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5 January, 2018 12:17:23 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 5 January, 2018 09:19:58 AM
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Efforts on to promote jute as high-value global product

HUMAYUN KABIR BHUIYAN
Efforts on to promote jute as high-value global product

There appears to be a good opportunity to promote jute, the golden fibre of Bangladesh, as a high-value material instead of the way it has been used as a low-value product for a long time. Now efforts are on by a Swedish entity named Juteborg AB , to make Jute a high-value material, which will economically benefit Bangladesh and encourage farmers to grow more jute. Gothenburg-based Juteborg AB is a company founded by Swedish entrepreneurs Christina Östergren and Else-Marie Malmek in 2013 to diversify jute through using the product in sectors including construction and automobile.

Appreciating the efforts of the Swedish company, government officials believe that if jute can be turned into a high-end product, the good old days of the golden fibre may return. The two founders of Juteborg visited Bangladesh more than once and met the individuals concerned, including the foreign minister, to find out the feasibility of the use of jute, they said, adding that following the visits they were convinced that jute can be used in sectors like automobile, transport, construction, interior, textile, home and office.

As part of the attempts to popularise and make jute more profitable, Juteborg AB set up eCon DemoLab-- affordable, transportable and sustainable housing units-- and opened those for the spectators on October 13 in Gothenburg, said top officials of the company.

eCon is the small housing units based upon recycled containers and a circular mindset. It has been financed by Swedish National Board of Housing and Planning (Boverket) to produce and set up a eCon DemoLab building of 4 units for sustainability in the true meaning from ecological, economical and social aspects. It is financed to demonstrate an example of how to solve the shortage of affordable and sustainable housing for young people.

eCon DemoLab is also the hub for Juteborg AB and will act as Nordic Centre of Jute by showcasing jute and its potentials in automotive and transportation, construction and interior, textile and fashion, and packaging industries, said the officials.

Some 35 different companies and organisations joined the intiative by providing their sustainable products

and services. Juteborg's Bangladeshi partners - Sonali Aansh, Tarango, Fashion Modus Sketch, and Classical Hand Made Products have also taken part in it by showcasing different Jute products namely rugs, fabrics, dress, hand crafted products, they said.

“Industries in the west, for example automotive industries, need lighter materials to transform. Bangladesh has the solution with jute as a composite material,” Juteborg Chairman Else-Marie Malmek has told The Independent.

“eCon will bridge between innovation and business application of jute-based materials for different industries. It will be a win-win solution for both Bangladesh and the West,” she said.

“eCon, the Nordic Centre of Jute, promotes the versatility of jute fibre to be the high tech material for different applications in different industries. eCon could bring in the collaboration opportunities for adding further value from nordic countries. So the value addition in jute has the possibility to uplift the sector resulting in positive impact on Bangladesh economy, Juteborg Chief Executive Officer Christina Östergren said.

Abir Hossain, business development manager at Juteborg AB, said, “Jute diversification has to be done by making it high value industrial product not in the form of different traditional low value-based products as it has been experiencing since ages.”

“Nordic countries have always been ranked the top as the most innovative country ranking index. So, eCon will play the role to attract business collaborations that would help to scale up the jute-based innovations leading to more value added industrial products,” he said.

SHK

 

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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