Scientists in Bangladesh have “decoded” the DNA of a fungus that destroys jute fibre.
The country is one of the world’s largest exporters of jute, and identifying a substance to combat the fungus could increase the production of the fibre by as much as 30 per cent.
Some 40 million Bangladeshis, most of them farmers, depend on the plant.
Once treated, the natural fibre is exported across the world. It’s used to make heavy duty bags in South America, rugs in the Middle East, and the US automobile industry increasingly uses the natural fibre instead of synthetic materials to carpet and pad the interiors of cars.