KARACHI: Pakistan Jute Mills Association (PJMA) Senior Vice President Saqlain Akhtar has said that jute products are value-added but currently their export stands at just around $ 14 million.
He demanded the government’s support to increase export of juta products and urged the government to restrict use of hazardous packaging material like polypropylene for food storage and utilise jute so that the industry can plan investments in capacity utilisation and local cultivation of jute.
This would not only make the country self-sufficient viz raw material but also help concentrate more on finding export avenues as the majority of foreign markets are in tight grip of two regional countries.
Saqlain Akhtar said if the government provides support in technical infrastructure for industry along with guidance and long-term policy support for jute cultivation in Pakistan to substitute import of raw material, the exports of jute products after value addition could earn handsome amount of foreign exchange for the country.
“The cultivation in Southern Punjab region was started 3-4 years ago on experimental basis on a small piece of land. Now it has grown to 200 acres solely on local industry’s initiative. Therefore, the industry needs support from the government,” he added.
He said that there were five jute mills in operation in the private sector with combined capacity of 125,000 tons per annum while the current production was 100,000 tons per annum.