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Cattle markets ready to start sale

Published : 16 Jul 2021 10:23 PM | Updated : 17 Jul 2021 12:52 AM

The largest Gabtali cattle market in the capital is ready after a few days of busyness with the target of officially starting the sale from July 17, as announced by the city corporations.

After going to the spot on Friday, this reporter experienced the market abounds in sacrificial animals, mostly cows. 

In addition, there are innumerable breeds of goats. Moreover, a few of the cattle traders have come with buffaloes, camels and dumba. They are expecting the market to be vibrant in a day or two at most.

Almost all the traders have brought their animals. They have thrown sand in their allotted place, tied them up and arranged food for them.

There is adequate lighting throughout the hut, sheets made as ceiling over and electric fan system. Almost everyone has been seen wearing a mask following the health guidelines. However, the market was largely empty on Friday. Some have said it will be difficult to maintain hygiene if the crowd increases later.

Hundreds of trucks carrying cattle from different districts of the country, mainly from North Bengal, have been to Gabtali. Traders from different parts of the country including Pabna, Kushtia and Jessore have come to the market with sacrificial cows. 

However, at the end of the preparation, some traders were seen to bring a few of their left cattle in trucks and pickups.

The market authorities said at least 500 trucks loaded with cattle have arrived in the market in three days from the July 14. Some more trucks are still awaiting.

Hurmat Ali came to Gabtali market on July 14 with 17 cows from Kushtia. His collection consists mostly of large sized cows. These are cross breeds from Australia, Finland, Denmark and Nepal, he said.

He told Bangladesh Post that "Every year I bring cows to the market. There was no issue earlier. However, I have faced traffic congestion on the way."

Among the cows he is asking a minimum of Tk 2 lakh for one and a maximum of Tk 12 lakh for the largest one.

Asked about the hygiene of the market, he said, "Authorities regularly announce to wear masks and keep distance. Besides, we are sprinkling sand to keep the cowshed clean."

Kutub Uddin, a trader, came to the market with 23 cows from Rajbari three days ago. He had been raising them on his own farm. He hopes that even in the Covid situation, he will get the expected price and will be able to sell all of them.

In the west side of Gabtali there are buffalo, goat, sheep, camel and lamb markets. There while talking with Md Sajib Miah, who have brought 45 goats from Narsingdi, he told Bangladesh Post, "I have goats of different breeds worth Tk 8,000 to Tk 50,000.”

One of the main attractions of the market is a camel, brought by Amjad Hossain from Ashulia. In addition to camels, he has dumba, buffalo and different breeds of cows.

When asked, he told Bangladesh Post, "Every year I bring camels to the market. Last time I sold three camels but this time I have brought only one."

The camel is worth Tk 20 lakhs. He said, "Last time I sold camels for Tk 10 lakh. This time no one has brought one but me. I will sell it if I find a suitable buyer. I raised it in my own house."

Although the Gabtali market is ready with such a large number of animals and traders, the sale has not started yet. However, some buyers are already coming to the market to see the condition and price of the animals. Their complaint is that the traders are charging exorbitant prices.

Md Sabbir, who came with two of his brothers, told Bangladesh Post, "I want to buy two cows this time. However, the cow I bought last time with Tk 1 lakh, this time the price of a cow of that size is asked Tk 1.5 to 2 lakh."

About the price, traders say, this time they have come to the cattle market after overcoming many uncertainties in the Corona pandemic. Raising and transporting their cows have also cost more this time. So, the price they are asking is quite right.

However, many traders are with the opinion that there is an opportunity for negotiation.

A person in charge of the lease of the market told Bangladesh Post, "All preparations have been made. We hope that the sale of cows will start from Friday afternoon in full swing. We are here to provide whatever needed for the cattle traders."

On the other hand, the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) control room and guard house are at the entrance of the market to prevent extortion, counterfeit money and various irregularities.

In addition, RAB has set up three watch towers to monitor the overall security of the market. RAB will be constantly miking everyone in the market to follow the health guidelines.

This time 21 markets including two permanent ones have been set up in the two city corporations. Apart from Gabtali permanent haat, 9 temporary ones have been set up in Dhaka North. On the other hand, in addition to the permanent cattle market of Sarulia in the south of Dhaka, 10 temporary markets are being set up.

According to the announcement of the two city corporations, sacrificial animals will be bought and sold at the market for five days from July 17 to July 21 (Eid day).

An office order issued by the Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock on Thursday said the ministry would oversee the activities of the veterinary medical teams and other activities at the cattle markets under the Dhaka North City Corporation and Dhaka South City Corporation.

In order to implement this program, 9 monitoring teams have been formed and 9 Deputy Secretary level officials have been given the responsibility of the designated sacrificial animal market.