Jute is an impressive possession of natural resources for Bangladesh. For centuries, jute has been an integral part of our culture. There was a time when jute was the backbone of Bangladesh agriculture and also national economy. But the radiant history of this golden fiber has been washed-out cruelly from the lives of the peoples of Bangladesh due to invasion of synthetic fiber.
To bring back the golden era of jute, Bangladesh entered the world of genome research at the end of 2009. As a tripartite combination of the public-private-government partnership, Dhaka University, IT firm DataSoft and Bangladesh Jute Research Institute, the country first time in world decoded the jute genome. On 16 June 2010, the Honorable Prime Minister of the People's Republic of Bangladesh, Sheik Hasina announced at the National Parliament, the success of Bangladeshi scientists to the nation and rest world. The research team was led by Professor Maqsudul Alam from University of Hawaii, who also successfully led the genome discovery of papaya in USA and rubber in Malaysia.
After the discovery of jute genome, it becomes a pressing need to have a high yielding jute variety released for cultivation through out the country. With an aim to meet up this need and to deliver the benefit of this success directly to the farmer's hand, the next footstep was taken by the Honorable Agriculture Minister, Begum Matia Chowdhury on November, 2010 with an initiation of a government funded national project “Basic and Applied Research on Jute (BARJ)” at Bangladesh Jute Research Institute. One of the main aims of the project is to deliver the disease and stress tolerant, high yielding jute variety to the farmers. Simultaneously, the project also emphasizes to create a platform for genome research with global partnership.