OUR STAFF REPORTER KARACHI - Pakistan can save millions of dollars it spends on import of jute and earn handsome foreign exchange by exporting jute made-ups if the government and private sector support to start its production at local level in different provinces, experts said. The country spends $105 million annually on the import of jute from Bangladesh but it hardly meets its local consumption for manufacturing of different goods. There are 12 jute mills in Pakistan producing various made-ups for local and export markets such as jute bags, carpets, floor-mats and curtain sheets. These mills incur heavy losses on imports when due to high demand the prices in global markets increase, expert said. Experts opined that Pakistan will set to achieve self-sufficiency in jute production gradually if the jute farming is encouraged at local level by the ministry concerned, industrialists, local banks etc. through different schemes. They said that the jute mills in Pakistan have taken a commendable step as they are promoting jute farming among local farmers especially in Punjab and offering various incentives to the farmers. Pakistan is considered a large buyer of jute in the world; they said, however, India and China are its competitors with heavy purchase. Besides, Britain, Spain, Ivory Coast, Germany and Brazil also import raw jute from Bangladesh and India. They said that local availability of jute will ensure minimizing the use of polypropylene bags for wheat and grain storage. The polypropylene bags, purchased in huge numbers by provincial governments, not only put the storage at risk due to short life-span but also pose threats to human health due to ultra violet rays of the sun and deteriorate the quality of the stored grain inside. They pointed out that disposing the polypropylene bags after one use is hazardous. The material, they added, does not decompose and burning it pollutes the atmosphere. On the other hand, jute bags decompose easily and become the part of the soil. Pakistan Jute Mills Association (PJMA) will support the local farmers by providing free-of-cost jute seeds to encourage them for its production at a seminar on jute farming and its prospects. Seminar will be organized in the last week of November by Agronomic Research Institute Faisalabad in Muzaffargarh. According to the sources, the experts will highlight the adoption of latest jute farming technology, its benefits and business opportunities for farmers and entrepreneurs of agriculture sector. They will brief about the viability of jute production in the season of Kharif and methods to attain optimum production in the short sowing season in the months of April to July, sources said.