Deputy commissioners have proposed an initiative to make yarn from banana plant fibres at an annual conference, said Textiles and Jute Minister Golam Dastagir Gazi.
The government has taken the proposal seriously and will look into it, the minister told the media on Wednesday, the second day of the conference in Dhaka.
The proposal came as Bangladesh has a large number of banana plants, Gazi said. "We told them the government will ask research organisations to check its viability. If it is possible, we can use banana plant yarn instead of cotton yarn."
The government's initiatives to increase the use of jute products were also discussed at the conference.
Bangladesh at one point saw a massive surge in the use of plastic bags, the minister said. "Later we took several initiatives and issued different orders to push up the use of jute bags. Hence, the use of jute products started."
But recently Bangladesh has been importing a large amount of rice from India and those come inside plastic bags, he said.
"The traders take the opportunity and use plastic bags to sell local rice as well. We said only Indian rice can be sold in plastic bags. The local variety of rice must be sold in jute bags like before."
The deputy commissioners assisted the government to settle the arrears of workers in the jute mills which were shut down, the minister said in response to a question. At least 60,000 workers were paid through a 'golden handshake' offer, he said.
"The government took steps to shift only the management of state-owned jute mills to the private sector. We already called for a tender for the management of six jute mills. It is currently under process and we'll have a better sense of the situation when the bids are opened today. We floated another tender for 11 more mills. It'll open on the 25th."