Every year, around 1 crore heads of cattle are estimated and sold in the country during Eid-ul-Azha, but this year, cattle farmers who looked forward to the season with hope, were left dissatisfied.
This year, the make-shift cattle markets were not the only platform where one could buy their cattle. Due to the rise of Covid-19 in the country, online platforms were introduced and encouraged to make purchases. Moreover, multiple ‘Agro’ (agricultural) farms have also joined the commercial scene.
Shourov, a cattle farmer from Manikganj told Bangladesh Post that he came to Dhaka with 8 cows fully mature and in the perfect condition to be sold. He expected to sell four of those cows at an average price of 1.5 lakhs.
He took his cows to the cattle market set up in Rahmatganj and sold two cows at his desired price. However, he had to let go of the rest with disappointing price tags.
“The first two days since sales began seemed good. There were many customers crowding the market. However, the last two days were very difficult for us as the crowd decreased. We had to let go of the cattle at prices below expectations,” he said.
Other cattle farmers shared that they had to take back many of their cattle to try to sell them at decent prices next year. However, they were dissatisfied with money they got from the mature ones that had to be sold.
“It was as if the city ran out of customers in the last two days. We always expect a flood of customers on the night before Eid, but that did not happen. We had to make do with the offers we got,” said Kawsar, a cattle farmer from Keraniganj.
He told this correspondent that the prices of the cattle had to be dropped significantly during that time for the cattle that could not be taken back for next year.
Experts believe that the availability of substitute markets caused a significant number of customers to buy from places other than the cattle markets. Moreover, the Covid-19 situation has hampered the financial situation of many.
When the DNCC inaugurated their online cattle market, ‘Digital Haat’ the DNCC Mayor, Md. Atiqul Islam stated that this year, one lakh cattle was targeted to be sold from the platform.
“Last year we sold around 25 thousand cattle through the website and this year, we encourage online purchase due to the Covid situation and target to sell one lakh cattle,” said the mayor.
Numerous people in the city bought their cattle from agro farms beforehand. Furthermore, according to reports, around 3.5 lakh cattle were sold through the online platforms.
Earlier, the ministry of fisheries and livestock stated that this year, 1.2 crore cattle heads were available during the Eid compared to last year’s 1.18 crore. The country had enough domestic supply of cattle and no animals were allowed to enter through the borders this year.