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Global Market Opportunities in Export of Jute

As is known, jute was the single most important export item of Bangladesh till the end of the 1980s. With the ascendancy of export-oriented readymade garments (RMG), and later on of shrimp, jute lost its pre-eminent position. It presently occupies the third position in the export basket of Bangladesh. Owing to environmental conditions, scarcity of land for cultivation, high input cost, high profitability of high-yielding variety (HYV) and hybrid crops, and an unfavourable jute-rice price ratio, jute at present tends to be cultivated in less productive land. The consequence of lower productivity and low profit thus gave rise to a vicious cycle. Governments and private sectors in jute growing countries only lately have started to undertake initiatives to address the attendant concerns. This renewed emphasis has been spurred due to the resurgence of global demand for jute as an environment-friendly commodity.