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COMMON FUND FOR COMMODITIES
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Biotechnology Application of Jute (CFC/IJO/14)

 

Other countries involved: France, Netherlands

 

Project completed in 2004

 

The project aims to develop technology that utilises green jute as a raw material in the production of pulp for paper. In developing such a technology, it is intended to reduce the consumption of chemicals through the introduction of environmentally benign production processes, and reduce energy costs and costs of production. This new technology is expected to achieve a breakthrough in opening up a sector for the jute industry which would generate sustained demand for raw jute with the consequent result of stabilising structural conditions in the markets and hence stabilising the farmers’ income.

The project will conduct a comparative study of different micro-organisms now being used in various wood-based pulp and paper mills in Europe, the US, Canada and isolate and develop suitable ones for jute bio-pulping. Most suitable enzymes will be developed for bio-pulping and bio-bleaching. It is also envisaged to manage the black liquor produced during mechanical and chemical pulping with a view to ensuring that the technology will be environmentally sustainable. Large-scale application trials will be made in Bangladesh, China and India and workshops and training programmes will be organised to disseminate project results.

The use of green jute as raw material for sustainable production of pulp and paper would be a significant break-through which would have a far reaching impact not only on the economy of the producing countries, but also on the international pulp and paper sector. The large-scale use of green jute is expected to increase the demand for jute in the pulp and paper sector and induce farmers to extend cultivation, and adopt double-cropping where desirable, as demand expands. Large-scale use of green jute will primarily lead to the utilisation of the excess capacity of raw jute in the producing countries. It is also foreseen that the pressure on the producing countries’ dwindling and scarce forest resources will be substantially reduced as the demand for cellulosic raw materials will be met by renewable production of green jute. Additionally, producing countries will be able to substitute domestic production for imported pulp and paper. The project is expected to have significant medium-to-long-term impact on socio-economic development of the producing countries, particularly for jute farmers and rural labour.

The primary beneficiaries of this project from Developing Countries will be Bangladesh, China and India who will be directly involved in the activities of the project. It should also be noted that the project outcome will be of interest to a larger number of countries who will derive benefits from technology transfer emanating from the project. The collaborating Institution in Bangladesh is the Bangladesh Jute Research Institute (BJRI).