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Dr. Maqsudul Alam, Our Jute and Fungus Decoding September 24, 2012

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Few weeks back I was listening to a news in the TV stating that jute cultivators are in frustration as this year they lost their crops for fungus attack.

I was more than delighted hearing the news of Dr. Maqsudul Alam discovering the sequence of the fungus that destroy our jute.

The fungus – macrophomina phaseolina- is responsible for damaging jute and 500 more crops. 30% of the jute in our country are destroyed by this fungus causing loss of Tk. 4000 crore per year. By applying this gene code of fungus and jute code that he discovered 2 years back, new varieties of jute can be developed that will be finer in form and more resistant to fungus.

The project was financed by Bangladesh Government. The news was disclosed by the PM in the Parliament. The article was published in BMC Genomics on 17 September 2012. 17 scientists of different labs worked in the team. Final sequence of fungus gene was unveiled in the BARI laboratory, Dhaka.

Dr. Maksusul Islam has earlier decoded Papaya in USA and rubber plant in Malayasia.

Bangladesh has filed for patent right of Jute code and Fungus code, the patent right may bring billions of dollar to Bangladesh in future.

Congrats to Dr. Maqsudul Alam. He is a genius. He is a great hero for Bangladesh.

An ordinary citizen

Jute Industries: Golden fibre shouldn’t be faded August 18, 2007

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Some statistics in Jute sector:

From 77 Jute Industries in 70’s, now it is 14 in the Government sector. The no of labourers came down fom 250,000 to 45000, no of looms from 26000 to 8000, production of jute came to half.

Last year, Jute sector lost 421 crore of taka. Out of this, 30 crore is for labourers, 140 crore for the delay in the purchase of raw jute, 130 crore for lack of electricity.

In private sector, 56 industries are there; almost all are in bad shape. Looms are 11 thousand 700 in no. Last year only 3400 looms were productive. Only one and a half lac ton jute was produced in the last year though the target was 3 lac ton. 13 thousand permanent and 18 thousand temporary laborer work in the Private Jute mills.

But in private sector 65 twin and spinning mills are making profit. Here 36 thousand labourers are working.