Bagerhat’s eco-friendly wooden bicycle attracts foreign buyers; export to Europe begins


Published: February 24, 2024, 02:59 PM

Bagerhat’s eco-friendly wooden bicycle attracts foreign buyers; export to Europe begins

Eco-friendly wooden bicycle, manufactured in Bagerhat’s BSCIC Industrial area, has garnered significant attention through generating employment and opening new markets, particularly in Europe.

Wood, renowned for its versatility, is now prominently featured in making the environment-friendly ‍‍`Baby Balance Bikes,‍‍` capturing foreign buyer’s interest.

Already 20,000 wooden bicycles have been exported to Greece in the first phase.

Produced by the ‍‍`Natural Fiber‍‍` company in Bagerhat’s BSCIC Industrial City, these eye-catching bicycles are complemented by a range of eco-friendly furniture items including hotel beds, sun beds, pet toys, catering to global demand.

Sources said Natural Fiber started its production in BSCIC Industrial City in 2005. At the beginning, various coir products including mattresses, coir felt, coco peat, disposable slippers were made with coconut shell.

Natural Fiber transitioned to wooden bicycles and other wooden goods in 2023, sparking international interest.

Bagerhat’s eco-friendly wooden bicycle attracts foreign buyers; export to Europe begins

Mustafiz Ahmed, the entrepreneur of the wooden bicycle, said he got the order of 3 lakh ‍‍`Baby Balance Bike‍‍` from Greece in 2023 and he managed to export it in December last year.
Besides, many wooden toys for cats and dogs, manufactured in his factory, were also exported to Belgium last year, he said.

“The second lot of wooden bicycles will be exported soon. Orders also came for adult bicycle alongside the baby bike. ‍‍`Baby Balance Bike‍‍` is selling at 100-150 euro per piece in the European market,” he said.

During a recent visit by the UNB correspondent, the factory was found bustling with men and women workers diligently crafting wooden bicycles and their components.
The workers were busy in making wheels, frames and various parts of the bicycle using ‘Akashmoni’, ‘Gamari’ and ‘Mehgani’ timber.

Abbas Ali, a worker said “First they collect timber and cut it into pieces. Later, they craft it in different shapes to make the necessary parts of the bicycle. It takes about two days to build one wooden bicycle.”

Rekha Rani, echoing the sentiment of her fellow workers, expressed pride in their craftsmanship and the impact their exports have on their families‍‍` well-being.
“We can manage our family well with the salary we receive working in the factory,” she said.

Tonny, another worker, said they are not only making the wooden bicycle but also made different types of eco-friendly furniture.

Shariful Islam, another worker of the factory, said they have to make 11 parts to make one ‍‍`Baby Balance Bike‍‍` and then they colour it.

Mustafiz also expressed doubt about getting incentive in the furniture sector as the government has reduced the incentive rate to 7 % from the existing 10%.

Zahirul Islam, deputy director of Bangladesh Small and Cottage Industries Corporation (BSCIC), Bagerhat, said foreign currency is being earned by exporting these echo-friendly wood products abroad.

BSCIC will provide training, loans as well as other assistances to such entrepreneurs, he said.

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