Paper pulp made from jute plant may save huge forex: Experts
Speakers at an online dialogue said production of paper pulp from jute plant in the country will save a huge amount of foreign currency required to import paper pulp from abroad.
They also felt necessity to revive resolutions of a meeting held between the Business Initiative Leading Development (BUILD) and the Textile Ministry on February 24 last, to take initiatives to produce paper pulp from whole jute plant.
The an online dialogue via Zoom platform on "Paper Pulp from Whole Jute Plant (WJP): Potential and Way Forward" was organised by BUILD on Monday.
This dialogue focuses on discussion among the concerned from Jute and Textile Ministry, Bangladesh Jute Research Institution (BJRI), Bangladesh Council of Scientific and Industrial Research(BCSIR), Bangladesh Jute Mills Corporation(BJMC) and representative of private paper and paper products producers.
BUILD Chairperson Abul Kasem Khan in his welcome note said this dialogue would focus on the scope of commercialization of paper pulp from whole jute plant. He said policy amendment was required in this regard keeping in mind the sustainable development fund and climate change issue.
BUILD CEO Ms. Ferdaus Ara Begum presented the key note on Reviving the Past Glory of Jute: Jute-based Pulp and Paper for Industrial Diversification.
She said that pulp, the number one raw material for producing paper, is presently imported and produced locally from recycled waste paper quality of which is not very good.
Mohammad Abul Kalam, NDC, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Textiles and Jute appreciated the good efforts and the keynote paper said that a professional approach is required for this initiative.
At the same time economic viability of using whole jute plant needs to be considered. Getting 40% outcome from 100% input is seemed not as profitable aspect. The farmers are needed to be convinced to produce more jute.
On the other hand, industries need to get out of the infant industry concept. Rigorous research with valid arguments needs to be conducted properly. The practical scenario needs to be considered. Considering all these aspects, an initiative can be taken to initiate Technical Assistance for Public Participation (TAPP) and project on whole jute plant based paper pulping.
Dr. Md. Monjurul Alam, Former Director General, Bangladesh Jute Research Institute (BJRI) agreed with BUILD presentation and said that in that respect BJRI is working for production of this annual plant within a shortest possible time( from 120 to at least 90 days) so that number of production can be increased.
Dr. Sarwar Jahan, Director(Pulp & Paper), Bangladesh Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (BCSIR) said that it is not feasible to run the small-scale pulp industries because whole jute plant based pulp will cost more than USD 1100 per ton.
The environmental issue needs to be focused as it will be hard to do the chemical recovery from these industries if it is too small. Furthermore, existing technology needs to be more cost effective.
Babul Chandra Roy, Former Director (Marketing), Bangladesh Jute Mills Corporation, Dr. Ghulam Mohiuddin, Former Director and Principal Scientific Officer, Chemistry and Bio-chemistry Division, Bangladesh Jute Research Institute (BJRI), Mustafizur Rahman, Deputy Managing Director, Bashundhara Paper Mills Ltd, Dr. Mamunur Rashid, Consultant, Magura Paper Mills, Rashedul Karim Munna, Former Director, DCCI & MD, Creation Private Limited also took part in the discussion among others.