Jute council eyes African, East European markets


"Right now the ministry is leading a delegation to Australia. The standard sacking, hessian is big there. Australia is also very environment conscious. But Africa is a place where we have to explore for bulk products," said council secretary Atri Bhattacharya.
"Geo-textiles is huge in Canada. If we can be price competitive, then Eastern Europe will also be big," Bhattacharya told reporters at a media briefing.
The jute promotion council has recently also visited South American countries like Brazil, Argentina and Peru.

Trying to catch the fancy of the youth by making the textile trendy, the Rs.5,500-crore industry has diversified using 35 percent of its produce to make products such as shopping bags and geotextiles.
The remaining jute produced goes into making traditional products like sacking and hessian.

Bhattacharya said exports accounted for around Rs.1,200 crore last fiscal, but revenue from this segment was showing a declining trend in 2009-10 because of the global slowdown.

Meanwhile, he said, the Common Fund for Commodities, an inter-governmental financial institution established within the framework of the United Nations, has awarded JMDC a $4-million geo-textiles project for the next five years.

The project, to be implemented in 16 sites in India, will be inaugurated this month.
JMDC has also tied up with the Kishore Biyani-promoted Future Group to sell jute products through shop-in-shop format of Pantaloons and Big Bazar stores.
"We are even looking at supplying jute carry bags for prasadam at religious place like Tirupati. This will give a boost to sales. We can sell at least few lakh every month. But we have some problems with pricing issue with the temple authority," Bhattacharya said.
To "increase visibility" among foreigners, he said, JMDC is also gearing up to promote jute products in tourist destinations like Goa.

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