twines, ropes, coarse fabrics for the poor, and also for fishing and for mooring vessels. Towards the end of the eighteenth century, jute attracted the attention of the British east india company, which sent a consignment of jute samples to England in 1791 that were successfully spun by flax machinery. The British also found out means to soften the hard and brittle nature of jute fiber by adding oil and water. This made the fiber more pliable and easily separable, and resulted in the production of a usable thread. Several historical events were responsible for the growth of the jute industry. In 1838, the Dutch government specified bags made of jute instead of flax for carrying coffee from the East Indies. At that time flax was imported from Russia. However, the Crimean War of 1854-56 led to the stoppage of supply of flax from Russia and forced Dundee, the famous jute-manufacturing centre of UK, to look for substitutes. In Dundee, the flax mills were converted into jute mills.

The American Civil War (1861-65), on the other hand, gave further impetus to the jute trade, as supplies of American cotton were much restricted. Since then, the industry did not return to flax or cotton. The main reason for this permanent shift had been its comparative cost advantage. The jute industry grew rapidly and jute mills were established in many countries, including USA, Germany, France, Belgium, Austria, Italy, Holland, Spain, Russia, Brazil and Bengal. This led to a rapid increase in the demand for jute. The Bengali peasants responded quickly to meet the world demand by increasing the area under jute cultivation. The outbreak of the First World War led to a rapid increase in the demand for raw jute, since it was used to manufacture sandbags to protect soldiers in trenches and to produce gunny bags for carrying food grain for the army. Inevitably, the price of jute also rose sharply. Although Bengal, particularly Eastern Bengal, was the main producer of quality raw jute, the first jute mill was established at Risraw near Calcutta on the bank of the Hugli only in 1855, after 20 years of mechanical spinning of jute in Dundee. The delay was due to the non-availability of technical hands and power to drive machines. In 1854, coalmines were opened at Raniganj. Attracted by the easy availability of power, George Auckland, an Englishman established the first jute mill. But he could not make reasonable profits and left the business. In 1859, the Bornee Company founded the second mill with spinning and weaving facilities. Unlike the Aucland mill, it started prospering after its establishment. Within five years it doubled its plant size. By 1866, three new mills were established. Between 1868 and 1873, these mills made large profits. Five new companies started in 1874 and 8 more in 1875. Thus, Bengal experienced a real boom in jute industry towards the end of the nineteenth century. With the establishment of jute mills, Bengal became a major exporter of sacking bags. Calcutta appeared to be a strong competitor of Dundee and successfully penetrated into Dundee's hessian market in many parts of the world, including America, primarily because Calcutta had the cost advantage in producing jute goods. Secondly, it was situated in close proximity to the jute growing districts of Eastern Bengal and Assam. Thirdly, it had cheap labour. Fourthly, the mills ran for 15 to 16 hours, and sometimes even for 22 hours daily. This led to a clear advantage of Calcutta manufacturers in monetary terms. Moreover, they could offer a finer quality of jute. In sixty years between 1880 and 1940, the number of mills increased by 5 times, that of looms by about 14 times, of spindles by 19 times, and of persons employed by 11 times (see Table). The growth of the industry was significant during the 20 years between 1900 and 1920. During the Great Depression of 1929-33, the jute industry was severely hit since the demand for jute goods declined drastically throughout the world. Table 1.1: Growth of jute industry in Bengal, 1879-1939

Year 1879-80 1900-01 1920-21

Mills 22 36 77

Looms 5,000 16,100 41,600

Spindles 71,000 331,400 869,900

Employment 27,000 114,800 288,400

1938-39

110

69,000

13,70,000

299,000

Before it was put to industrial use, jute was used mostly for domestic purposes. With the conversion of the Dundee flax mills into jute processing mills, the demand for jute increased manifold in the world. Bengali peasants were highly experienced in jute cultivation and could respond quickly to meeting this increased demand. In 1872, when industrial use of jute had begun, it was mainly grown in the districts of pabna, bogra, darjeeling,dinajpur, rangpur and Hughli (West Bengal). The ratio of land under jute cultivation to total cropped land in these districts in 1872 was 14%, 11%, 9%, 7%, 6% and 5% respectively. Subsequently, jute cultivation spread to other districts. In 1914, leading districts in terms of the above ratio were Rangpur (28 %,) Bogra (25%), Tippera (comilla, 24%), Pabna (21%), Dhaka (18%), Faridpur (16%), Hughli (West Bengal, 13%), Rajshahi (11%), Jessore (10%), Nadia (10%), and Dinajpur (7%). After the end of the First World War in 1918, the world demand for raw jute decreased. This had a negative impact on the area under jute cultivation. The situation worsened for jute cultivation during the Great Depression of 1929-33. The prices sank so low that jute growing became unprofitable. As a result, peasants greatly reduced their area under jute cultivation. By 1939, economic recovery took place. The breaking out of the Second World War caused an increase in the demand for jute and between 1939 and 1945; peasants put more areas under jute cultivation. After the Partition of Bengal in 1947, it was found that all jute mills of the region were in West Bengal, which became a part of India and all major jute growing districts became part of East Bengal, a province of Pakistan. As it had no jute mills, East Bengal faced problems in marketing of raw jute. The problem was, however, quickly overcome by establishing jute mills in East Bengal. The jute industry in the public sector, by virtue of its location in East Pakistan, became the property of Bangladesh after independence in 1971. Pakistani mill owners (about 68% of the total loom strength) left the country, leaving the industry in disarray. Abandoned jute mills were subject to heavy looting. The new government of Bangladesh had to take up the responsibility of rebuilding the industry. By a Presidential order, about 85% of industries, including all jute mills, were nationalized. Bangladesh Jute Mills Corporation (BJMC) was formed to manage and look after all the 73 jute mills having 23,836 looms at that time. At one stage the number of jute mills under the jurisdiction of BJMC went up to 78. BJMC had to revive the industry from a ruined position. Immediately after liberation, it became very difficult to solve problem of financial hardship of the jute industry because financial institutions were not working well. The short supply of spares, labour unrest, wastage in production etc. shook the industry severely. For jute industry of Bangladesh, the first two years after liberation was the period of reorganization. The government offered cash subsidy to the industry, which amounted to Tk 200 million annually. The annual cash subsidy was reduced to 100 million since 1976-77. Thanks to this policy and periodic devaluation of currency, Bangladesh could retain its position of a prime exporter of jute goods in the dollar areas of export. The industry earned profit in 1979-80, when the subsidy was withdrawn.

By December 1979, BJMC had 77 jute mills, two carpet backing mills, and two spare parts producing units. In 1980, six twine mills were disinvested to the private sector. In June 1981, BJMC had 74 mills under its administration. These mills had about 165,000 workers and 27,000 managerial and office staff. Denationalization of jute mills started in July 1982. The government ordered BJMC to complete the process by 16 December 1982, but only 10 mills could be handed over to Bangladeshi owners by that time. The valuation process and settlement of other organizational matters relating to handing over of the mills took a long time. Among the jute mills owned by BJMC, 46 had satisfactory financial performance in 1982-83, when their profit before contribution to national exchequer was about Tk 240 million. The same mills incurred total losses of about Tk 430 million in the previous year. Jute mills incurred losses regularly over years and external donor agencies pressed hard for denationalization. More and more mills were put into the denationalization list. In 1999, BJMC had 33 mills. The World Bank continued to work closely with the government to restructure the jute sector, especially through denationalization, merger, dissolution, closure and setting up of new units. The importance of the jute sector to the Bangladesh economy, in particular, cannot be over-stated, it is a major cash crop for over three million small farm households, the largest industry, producing about one-third of manufacturing output, and the largest agricultural export commodity in Bangladesh. The livelihood of about 25 million people (almost one - fifth of the total population) is dependent on jute - related activities in agriculture, domestic marketing, manufacturing and trade. Jute, as a renewable natural fiber, is also bio- degradable and environmentally friendly, it is one of the few crops, which can be grown in the monsoon season, and can be rotated with rice to restore the soil fertility and structure. The leaves of jute plants enrich the fertility of the soil for sustained agriculture, and have good nutrition value as vegetables. Use of jute sticks as fuel and fencing material as substitute for wood prevents deforestation. Therefore, the increased global concern for the environment, the future prospects for jute remains high. Lest we forget, the jute industry was the life blood of our economy for several decades and continues to be one of the mainstays of our rural economy even today. About 15 million farmers are involved in growing this cash crop and several million more of our population, perhaps an equal number, are involved with its processing, transportation, conversion, etc. In order to understand the current state of affairs in the industry, one must look into the background of the jute industry and the events that took place over the last several decades. 1.3 Bangladesh Jute at a Glance

1. 2.

Average land area under jute cultivation Average production of jute carryover

: :

12.35 Lac acres

58 Lac bales 3

(1.04 Million Ton.) (0.05 Million Ton.) (1.09 Million Ton)

61 Lac bales

3. 4.

Average internal consumption of jute Average Export of raw jute with value

38 Lac bales

(0.68 Million Ton)

Quantity

Value

21.00 Lac bales (0.37 Million Ton 1000 Cr. Tk. 5. Number of jute Mills: : Under BJSA Under BJMA Under BJMC TOTAL : 6. Number of workers employed in Jute Mills (Approx.) : BJSA Mills BJMA Mills BJMC Mills TOTAL: 7. Average production of Jute goods : BJSA Mills BJMA Mills BJMC Mills TOTAL : 8. Average internal consumption of Jute goods : BJSA Mills BJMA Mills 81 97 27 205 UNITS 55,868 39,000 61,681 1,56,549 3,60,500 M. Tons 1,56,500 M. Tons 1,46,000 M. Tons 6,63,000 M. TONS 20,000 M. Tons (yarn/twine) 48,000 M. Tons (sacking/hessain)

BJMC Mills 21,000 M. Tons (sacking/hessain) TOTAL : 89,000 M. TONS 9. Average Export of jute goods with quantity, value Quantity BJSA Mills BJMA Mills BJMC Mills TOTAL : 10. 11. Spindles in Jute Spinning Mills Installed Looms in Jute Mills (As on 30 June 2010 ) BJMC: Installed Operated BJMA: Installed Operated
Acronyms used o BJSA Bangladesh Jute Spinners Association (Private Sector) BJMA Bangladesh Jute Mills Association (Private Sector) BJMC Bangladesh Jute Mills Corporation (Public Sector) CBC Carpet Backing Cloth.
th

: Value 2014 58 537 3139

3,42,195 97,160 96,523 5,35,878 Installed Operated Sacking 2930 2930 5257 2530 CBC 579 513 711 183

: :

1,75,114 1,47,124 Hessian 3790 2341 6532 1421

Others 21 21 361 200

Total 7320 5805 12861 4334

Weight & Measures: 1 acre = 0.405 hectares 1 bale = 180 K.G. 1. mt. = 5.56 Bales Prepared by Bangladesh Jute Spinners Association. April, 2011

05th

1.4 The Basic Jute Products The most basic and essential jute commodities fabricated in Bangladesh jute mills are:

Canvas: It is the finest jute item, woven with highly premium grades of fiber. Jute canvas and screen lamination along with paper polythene is widely used in mines and for getting protection against weather. Sacking Cloth: Made up of low quality jute fibers, sacking cloth is loosely woven heavy cloth used for packing sugar, food grains, cement etc. Weighing from 15 to 20 ozs, several qualities are available in this category like Twill, heavy Cees, D.W Flour, Cement Bags and many more. Hessian Cloth: It is a plain woven superior quality jute fabric, weighing between 5 and 12 ozs, a yard. Hessian cloth is highly exported all across the world in the form of cloth, bags etc. Also known as burlap, this cloth is vastly used in wide ambit of applications. D.W. Tarpaulin: This product is majorly used for coverings on a very high multidimensional scale. Bags: Used mainly for shopping, bags are usually fabricated from sacking or hessian cloths. They are often decorated with varied artistic designs and with straps, chains and handles in several dimensions and shapes. Other categories of bags are promotional bags which are manufactured to promote items for sale. Hydrocarbon free jute cloth: This cloth is fabricated by treating jute with vegetable oil. It is a hessian fabric, hydrocarbon free cloth, widely used for packing different food materials, cocoa, coffee, peanut beans etc. Geo-textile: It is a jute cloth laid along the river embankment sides and hill slopes to prevent soil erosion and landslides. Serim Cloth: It is a light weight hessian cloth, used in felt industry for reinforcing the non woven fabric and for strengthening paper with lamination. Tobacco sheets: Used for wrapping tobacco leaves, tobacco sheets are made up of hessian cloth. Decorative items: The vast variety of decorative products are made up of jute fabrics like wall hangings, toys, table lamps, paper, decorative bags, furniture and many more. Hessian tapes and gaps: They are made up with hessian cloth, woven with gaps at regular intervals and the cloths cut between the gaps to make small width taps

Under stress jute extends only 0.5% to its stable form and so gives wonderful dimensional stability. The hairy surface of jute fabric gives it a capacity to grip any surface it comes in contact with. They can, for this reason, be stacked high and wide without any risk of slippage. The ignition temperature of jute is 193c. It thus remains very stable up to near ignition point. Even at boiling temperature, its intact physical properties guard it from undergoing possible distortion. Jute being hygroscopic and auriferous permits normal

breathing and humidity to the contents and so ensures their storage without deterioration. Hooks may be used freely and easily on jute products during handling as its innate properties cover up the pierced holes immediately after. It thus prevents seepage loss of contents during transportation and allows itself to be re-used over and again Jute being natural is biodegradable. It does not plug the natural pore of the earth soil and surface. When burned, it emits the same fume as a burning wood as we know, is nothing dangerous. It has no adverse effect on human body and the mother nature as a whole. Jute, having been the most environment-friendly natural fibre because of its inherent unique properties has counts of advantages over other man-made artificial polymer fibre products.

All round incompetence Once, Jute was the golden fiber of Bangladesh. It was not only for the rich golden color but also, metaphorically, for jute's valuable contribution to the country's economy. Up to mid-twentieth century, about 80 percent of the world's jute was produced in Bangladesh and it was the country's highest foreign currency earner till early 80s. But, the emergence of petroleum-based synthetic substitutes,

which were many times cheaper and convenient to use, quickly took over the market of jute. In 1980-81, jute and jute products jointly earned 68 percent of the country's total foreign exchange; the share came down to 6.0 percent in 1990-91. It has now faced severe competition from India due to negligence of our governments to revive the jute production, industrialization and businesses. Jute was cultivated at thousands of acres of land across the country which now fallen significantly due to the price fall of the crop compared to the production cost and closure of the manufacturing units. Experts said Bangladesh has lost its glorious days to India. When the jute industries at the neighboring country are going up Bangladesh's industry is nose diving. Its export market has been shrunk. Now-a-days the farmers do not get adequate price of the jute. Jute in Bangladesh Around 33 percent of all jute comes from Bangladesh, making it the world's second largest jute producer. Production of jute is highly labor-intensive, creating seasonal employment for 48,000 women and 108,000 men on the land and 187,000 men and women in the mills. The jute sector is the second largest employer of industrial labor in Bangladesh. Jute Export Bangladesh's export earnings from jute and jute goods in the fiscal year 2012-2013 showed an increase of 6.54 percent

over the previous year, according to the Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) data. Bangladesh's earnings from the jute sector were US$ 1.01 billion during July 1, 2012 to June 30, 2013 period. The data indicated that the export of jute bags and sacks increased by 28.16 percent year-on-years to fetch US$ 237.42 million in foreign exchange for Bangladesh. EPB indicated that the exports of jute yarn and twine showed an increase of 8.24 percent compared to the previous fiscal year, and earnings in the sector were recorded at US$ 506.74 million. However, the exports in the raw jute sector fell by 13.65 percent to US$ 229.92 million from US$ 266.28 million recorded in the previous fiscal. The earnings from jute and jute good exports registered an increase due to a rise in demand of natural fiber-made products across the world, as a result of the ban on plastic bags implemented in many countries, according to industry analysts. Some new jute bag manufacturing units became operational during the last couple of years, which is also a reason for rise in exports of jute bags. In 2012-13, the stateowned Bangladesh Jute Mills Corporation (BJMC), which has a total of 23 jute mills and is one of the largest manufacturers in the jute sector, exported Tk 10.58 billion worth of jute items, which was a little higher than its previous year's exports of Tk 9.43 billion. In the current season, Bangladesh is expecting bumper jute production owing to favorable climatic conditions and

adoption of latest farming technologies by jute growers, according to the Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE). Export Challenges Country's jute exports has faced new challenges due to depreciation of dollar against Indian rupee, war in Middle East and quality machine installed by Indian companies. Industry sources said export order has fallen drastically both at the traditional markets (Iran, Syria, Jordan) and new markets (Ghana, Thailand) for different reasons. A jute mills owner said Bangladesh Jute Mills Corporation (BJMC) mills did not receive any fresh order from Thailand for jute goods this quarter due mainly to price competition with Indian companies. "India offers US$90 per hundred pieces of sacks against Bangladesh rate of $105 for which Thai companies prefer Indian goods. Quality of the Indian products is better than Bangladeshi goods as they installed modern machines in their factories," he explained. Thailand is now one of the largest jute goods importers after Thai government ordered mandatory use of jute bags in packaging rice. The same things happened in Ghana. "Ghana and Sudan emerged as very attractive market for Bangladeshi jute goods but after depreciation of dollar against rupee Ghana is not placing fresh order to Bangladeshi companies," Abul Hasehm, a marketing executive of Janata Jute Mills Ltd, said. Sahidul Karim, Secretary General of Bangladesh Jute Spinners Association said the traditional

markets in middle-eastern countries for jute goods faced serious blow for war in Iraq and Syria. The market became further destabilized for uneven competition with Indian companies, he added. "India is offering per meter of Hessian at $30 against Bangladeshi average rate of $44. If the government does not pay serious attention to it the export of jute may face serious blow this fiscal" Mr Karim added. A couple of moths ago, the rupee slumped to a record low against the US dollar. Apart from those markets, jute export to India is being affected seriously due to this price differences. India is one of the key markets for Bangladesh's jute and jute goods which account for about $ 330 million annually. However, the local jute industry is now awaiting government decision on making the use of jute bags mandatory in packaging in different industries. Price Falls Raw jute prices fall is a major impediment for producing the jute crop in Bangladesh. Fine quality jute, used to make yarn, is now being traded at Tk 1,600-Tk 1,800 a maund (1 maund = 40 kilograms) from Tk 2,000-Tk 2,200 a maund at the same time last year, according to farmers and millers. Prices of low grade jute, used to make sacks, slumped to Tk 900-Tk 1,100 a maund from Tk 1,600-Tk 1,800 a maund a year ago, hurting the farmers who brought more lands under jute cultivation after being encouraged by the high prices in the

last two years. Last year 2012, jute was grown on 0.7 million hectares and production rose to 8.3 million bales, up from 0.4 million hectares and 5.1 million bales in the previous year, according to Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS) estimates. Jute prices have fallen due to a lack of enthusiasm among millers and traders. There are very few buyers of raw jute. Millers and large traders have reduced purchase, traders said. Millers and traders are blaming the 1.4 million bales of carried-over stocks and slack demand from buyers abroad for the current situation. With carried-over stocks and production this year, there is little scope for a shortfall of jute, said a top official of state-run BJMC. Millers and traders linked the low demand for the environment-friendly fiber to ongoing unrest in the Middle East, a major market for the jute yarn. Debt crisis in Europe, fear of a double-dip recession in developed economies and depreciation of the Indian rupee against the US dollar also dampened demand. Demand from Indian buyers has declined as jute imports become less attractive with depreciation of the rupee, said Shaikh Farook Hossain, former chairman of Bangladesh Jute Association. Unfavourable Market Price Jute growers in Bangladesh are getting unfavorable market price for various reasons. Some of the reasons are: Price volatility: India is world's largest producer of jute; at the same time it is the largest consumer too. Indian govt. has implemented

a mandatory packaging order which stipulates that certain food crop must use jute packaging. As a result India has a strong local demand, which also makes it feasible for the govt. to implement Minimum Support Price (MSP) for the farmers. Consequently farmers in India are getting a better price. But in Bangladesh, there is no policy of the govt. to increase domestic demand or set MPS for the jute growers. As a result, the price of jute in the local market largely depends on world demand situation as this sector is basically dependant on export. Weak bargaining power: Most farmers are in serious liquidity crisis during jute harvesting season, which is between two rice growing seasons. So, they are bound to sell their jute as quickly as possible at whatever price is offered. Moreover, most of the jute growers are marginal; they produce in very small quantity. Cash crisis and small quantity leaves them with almost no bargaining power over price. Growers could gain bargaining power if they were organized in associations. But no such organization of grower exists. Multiple Intermediary levels: Typically jute trading involves multiple intermediary levels. Often jute is collected by a Faria (village level trader) who sells it to the local trader/ purchase centre who sell it to the jute mills or raw jute exporter. These intermediaries are much

richer than the growers, so they can wait for the price to increase, but our jute growers can't afford to wait. So, ultimately the price that the jute growers get is too low. Govt. Procurement policy: State-owned jute mills procure substantial amount of jute at a declared price. But the procurement is usually done long after the jute harvesting time. By that time, jute is already in the store of the trader, who gets the benefit of the govt. declared price, not the jute growers. Low quality: Sometimes, price gets even lower when the fibre is not of good quality. Farmers often fail to attain the desired quality mainly because of low quality seed and inappropriate retting. Production inefficiency There are various causes of production inefficiency in Bangladesh's jute sector. Low quality seed: National Annual demand of jute seed is around 4000 tonnes, of which only about 20 percent is supplied by the Bangladesh Agricultural Development Corporation (BADC). The rest is imported from India; a considerable part of it is actually smuggled. Quality of the imported seed is questionable. Also, sometimes local traders counterfeit seed by mixing the old lot with the new. But the importers do not take any responsibility of quality as the seed is not sold under their brand name. Low quality seed often result in low production, lower quality and sometimes even crop failure.

Limited technical know-how: Though average current yield has increased over the years, jute growers are not getting maximum yield because of limited technical know-how. They do not have the knowledge of soil management, appropriate doses of fertilizers, disease and pest control. Govt. extension offices have limited manpower. It is not possible for them to reach out wider grower communities to provide these services. Scarcity of water: Jute is traditionally grown and harvested during the monsoon. So, usually growers would not need to irrigate jute fields or would not face scarcity of water for retting and washing jute fibre. But water is getting scarcer day by day. Now, growers need to irrigate their fields, increasing cost of production. They are facing water crisis during harvesting. As a result, quality of fibre is going down because of poor quality water for retting and washing. Often, growers need to carry jute to different location where there is water, further increasing their cost. But they do not know the new technologies of retting that require less water without compromising quality. Challenges and Way Forward The major constraints hindering growth to this sector are: Insufficient supply of good quality imported seed; lack of awareness among jute farmers regarding best post harvest technology and how practice affects prices; low mill productivity in terms of machinery and skill development and

lack of market linkages and capacity building of jute diversified product producers. Bangladesh needs 4,500 tonnes of jute seeds annually. Local production is only 1,200 tonnes. The balance 3,500 tonnes are imported from India. Therefore, we are dependent on India for jute seeds. A lot of seeds also come unofficially. If policies can be changed, better quality seed could be imported and jute farmers in the country would be benefit. Retting is the most crucial part of jute production, affecting both the quality of jute and the price. Ample availability of water is crucial for conventional retting, and the more recent ribbon retting technique presents the most efficient use of water. Despite increasing prices of jute in the international market, jute goods are in high demand because of harmful effects of synthetics. Our farmers have again become interested in jute cultivation. New jute mills have been set up in the private sector. Some major Muslim countries have reduced the import of jute bags, jute thread and raw jute from Bangladesh because of political unrest in those countries. India is our rival in the international jute market. India is capturing those jute markets where Bangladesh is losing. In West Bengal and Bihar 72 jute mills have started operation in full swing. Because of low price of raw jute in our domestic market, a huge quantity is being smuggled into India. This situation is helping the Indians to expand their

international market. No initiative is being taken to stop smuggling of raw jute. Smuggling between India and Bangladesh is an accepted fact. Hardly anyone raises any objection about this. There is no visible effort for finding new markets. We are also not doing anything to resist the entry of low quality Indian seeds. The situation in the domestic market is not encouraging. The present government has passed a law making compulsory the use of jute packaging in manufactured goods both in the private and public sectors. Packaging has to be made with 75 percent jute material. But during the last two years the use of jute bags has decreased. The law is not properly enforced. This has impacted jute cultivation. During the last ten years 30 small jute mills were set up in north-western Bangladesh. There was a lot of optimism about these jute mills. About 10,000 workers were employed in these mills. Jute mill owners as well as workers are now worried over the loss of foreign markets. Moreover, plastic bags are used instead of jute bags. Because of construction of dams in India and shortage of rainfall in the country, farmers are not in a position for retting jute. Cost of retting has gone up. Wages of workers have also gone up. But the prices of jute products have not increased in the domestic market. Farmers are counting losses in jute cultivation. If it is not possible to expand international market for jute goods, jute

cultivation and production will go down. The new jute mills may have to be closed down. Consequently state-owned jute mills will also be shut down. Government policy of reopening jute mills will be a failure. The government will have to address the jute issues expeditiously. Fund constraint is responsible for lower demand for jute. Jute millers and traders could not go for purchase of the cash crop as targeted because of fund shortage. The Bangladesh Jute Mills Association (BJMA) planned to procure one million bales of raw jute this season. But so far they could reach only 10 per cent of the target. Same is the situation with the BJMC. In such a situation, the farmers were the losers. Export of jute goods to India might decline this year as the neighboring country has imposed new tariff and non-tariff barriers. The Indian government has imposed four per cent countervailing duty on jute goods and also has set a condition which requires Bangladeshi exporters to put the country of origin tags in their jute bags. Industry insiders say sticking the labels on each jute bag would raise the cost of production by 3.0 per cent. They say that such restrictions would only widen the trade gap between the two countries. India depends on Bangladeshi jute bags. Imposition of such tariff and non-tariff barriers will only leave a negative impact on export of jute bags from Bangladesh. The Indian measures have come at a time when political chaos in the Middle East and some African countries has

led to a sharp fall in the export of jute goods, driving down raw jute prices in the domestic market. Bangladesh has an option to contest the Indian measures in the World Trade Organization (WTO). Potentials in International Market Global market for jute products is overwhelmingly dependent upon developing countries. More than 90 per cent of the demand for jute goods originates from a handful of Asian countries. While demand for jute goods in developing countries has gone up, demand for jute goods in developed countries indicates a decreasing trend. India, China and Pakistan accounted for more than 75 per cent of the global import of jute goods (312,000 tonnes in 2009), primarily because of the demand for packaging of food grains and other consumer goods. Bangladesh should primarily target these markets as part of its strategy to expand market where at present Bangladesh exports only 36.6 per cent of the total exports of jute goods. There are a number of markets sparsely located in Europe, Africa, Latin America and North America where Bangladesh exports a sizable share of its jute products. The list includes Turkey (16.6 per cent of total export of jute goods), Belgium (3.7 per cent), Russia (1.8 per cent) and Netherlands (1.3 per cent) in Europe; Iran (8.9 per cent), Indonesia (1.0 per cent), Syria (3.2 per cent) and Vietnam (1.1 per cent) in Asia; Egypt (3.8 per cent) and Sudan (6.2 per cent) in Africa; Brazil (1.6

per cent) in South America; and USA (1.6 per cent) in North America. Recent rise of global awareness on jute products may create new demand particularly in developed countries such as USA, Canada, Australia and Japan, where consumer groups are becoming increasingly conscious of carbon footprint of consumer goods (Rahman and Khaled 2011). With a good marketing plan Bangladesh can take the opportunity to get a hold on these markets. Bags and sacks for packing almost all kinds of agricultural products, minerals, fertilizer, cement etc. Wool packs and cotton bales. Cordage and Twines. Webbing to cover inner springs of automobiles and to upholster furniture. Cargo separator in ships. Brattice cloth for mine ventilation and partition. Filling material in cable. Roofing and floor covering apparel. Wall covering and furnishing fabric. Footwear lining. Fashion accessories. Bio-engineering and erosion control fabric and many more. About 50 million people of this land are directly or indirectly involved in various activities related to jute and jute manufacturing.

About 35 million farmers are engaged in cultivation of jute, 0.3 million skilled workers are directly associated in manufacturing process, about 0.2 million people are directly engaged in trading of jute, jute goods, transportation and other related business. Contribution of jute sector in the GDP is about 5%. Contribution of Jute and Jute manufacturing in the national employment is about l0% to l5%. Jute being the main cash crop for the farmers of the country largely contributes to the advancement of rural economy. The apical tender shoot and leaves of jute is a nourishing vegetable supplement extensively consumed by rich and poor throughout the country. Its long left out stem is a common and plentiful alternative for use as firewood and making fence of rural huts. It is as well as the cheapest available substitute of wood to produce paper pulp and particle-board and depending on abundant supply of this by-product allied industries have already developed and functioning in the country. Leaves those shed during the growth of the plant by decomposing act as natural fertilizer which enriches as well as sustain the fertility of the soil for the next crop to grow well. Cultivation of jute as a yearly renewable crop helps sustaining the bio-diversity . Jute being hygroscopic and auriferous permits normal

breathing and humidity to its content and thus ensures the healthy storage of commodities. Jute being natural is bio-degradable for which it does not plug the natural pore of the soil and its surface. Therefore, plants and soil biota can normally grow and flourish. Jute has no adverse effect on human body and nature as a whole. Jute, a natural fibre used universally, is the bark of a slender shrub of tropical and subtropical origin. It belongs to the family of Tiliaceae. Fibres of two species of this family viz Corchorus Capsularies and Cochorus Olitorius are used to produce jute goods. These two fibres yielding agricultural plants need alluvial land and heavy rainfall alternate with high temperature and windy air to grow well to give lustrous and strong fiber. Bangladesh is unique in providing for centuries all the physico-climatical elements for rich and luxuriant growth and high yield of jute crop because of its geographical location as an alluvial plate crisscrossed by innumerable rivers and tributaries sandwiched between the Himalayas in the North and East and the Bay of Bengal in the South. Blessed with this specialized habitat and climatic condition, every year about half a million hectares of land is cultivated to yield about 1.0 million tons of jute fibres of different grades to meet the local industrial and domestic needs as well as for export to other countries for their consumption as industrial

raw materials. The cultivation of jute and its use as utility products in the life of peoples of this region dates back to some centuries. The great break-through made in textile technology at the dawn of industrial revolution helped jute come out as an amazing fabric from its age-old usages as cordage and rope. Since then innumerable additions and modifications took place in its form and structure to groom it into materials those in times became indispensable for human life all over the world for their many specified and unspecified uses. Jute is being ideally used for manufacturing By virtue of their origin, Bangladesh jute and jute products are acclaimed world over as

the best quality jute for its colour, texture, luster, length and strength. For this reason Jute is lovingly branded as the Golden Fiber" all over the world. The cultivation of jute and manufacturing of its products plays vital role in the socio-economic condition of Bangladesh.

Big boost for jute Bangladeshi scientists decode genome sequence of golden fibre's other variety Staff Correspondent A recent photo shows farmers process jute in a pond, dried up amid scanty rain, at Monirampur upazila in Jessore. Scientists are working on different varieties of jute tolerant to natural adversities like draught or lack of rain. Photo: Star Three years into the successful genome sequencing of tossa jute, Bangladeshi scientists led by Dr Maqsudul Alam have unravelled the

genome sequence of deshi (white) jute. This completes the genome sequencing of both genera of jute tossa and white thereby opening up scopes for developing more productive jute varieties in future. Sitting by globally famed geneticist Maqsudul Alam, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina announced this yesterday at a press briefing at the Gono Bhaban. Earlier, our scientists decoded tossa jute plant genome and now they have decoded the genome of deshi (white) jute, the premier said. I hope the golden fibre will bring back our golden smile, an enthusiastic Hasina added. Genome sequence represents a valuable shortcut, helping scientists find genes much more easily and quickly. A genome sequence allows scientists to identify and understand how genes work together for the plants different features like growth, development and maintenance as an entire organism. This allows them to manipulate the genes and enhance, reduce or add certain features of the plant. Following the initial success in decoding jute (tossa) genome in June 2010, Maqsudul led a team of Bangladeshi scientists in decoding the

genome of a fungi, deadly to jute, in September 2012. The decoding of deshi jute genome has come as another success in knowing better the worlds second most important natural fibre after cotton. Bangladesh is the worlds second largest producer of jute, after India, and the worlds largest exporter of the fibre. Maqsudul, who had earlier decoded the genome of papaya in the US and rubber plant in Malaysia, led the sequencing of both tossa and deshi jute genome. The initiative for jute genome sequencing began in February, 2008 when Maqsudul started exploring the possibilities along with several other Bangladeshi scientists and academics. The whole process was kicked off with many long distance conference calls between Maqsudul and plant molecular biologists Prof Haseena Khan and Prof Zeba Seraj of biochemistry and molecular biology department of Dhaka University. Then the lead researcher had several meetings with Agriculture Minister Matia Chowdhury. Talking to The Daily Star last night, Dr Monjurul

Alam, a scientist at Bangladesh Jute Research Institute (BJRI), said, We kept it a secret deliberately when we first decoded tossa jute (in 2010) so that any competitors cant know that were up for decoding white jute too. Now we can put undisputed claims on decoding both tossa and white jute. Terming the revelation a great success of the local scientists, the prime minister said, Our continued success in the research of genome sequence has placed Bangladesh in a dignified position on the world stage. Using the information on genome sequence, the scientists are constantly engaged in inventing different varieties of jute which would be tolerant to natural adversities and pest attacks, she said. Agriculture Minister Matia Chowdhury, Foreign Minister Dipu Moni and Maqsudul Alam also spoke on the occasion. The prime minister said her government has taken steps to establish the intellectual property right (IPR) on jute and all scientific research on jute including its genome sequence. She said the present government initiated the Basic & Applied Research on Jute Project (BARJ)

by providing necessary funds to improve the productivity and quality of jute fibre by utilising genome information. Blasting the past BNP government for destroying the jute sector, Hasina said that in collusion with the World Bank, it closed the jute mills in Bangladesh, the highest producer of jute. They (BNP govt) closed the worlds biggest jute mills Adamjee Jute Mills. Thus the international jute market shifted from Bangladesh to India, she said. The prime minister said Bangladesh earned about $ 1.6 billion from jute export last fiscal year and the total earning from this sector was around $ 3 billion in the last three years. Branding Bangladesh with Jute : The Golden fiber of Bengal Md. Abbas Uddin* Md. I ftekharul Amin* Mahmud Hasan K han* This study has been done for Marketing Research course in MBA program under Institute of Business Administration, University of Dhaka. Abstract: As worldwide negative image of Bangladesh hurts its social

and economical development as it is expected, therefore branding would be one of the ideal option for the country to gain a positive image as it has been established by other countries of the world. Searching for ideal products to represent Bangladesh with uniqueness, we have suggested Jute which is the golden fiber of Bangladesh. Jute is integral part of the movement that eventually led to the Independence War of Bangladesh in 1971. Jute is environment friendly alternatives in synthetic world. Use of biodegradable jute from traditional sacks to composite in automobile industry or geotextile or deforestation paves the way to be substitutes for many synthetic products. Bangladesh has the natural advantage to produce best quality, which no other country can imitate. Authors argue that this uniqueness with environment friendly characteristics of jute makes it the ideal product for Branding Bangladesh. Thus integrated policy along with marketing and promotional campaign of jute can bring a positive Bangladesh worldwide. Keywords: Brand, Nation Branding, Jute and diversified products, environment Introduction : Bangladesh, as a LDC, faces a reputation challenge which is popularly known as its image problem. Bangladesh has gained the image of a country with too many people, too much poverty, too little resources, too frequent disasters, too little ability to change for better (Yunus, 1992). Whenever the

international community thinks of Bangladesh, negative impression flashes into their mind and factors like corruption, child labor, underdeveloped human assets, internecine politics, bad investment climate, poor law and order, and recently Islamic terrorism had killed its image. Even, according to some people image crisis is the number one problem for Bangladesh. Hence, this study focus shifted to the questions like, how the image could be developed. From secondary study we have found that branding, particularly nation branding is one of the way to develop the image of B angladesh. In fact, the secondary study suggested the proposition that, in the competitive era of globalized world Bangladesh should concentrate on nation branding to uphold its image to the people, i.e. the tourists, investors and other stake holders of the country. The biggest question lies which will be the ideal product/ service that has unique characteristics for B angladesh and can bring the positive image of Bangladesh internationally. Branding : Typically A brand is defined as "a name, term, sign, symbol, or design, or combination of them, which is intended to identify the goods and services of one seller or group of sellers and to differentiate them from those of competitors" (K otler, Armstrong et al. 2001, p.469) and A brand is a promise that is made to customers about the quality and value of the products or services they purchase (K otler 2003) and also "a

brand image is the perceptions about a brand as reflected by the brand associations held in consumer memory" (K eller 1993, p.4). In the same way as companies, stores and individuals have specific images among their respective audiences, countries can also have a "brand" or "images" (Jaffe and D.Nebenzahl 2001) among a target audience. A countrys image is defined as "the total of all descriptive, inferential, and informational beliefs about a particular country" (Martin and Eroglu 1993, p.93), and can be seen as an umbrella construct which at the outset is not linked to any specific context. However, a countrys image can be linked to specific products. Product-country images capture matches between country image associations and specific product categories (R oth and R omeo 1992). German cars, Danish furniture, French wine, and Cuban cigars are favorable product-class country image matches. Each of the statements Made in the USA, Made in Korea, Made in Japan, and Made in China promise something to consumers about the products and services manufactured in these different countries. Those promises apply broadly to all the products (and services) produced by firms located in a country and can be thought of as country brands (Supphellen and Nygaardsvic 2002). Country-of-origin, made in, brand image, designed in, etc. can be perceived as concepts referring to sub-units of productcountry images, as they represent different stages or tasks in the value chain (K leppe

and Mossberg 2001). According to the fourth Anholt Nation B rands Index, B rand America is worth $18 trillion which is about 152% of the US GDP, Brand UK is estimated at $ 3.5 trillion, or 163% of GDP. Views of countries are formed not just by what a country says about itself, but by what it does (and how), by its products, by what it looks like (or what people think it looks like), by what people say about it and by the company it keeps. I t would never be possible to align all of these elements, which encompass everything from foreign policy to manufacturing (GMI ). In a metaanalysis of country-of-origin research, Verlegh& Steenkamp conclude that "a country image is not merely a cognitive cue for product quality, but that it also relates to emotions, identity, pride and autobiographical memories that transform country of origin into an expressive or image attribute" (1999, p.539) . Nation Branding : Novelist Arnold Bennett (1861-1931) once made the point that it is difficult to make a reputation, but it is even more difficult to mar a reputation once properly made - so faithful is the public. The image problem of B angladesh made a low ranking by organizations as diverse as the World E conomic Forum, UNDP, UNCTAD, T ransparency International, Freedom House, and Goldman & Sachs. These rankings are usually based on a mix of objective measures and stakeholder perceptions.

Leading nation brand specialist, Stephen Anholt, introduced in 2005 the Anholt- GMI Nation B rand Index, which ranks country as their brand value. B ased on responses from about 25,900 consumers drawn from 35 countries, the index provided a score addressing six core areas of a country depicted through a hexagon: Tourism, Culture, Governance, Exports, People and Investment. Till date, Anholt Index does not include Bangladesh. In the Index of Global Competitiveness Report 2007-2008 by World E conomic Forum, Bangladesh ranks 107th among 131 countries which was further down from 92nd in 2006-07. In terms of all indicators, B angladeshs ranking has slid down considerably. B angladesh is among the bottom ten countries in case of institutions (126), higher education and training (126), and technological readiness (125). Bangladeshs rank is relatively better in case of market size (36), financial market sophistication (75) and labor market efficiency (76), although here also her ranking has come down (WEF 2007). Even then, showing the example of Brazil, Anholt (1999) argued that there are negative associations (pollution, overpopulation, poverty, and the like) within the brand print of Brazil is not necessarily a cause for great concern, at least from the branding point of view.After all, a strong brand is a rich brand, and richness implies a complex and satisfying mix of many different elements. The brand equity of the United

States also contains a significant proportion of negative elements, but this does little to diminish its attraction.Therefore, brands themselves can create countries' reputations: Finland and Nokia, for example. It appears crucial for Finland to capitalize quickly on the significance of Nokias origin if it intends to make itself into a valuable nationbrand: through a combination of high product quality, speed to market, excellent marketing and distribution, Nokia has turned itself from a moderately successful domestic producer of rubber boots into one of the most successful hi technology brands in the world. In doing this, it has also managed to create an entirely new set of associations of brand Finland in many consumers minds: no longer just a quaint fairyland perched on the fringe. K leppe, Iversen et al. (2002) illustrates with The Norwegian fish industry's strategy to market fish in Asia is that a country-of-origin strategy can be beneficial even if there is little or no knowledge about the country of origin within the target market. Country can be repositioned through branding and have enormous potential for growth: as in the case of Spain. Twenty five years ago, Spain was nowhere in Europe, an isolated, poverty-stricken country. T oday, the transformation for Spain into a modern democracy with plenty of tourism places with a tagline Everything under the Sun to go such as must summer at Ibiza is an exemplary one. R eal gross domestic product (GDP) growth averaged 3.3 per

cent in 1986 and 5.5 per cent in 1987 for Spain, this latter figure being roughly double the West European rate and the strongest rate of expansion among OECD countries. For the period 1991 to 2000, Spains GDP grew by 23.3 per cent. This exceeded that of France, which grew by 17.8 per cent, and of the Eurozone, which grew by 19.1 per cent. The reality that is Spain as well as its image and identity has changed dramatically. Not only Spain, Malaysias Truly Asia,Thailands Amazing Thailand, Indias Incredible India,Srilankas Pearl of Indian Ocean, oreas Korea Sparkling reminds us that other countrys are moving up with similar idea, to reposition themselves in the peoples mind. As Kotler and Gertner (2002, p251) suggest that Most country images are in fact stereotypes, extreme simplifications of the reality that are not necessarily accurate and results from its geography, history, proclamations, art and music, famous citizens and other features political riots, civil rights violations, attack on the environment, racial conflict, economic turmoil, poverty and violent crime. In this circumstances position of Bangladesh in the mindset of outside world is an important one. Not only Quality Jute Yarn Bangladesh should emphasize on Diversified Jute Products 1.3. Branding Bangladesh with Jute Considering what products and/or concepts can lead

Bangladesh in global world which is not only unique to the country itself but also has tremendous potential for to be alternative for protective environment, it seems jute will be the ideal product. Hence, we have chosen Jute from secondary study, which is our lost Golden Fiber.Hence we offer a product Jute as a brand to bring B angladesh with a new identity into western world. Jute is unique to the country in terms of quality and productivity as it has been titled golden fiber of Bangladesh. 2. Methodology : 2.1.Secondary Study Secondary data was collected from journals, books, magazines, newspapers, internet etc for the purpose of qualitative study. Here we first looked for the potential how country branding has been done for other countries and how that countrys benefitted economically through image building. We also saw that new countries were coming up with similar concept to be able to differentiate with others i.e. to represent themselves as unique brand. Then we moved into products and/or concepts that have potential to brand Bangladesh. We have selected few, which upon consultant with the course instructor is either rejected or accepted. Finally we have selected jute as our prospective identity for branding Bangladesh. 2.2.Qualitative Research Now we have moved to exploratory stage to identify the

characteristics of Jute, diversified uses of Jute products and its environmental aspects, problems of jute sector and how it can be used for branding.For this purpose, Key Informant Interview (KI I ) approach had been followed from three dimensions: technical, economical/ policy makers and Brand perspective and has been conducted from June 1 to June 15, 2008. Technical information has come from technical expert from International Jute Study Group (IJSG), Bangladesh Jute R esearch Institute (BJRI ) and Jute Diversification Promotion Centre (JDPC).Three extensive KI I has been conducted in three different days at BJRI with Dr. Kamal Uddin, Chief Scientific Officer; Mr. M. M. Alamgir Sayeed, Principle Scientific Officer; and Mr. Abdus Salam, Scientific Officer. BJR I is the premier institution on conducting all kind of technical research on jute. So far they have developed B lanket, Apparel, Handbags, Sacking, Micro-cellulose, Jutton (Jute and Cotton blend), Hometextile, and Nursery Pots based on jute. They also provide technical support for jute agriculture. KII has been done with Dr. A. B . M. Abdullah, E xecutive Director, JDPC. JDPC identifies and promotes diversified jute products and technologies. IJSG is an intergovernmental body set up under the aegis of UNCTAD to function as the International Commodity Body (ICB) for Jute, K enaf and other Allied Fibers. Bangladesh, India, Switzerland, and the European Community representing its 27 member countries are the members of IJSG. Two extensive K I I has been

conducted at I JSG with Dr. L atifa Binte Lutfor, Operations Officer and Mr. Dewan Sayeedul Hassan, Media and Information Officer. For economical and policy information, K I I was conducted in Center for Policy Dialogue (CPD) and Ministry of Jute and Textile. CPD has recently (May 20, 2008) presented a keynote presentation in Brac Center, Dhaka upon conducting a details and thorough research on potential, problems and solution in jute sector, which has been a tremendous resource for the qualitative study. K I I was conducted with Dr. Uttam K umer Dev, Director and Chairman of the study. Finally for Brand perspective, Brandzeal was communicated about the prospect of jute for branding Bangladesh. 3. Findings of qualitative research : As our methodology covers three dimensions for branding with jute products, we have some unique findings from the qualitative study: 3.1. Jute is an integral part of our history : Jute is an ancient agricultural crop with a glorious history. Jute has played a significant role in the economy and history of Bangladesh. Indeed the jute was an integral part of the movement that eventually led to the Independence War of Bangladesh in 1971. Jute and jute goods accounted for up to 90 per cent of Bangladesh exports immediately after its independence. Even today the decaying jute sector accounts for the third highest foreign currency earner after ready made

garments and frozen foo Cultivation of jute is almost as old as human civilization. Traditionally, jute is used for ropes, twines, indigenous cloth and handicrafts. In certain parts of Bangladesh and India, jute leaves and roots are also used as a vegetable and a medicine. Jute was first used as an industrial raw material for making packaging materials replacing flax and hemp grown in Europe. As a natural fiber, jute is second to cotton. After the extraction of fibers, the remaining jute sticks (core) are usually used to make fences, as supporting materials fovegetable production, and as fuel. Unlike paddy or rice, which although accounting for high employment generation in the agriculture sector accounts for no significant industrial employment, jute generates employment in both the agriculture sector as well as the industrial sector. Jute has a higher economic and socioeconomic importance than ever before. More than 12 million small and subsistence farmers in South and Southeast Asia derive their livelihood from jute production, and hundreds of thousands of other workers are employed in the jute industries and trade(Liu June 2007). In the case of jute, however, Bangladesh has a natural edge over its competitors being endowed with the geographical advantage of possessing just the right conditions to product the premium jute in the entire world. I t is also one of the few primary products that Bangladesh has the capacity to process and add substantial value in the production chain. The

potential for value addition as a proportion of the product value is remarkably high. Bangladesh remains one of the leading raw jute exporters in the world. Sales of this natural fiber go to a host of different countries from India to Belgium. These countries then either process it for their own consumption or export the jute they have imported from Bangladesh. Although the value and volume of jute and jute goods export vary from year to year, its dwindling share of export earnings becomes evident from the table below. It is estimated that total world production of jute fluctuates around 3 million tons each year. For example, in 1999/2000, total world production of jute and kenaf was 2.6 million tons. Jute production was 2.09 million tons, among which, production from Bangladesh accounted for 68%, India for 30% and Myanmar and Nepal for 1% each. Of the total world jute production, five producing countries, namely Bangladesh, China, India, Nepal and Thailand account for about 95%. These countries also account for 90% of export of jute products (BIL S 2007). Source: Export Promotion Bureau 3.2. Jute: An E nvironment friendly alternative to the synthetic world : In todays post industrial world, awareness for eco-friendly products and services are wanted by the people. This led to several campaigns such as go green or using organic products gain momentum. The level of green house gas

emission, melting of ices in arctic and other zones,global warming is a concern for global political and economic policymakers worldwide. As a result, use of natural fiber is promoting through events like International year of Natural Fiber 2009 which is organized by UN. Now the world is looking to reduce the conflict between the expanding world population and the limited natural resources available to it on the one hand, and between the daily deterioration of the environment and the exploitation of natural resources for industrialization on the other, it is now realized that the promotion of a fiber other than natural cotton and synthetic cellulose has become very important. I t is estimated that the demand for fibers for clothing alone will rise from the current 60 million tons up to 130 million ton per year in the year 2050 (K ozlowski 1996), not mentioning the fiber consumption for various other purposes. Although the invention of synthetic fibers has brought us uncountable benefits in our everyday life, many of the drawbacks of using synthetics have started to change our attitude toward them. In this connection, one should note the increasing concerns over the ecological imbalance resulting from the environmental pollution caused by synthetics, in both developing and industrialized countries. In view of these developments, jute, a natural fiber that can be used in many different areas, supplementing and/or replacing synthetics, has been receiving increasing attention from the industry. Their interests focus not only on the traditional uses

of jute (i.e. packaging materials), but also on the production of other value-added products such as, pulp and paper, geotextiles, plastic molded products and home textiles, etc. Jute is an environmentally friendly product, which, supplementing and/or replacing synthetics, can become an important raw material in many industrial sectors (L iu June 2007). The past success of jute is due largely to its environmentally friendly characteristics. Jute fiber is comparable or superior to synthetic fiber in physical and chemical characteristics. Jute fiber has the potential to compete with glass fiber, as reinforcing agents in plastics. Technologies exist that make it possible to incorporate jute fiber into polypropylene. The resulting jute composite granules can be used in thermoforming processing techniques, such as injection molding and compression molding. Products made from jutereinforced composites have the advantage of low cost, low density, renewability and biodegradability. This composite can be used, in the packaging industry, i.e. the manufacturing of crates, boxes or cases used for storage and transportation of agricultural products; in the automobile industry, i.e. to replace glass fiber in car door panels; and as construction material. Applications of jute-reinforced composites are expected to have a significant positive environmental impact. This contrasts with the situation existing at present, because the packaging industry is responsible for about one-third of the

plastic consumption in developed countries, and accounts for the production of 20.8% of total solid waste and 3.7% of energy consumption. Jute is an annually renewable energy source with a high biomass production per unit land area. Jute is biodegradable and its products can be easily disposed without causing environmental hazards. By rotating with other crops, jute improves soil fertility and increases the productivity of other crops. The use of jute in the paper industry and as a geotextile will help to; at least partially solve the two biggest environmental problems we are facing today: deforestation and soil erosion. 3.2.1. Jute cultivation cleans the air : Jute is a fast growing field crop with high carbon dioxide (CO2) assimilation rate. Jute plants clean the air by consuming large quantities of CO2, which is the main cause of the greenhouse effect. Theoretically, one hectare of jute plants can consume about 15 tons of CO2 from atmosphere and release about 11 tons of oxygen in the 100 days of the jutegrowing season. Studies also show that the CO2 assimilation rate of jute is several times higher than that of trees (Inagaki 2000). 3.2.2. Sustainable agricultural practices of jute : Studies show that only a modest amount of fertilizer and herbicide are required for jute cultivation. The use of pesticides is also limited because pest is not a severe problem in jute cultivation. Jute produces 5 - 10 tons of dry

matter per acre of land. About 1 ton of dry matter is returned to the soil in the form of leaves. About 3 tons of roots remain in the soil. Thus, a large amount of organic matter finds it way into the soil and improves the soil conditions. By rotating with other crops like rice and potatoes, jute acts as a barrier to pest and diseases for other products, and provides also a substantial amount of nutrients to other crops in the form of organic matter and micronutrients. astly, only a small percentage of jute farmers use inorganic fertilizers and agrochemical for the simple reason that most jute farmers have smallholdings and can not afford the cost of buying fertilizers or agrochemical. Instead, farmers use organic manure as a nutrient supplier. They minimize the use of agrochemicals. These practices have reduced the risk that fertilizers and agrochemical residues are absorbed in the soil and subsequently in jute fibers and their products. 3.2.3. Jute has high biological efficiency : Jute is a seasonal crop harvested at least once a year. Moreover, jute is a fastgrowing crop, i.e. it reaches a height of 1.5 to 4.5 meters in a period of 4 to 5 months. The average dry stem production of jute ranges from 20-40 ton per hectare, annually. T his contrasts with the production of the fastest growing wood plant which needs at least 10 to 14 years from plantation to harvest, and produces only 8 to 12 ton per hectare annually. Because the biological efficiency of kenaf is much higher than that of wood plants,

the use of jute instead of wood to make paper pulp will lower substantially the cost of production. I t will also reduce deforestation. 3.2.4. Wide ecological adaptability : In recent years, for producing food crops, jute cultivation has been declined. Some countries are exploring the possibility of growing jute and especially kenaf on marginal lands i.e. lands with unfavorable/stress conditions such as drought, salt, flooding, low pH, and low fertility. 3.3. Diversified products of jute : The invention of alternating products from petrochemical such as polypropylene, its wide availability and low cost have affected the use of jute products particularly in jute carpet backing in USA and later in E urope. Also lack of significant efforts for product developments or diversification in keeping with the modern technology or following modern marketing procedures and international trade practices, were apparently responsible for the decline in the home consumption and export trade. B JR I is the premier institution on conducting all kind of technical research on jute. So far they have developed B lanket, Apparel, Handbags, Sacking, Micro-cellulose, Jutton (Jute and Cotton blend), Home textile, and Nursery Pots based on jute. They also provide technical support for jute agriculture. JDPC has identified 220 different jute products and their production process. For a detail list of use of Jute see the figure.

3.4.Marketing and Promotional activity of jute : The most important constraints that was identified from the qualitative survey is lack of marketing and promotional activities for jute, BJRC is particularly pessimistic in this regard. They have repeatedly questioned the lack of government initiative to use their technology in commercial purpose and opine that if government makes a policy, for example, to use jute blanket in all the defense sectors and hospitals, it will create enormous market locally and thus would help to run the jute mills smoothly. JDPC is created from the government to improve the sociological condition those who are related directly and indirectly to this sector by diversification and increased used of jute products. JDPC is involved in implementing projects on Small Scale E ntrepreneurship Development in Diversified Jute Products. They also arrange training in skill development and design workshop, participate in International Trade Fair, organize seminar, create link with local and international Universities, research organizations and industries. I JSG is making strong efforts for initiating various projects for developing required technologies and quality of products for the overall growth of jute sector. It has been also found that, some of the small scale entrepreneurs cant able to meet demand of the buyers due to lack of capacity and inadequacy of fund. 4. Conclusion :

Branding nations is an extraordinarily complex task and long term process. I t is extremely difficult to control a nations image because of the vast multitude of stakeholder and potential target audience integrated into the creation of the country image. But, as a superior quality producer of jute, B angladesh has significant differentiation in jute as very few products compared to other countries. Natural advantage and environment friendly characteristics are one of those attributes that differentiate jute with others. Additionally Jute has passed a long way from traditional use of sackings to multitude use such as industrial and apparel products. T hus potential application of jute and its diversified products can be worthy for the developed world. In these circumstances jute of Bangladesh can make it an ideal product for Branding Bangladesh. Creating a branding program for a country demands an integration policy to act and speak in a coordinated and repetitive way. Since local jute mills are closing down and socially we are not aware of many uses of jute and its environmental implication, so it solely remains to how awareness campaign and marketing can be integrated to promote use of jute products and thus creating a brand personality for Bangladesh. Reference: The UK is worlds most favourite nation in latest international poll. V olume, DOI :

http://www.gmimr.com/gmipoll/release.php?p=20060221 Ahsan, Mohammad B adrul. 2005. Brand Bangladesh. The daily Star, V ol. 5 Num 479 Friday, September 30. Anholt, S. (1999). B randing the developing world, IFC, The World Bank. BIL S (2007). Jute: Potential and Problems.Dhaka, Bangladesh Institute of Labor Studies. GMI "How the World Sees the World: The Anholt Nation B rands Index (2nd Quarter 2005)." Inagaki, H. (2000). Progress on Kenaf in Japan, Abstract. Third Annual Conference, American Kenaf Society Conference, Corpus Christi, Texas, USA. Jaffe, E . D. and I . D.Nebenzahl (2001). National Image and Competitive Advantage, The Theory and Practice of Country-of-Origin Effect.Handelshjskolens Forlag, Copenhagen Business School Press. Keller, K . L . (1993). "Conceptualizing, Measuring, and Managing Customer-B ased Brand Equity." Journal of Marketing, 57(1): 1- 31. Kleppe, I . A., N. M. Iversen, et al. (2002). "Country images in marketing strategies: Conceptual issues and an empirical Asian illustration." The Journal of Brand Management 10(14): 61-74. Kleppe, I . A. and L . L . Mossberg (2001).

Country and Destination Image Similar or Different Image Objects ? . Bergen, Foundation for Research in E conomics and Business Administration. Kotler, P. (2003). Marketing management. Harlow, PrenticeHall. Kotler, P., G. Armstrong, et al. (2001). Principles of Marketing. Harlow, Essex, Prentice Hall. Kozlowski, R. (1996). "Bast fibrous plants as a source of raw materials for diversified areas of application." Fiber Corps 21(3): 51-55. Liu, A. (June 2007). Jute - An Environmentally Friendly Product International Commodity Organisation in Transition, United Nation Conference on Trade and Development. Verlegh, P. W. J. and J.-B. E. M. Steenkamp (1999). "A R eview and meta-Analysis of Country-of-Origin R esearch." Journal of Economic Psychology 20: pp. 521-546. Requirements of jute cultivation: High temperature to 95F with a minimum 80F during the pried of growth. Well preventive soil or fairly fine texture Suitable seeds Rainfall over 40 A sufficient supply of water for retting the plants and washing the striped fibers. Sufficient supply of skilled labor to handle the crop at the proper time. Facilities for placing the fibers in the market.

Cultivation of jute: Jute seeds are small. Therefore, a view fine preparation of the land is necessary. The country plough made of wood is used generally for ploughing the land, which does not invent the soil very well. So the land is ploughed and cross-ploughed at least repeated about 6-8 times. Climate and soils: Jute requires a warm and humid climate temperature between 24C to 37C. Constant rain or water-logging is harmful. The new gray alluvial soil of good depth, receiving salt from annual floods, is best for jute. Flow ever jute is grown widely in sandy loams and clay loams. Sowing methods: There are generally two methods of sowing. Such as Broad cast sowing Line sowing. Broadcast sowing: In broadcast sowing, the seeds are thrown by hand and by the method known as cross sowing. This method permits uniform distribution of the seeds over the ground. Line sowing: Line sowing is done where machine ploughing and machine sowing are used. This method permit easy weeding and thinning of plants as well as gives better yield both in quality and quantity. Time of sowing:

Corchorus capsularies variety can be sown any time after January depending upon the position of lands and weather condition. But corchorus olitorius variety should not be sown before March because plants have a tendency of branching premature flowering and reveling to wild bush forms without proper growth if seen too early. In fact time of sowing and harvesting generally depends upon the weather condition and position of bands in the respective areas. Weeding and Training: When the plants are about 1-2 high, first weeding is carries out. When the plants are about 3-4 high, weeding and training are carried together and this is again repeated when the plants are about 2-3 high. IN between these periods weeding is carried out if necessary. This process must be done at the current time with minimum of delay. Harvesting Time: The value of jute lies in its fiber. The quality and quantity of fiber are dependent upon the maturity of plants. Therefore selection of proper harvesting time is very important. Jute is harvested any time between 120 days to 150 days when the flowers have been shed, early harvesting gives good healthy fibers. The plant from 8 to 12 feet high are cut with stickles at or close the ground level. In flooded land, plants are up rooted. The harvested

plants are left in field for 3 days for the leaves to shed. The Fiber Extraction: The jute plants fibers lie beneath the bark and surrounded the woody central part of the stem. To extract the fibers from the stem, the process is carried out in the following stages : Retting of Jute: Retting is the process by which the fiber is removed from the stalk. Then the fibers are washed in clear water. Jute is a natural fiber. The plant is easy to cultivate and harvest. The fiber is obtained by retting. Retting is process in which the fibers in the bark are loosened and separated from the woody stalk due to the removed of pectins; gums etc. Tish is done by the combined action of water and microorganisms. During retting, disintegration of the tissues starts from the interior of the stem and extends of the outside, liberating the fiber boundless from the wood. The presence of periderm on the stem surface hampers retting and lowers the fiber quality. At lower temperature and running water retting process may take about one month. Cutting of Jute: Cutting of jute is usually done by hand with dao.The cut stemps are tied into bundles of about 9 to 142 inches in diameter.The bundles are then laid on the ground for a period to allow the stem to soften fall off.The bundles are then taken to aonvenient location of water. These are then arranged in layers in ponds.

Stripping of jute fiber: Stripping is the process of removing the fibers from the stalk after the completion of retting. To judge the right time for striping the fibers from the retted plants of the ponds or cannels where the plants have been kept for retting. When is found that fibers can be separated from the stem each stripping. Washing and drying of the fibers should be done as quickly as possible. There are two methods of stripping. They are, Stripping by hand Bunch stripping Stripping by hand: The bundles of stems are removed from water, allowed to drain off and then each stem stripped separately. Fibers are made up into handful and then washed. Bunch stripping: The worker stands in water. He takes some stems in his left hand and beats the roads of the steams cloth a wooden mallet. When the roots ends are sufficiently crushed, they are broken off. Loose fibers are then drawn to permit easy separation from the rest of the stems. The stripped of fibers are then washed. Washing and drying: Extracted fibers are washed in clean water. The dark color of fibers can be removed by dipping them in tamarind water for 15 to 20 min and again washed in clean water. After squeezing excess water the fibers are hang on bamboo railing for sun drying for 2-3 days. The fiber is graded into tops, middles, B, C and X-

bottom. Packing into kutcha bales about 250 pounds for use in the home trade. They are transport to market or direct in jute mills. Bailing and Packing: After grading the jute they packed in bales about 250 pounds for use in the home trade. They are transported to jute market or direct to jute mills.