Saturday, March 23, 2019 | ePaper

Jute bags in packaging not good!

'It demeans poultry, fish feeds qualities'

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Kazi Zahidul Hasan :
The Ministry of Textiles and Jute and the Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock are at loggerheads on the compulsory use of jute bags in packaging poultry and fish feeds.
Industry insiders and experts opined that woven polypropylene (PP) bags are the best option to maintain quality of feeds whereas use of jute bags can demean the feed quality due to their moisture convergence.
The Ministry of Textiles and Jute has recently notified that all feed millers will have to use the jute bags for packaging the feeds. But the Ministry of Livestock was opposing the move considering the issue of feed quality.      
Feed producers have also strongly protested the jute ministry's move citing that it will affect the feed quality severely mainly due to dampness of jute bags and raise their production cost.
"The Jute Ministry has taken the move to ensure use of environment-friendly bags in fish and poultry feed packaging. The move will boost the use of the home-made gunny sacks and thereby help promote local jute industry," a senior ministry official wishing not to be named told The New Nation yesterday.
He said, the government has already issued an order in this regard and the concerned authorities and feed producers must follow the rule.
"Packaging of poultry and fish feeds by jute sacks is not suitable for maintaining the feed quality, as jute bags are moisture convergence. It will help grow fungus in sacks deteriorating the feed quality," Dr. Hiresh Ranjan Bhowmik, Director General (DG) of Department of Livestock Services (DLS) told The New Nation. He said, feed packaged with in jute sacks is likely to be contaminated within two weeks in the rainy season, while in dry season, it usually takes longer time.
Hiresh Ranjan feared if the decision is not reviewed, the growing feed sector would become vulnerable due to rise in increasing production cost. The end level customers will suffer most at the end of the day, as they mostly meet their protein need from poultry and fish.
According to industry insiders, a 50-kg capacity woven PP sack costs Tk 15-20, while a gunnysack costs around Tk 50-60.
Terming the Jute Ministry's decision 'illogical', M Mashiur Rahman, President of the Feed Industrial Association of Bangladesh (FIAB) said, feeds can be preserved for only 10 days in jute bags because they are not moisture proof.
"Feeds would be contaminated when comes to the contact of air. It would be contaminated rapidly during rainy season when water evaporation rate in air is much higher," he added.
According to industry insiders, the poultry and fish feed sector requires at least 10 million gunnysacks per year. But the suppliers may not be able to supply such a large quantity of bags on time, and it may have adverse impact on poultry production
In this context, the feed manufacturers have urged the government to review its decision for safeguarding the growing industry.

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