Billion dollar domestic market for jute geo-textile

Bilkis Irani
Published : 04:00, Oct 18, 2019 | Updated : 04:00, Oct 18, 2019

Bangladesh can earn billion dollar from the domestic market by ensuring proper use of jute geo-textile (JGT) in preventing soil, river and embankment erosion and landslide in hilly areas instead of exporting raw jute, experts have said.
On the other hand, the multi-purpose uses of jute in the domestic market can also ensure fair prices for the farmers.
They came up with the observations at a seminar titled “Enhancing Effectiveness and Use of Jute Geo-Textile” organized by Bangladesh Jute Mills Corporation (BJMC) in Dhaka on Wednesday.
The experts also called for more research and innovation in this sector to develop new products for both local and global markets.
Geo-textiles are the most versatile and cost-effective ground modification materials and JGT is one of the most popular natural geo-textiles. The popularity of jute geo-textile in the world market is for its eco-friendly characteristics.
“In the recent years, earnings from domestic market are higher than the export earnings of JGT. The demands of the material is increasing in domestic market,” said BJMC Chairman Shah Mohammod Nasim.
"There is a huge potential for JGT in the domestic market. If we can meet 85% domestic demands through the private sector, the sector will make great progress and will contribute in the economy," he said.
He urged all the stakeholders to boost the use of jute geo-textile in preventing soil, river and embankment erosion and landslide in hilly areas.
Nasim also stressed marketing instead of only production as there is a huge stock of JGT, worth around Tk700 crore, in the warehouse of BJMC.
Mobarak Ahmed khan, scientific advisor of BJMC, said: “We can get cellulose, a major component of plant fibre, by recycling worn out jute bag as well. Around one kg cellulose nannocrystals can be made from 2kg of jute, the market price of which is around Tk1 lakh.”
At the seminar, Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET) Professor and Bangladesh Public Service Commission Member Dr Abdul Jabbar Khan presented the main article.
Geo-textiles are technical textiles used under earth or above earth surface in order to obtain civil engineering benefits.
He said: "Synthetic geo-textiles (SGT) are polymer-based product, non-biodegradable and vulnerable to ultraviolet (UV) radiation while natural or jute geo-textiles (JGT) are produced from jute natural fibres, biodegradable and eco-friendly and can survive up to five years with treatment."
He further pointed out that JGTs were capable of absorbing 300%-400% of water. For example, one square meter of JGT can absorb 1.5-2.5 litres of water. JGTs biodegrade in prolonged moist environment.
JGT can be used to strengthen construction of rural roads or street’s soil, to prevent river corrosion, soil erosion, save the barrage or protect river bank, control erosion of hills and to keep the soil and environment stable.