'I have talked to some rawhide traders and they said they were forced to dump the rawhides after failing to sell them at even a nominal price'
The unprecedented price fall in rawhides of sacrificed animals came as a severe blow to the seasonal and small rawhide traders in Chittagong.
The rawhide merchants attributed the plummeting prices to acute fund crisis, as the tanners did not pay them their dues before the Eid-ul-Azha.
Failing to sell rawhides even at a nominal price, many seasonal traders resorted to dumping the rawhides on the streets.
Shafiqul Mannan Siddique, chief conservancy officer of Chittagong City Corporation (CCC), told Dhaka Tribune that more than 100,000 pieces of rawhides were dumped in two dumping stations of the city.
"Every year we have to clean roads after the animals are sacrificed. But this time we had to remove the rawhides dumped on the streets. Most of the rawhides were left on Hathazari road, Agrabad, Hamjarbag, Aturar Depot, Boropole and Bayezid Bostami areas of the port city," the official said.
Mobarak Ali, CCC councillor of West Sholoshahar, said that he was born and brought up in Aturar Depo area of the city but he had never seen such an awful scene.
"I have talked to some rawhide traders and they said they were forced to dump the rawhides after failing to sell them at even a nominal price,” said the ward councillor.
Commending the government's decision to export rawhide for ensuring fair price, Muslim Uddin, adviser to Chittagong Rawhide Warehouse Traders’ Cooperative Association Ltd blamed the huge scale waste of rawhides on the tanner owners.
This year the tanners announced to buy per square feet salted cow and buffalo rawhide at Tk45-50 in Dhaka and at Tk35-40 outside the capital.
The price of salted skin of castrated goats was fixed at Tk18-20 per square feet, while the price of salted skin of un-castrated goat was fixed at Tk13-15.
This time, the merchants had set a target of procuring around 550,000 pieces of rawhides from greater Chittagong.
According to Chittagong Rawhide Warehouse Traders’ Cooperative Association Ltd, 70% rawhides were collected till Wednesday.
Around 200 rawhide warehouses are housed in Chittagong region and 20,000-25,000 people are directly and indirectly involved with the rawhide business.
After collecting rawhides from different parts of Chittagong, the seasonal traders take them to warehouse traders at the city's Aturar Depot area. Then the warehouse merchants begin to process the skins.