Cattle traders happily reaped the benefits, as they had feared sales would be lower due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic
Dhaka residents who waited till the last day to buy sacrificial animals have been left disappointed, as a supply shortage raised prices at Eid-ul-Azha cattle markets on Thursday and Friday.
Many people had to travel to several markets to find suitable cattle and had to pay higher than they would have had to a few days earlier. Cattle traders happily reaped the benefits, as they had feared sales would be lower due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
“Fearing low sales due to the Covid-19 pandemic, we brought 20 cows for sale even though we had more in stock. On the last two days, the demand went up and we were able to sell at better prices,” Md Azizul, a farmers and cattle trader from Jessore, told Dhaka Tribune.
Azizul had put his cattle up for sale at Gabtoli Cattle Market, the largest market in the capital.
“On Wednesday, a buyer offered Tk70,000 for a cow which I sold for Tk85,000 on Thursday. Since there was a supply shortage, buyers had little option,” said the farmer.
“We were fearing losses as customers were offering low prices from the beginning trading at Eid cattle markets. Some of my fellow traders sold at prices that did not leave any profit margin,” he added.
Barkatullah Babu, a resident of Rayerbag, told Dhaka Tribune: “Since there is health risk due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, we wanted to buy cattle to sacrifice on the last day. We were disappointed when we got to the market, as there were not many cattle available.
“After visiting five cattle markets, we were able to buy a cow at Tk120,000 from a farm located at Mirajnagor in Rayerbag. Two or three days ago, the same cattle was priced at about Tk90,000,” he added.
Barkat further said that all small and medium sized cattle had been sold out.
Kamal Hossain, a revenue collector at Gabtoli Cattle Market, said: “At the beginning, farmers and cattle traders were disappointed with the low customer turnout and sales. However, the demand started to peak just two days before the Eid-ul-Azha.”
Mohammad Shah Emran, general secretary of Bangladesh Dairy Farmers’ Association (BDFA), also told Dhaka Tribune that sales picked up in the last two days after a slow start to the Eid cattle markets.
According to the Department of Livestock, there are about 11,800,000 sacrificial animals ready for this Eid-ul-Azha. Among them, 4,538,000 are cows and buffaloes while the rest are goats and sheep.
Last Eid-ul-Azha, over 10 million animals were sacrificed across the country.