When 25 state-owned jute mills in the country have faced closure for recurring losses, private-sector ones in Bogura are making profits with a significant expansion in recent times.
The jute mills now export various jute goods amounting to around Tk300 crore annually to different countries, including India and South Africa.
Most of the mills produce various goods such as sacks and yarns using machinery bought either from the now-defunct Adamjee Jute Mills or imported from India.
Masudur Rahman Milon, president at Bogura Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said there are 20 jute mills in the district where some 10,000 workers are employed.
Over the last decade, some 20 small and large jute mills were set up in Sadar, Shibganj, Shahjahanpur and Kahalu upazilas with around Tk1,000 crore in investments.
Hasan Jute Mills Ltd was launched in 2011 at Islampur Harigari area in Sadar upazila at a cost of around Tk175 crore. It produces 75 tonnes of sacks, yarn and other jute products on average, and all of these are exported to India, said ATM Shafiqul Hasan Jewel, the owner of the mill.
"I also invested Tk75 crore to establish Hasan Jute and Spinning Mills Ltd in Kahalu. Around 1,500 workers are engaged in the mill. And it produces 30 tonnes of jute products. I export all of them to India," he added.
"On an average, 80 tonnes of jute products are exported from different companies to different countries, including India," said Shafiqul.
He said, all the jute and jute products exported from Bangladesh are sold at Tk50,000-100,000 per ton.
The Bogura Jute Mill, established in 2009 in Akash Tara area of the city, produces 20 tonnes of jute products daily in more than 100 looms.
Bijay Bihani, the owner of the company, said that the company was launched with the machines procured from India and other places. Now, all the products of the mill are exported to India and South Africa, he said.
"Excluding the price of land, the establishment of this jute mill has cost about Tk20 crore," added Bijay Bihani.
He believes that it is possible to send the jute products to Thailand and other countries if the government provides assistance.
"The use of plastics is slowly declining and this jute business can get better in the next one year," said Bijay Bihani.
He also claimed that at least 800 men and women are employed in that jute mill.
The cost of setting up Bogura Bhandar Jute Mill was Tk30 crore. It was established at Dargahat in Kahalu upazila, said Tofazzal Hossain, the owner of the mill.
"My mill produces an average of 10 tonnes of sacks per day. As the demand for Bangladeshi sacks is high, like all others, all the sacks made in my mill are exported to India," he added.
Once upon a time, the jute products from the jute mills established in Bogura were exported to Russia and China, said Tofazzal.
"The market is still favourable in those two countries. With some support from the government, jute products produced in Bogura can be sent to those countries as well as to other countries," said Tofazzal Hossain.
He also claimed that some 800 workers are employed in his mill.