With the world entering into a digital realm at an exponentially fast rate, we might be conjuring up live holographic feeds of qurbani cattle in our bedrooms and browsing the aisles in a 3D projection very soon. With the appropriate gadgets, you might be able to throw in some cow dung stench for the sake of authenticity. Anyone with a little bit of awareness about IoT and other advancements knows this is now pure science, not fiction. But we are not quite there yet.
What we do have are digital ‘haats’ and they are becoming a legitimate route to finding your sacrificial animal. What once invoked laughter and amused disbelief is now a reality. You can order your qurbani ‘goru’ online and have it delivered, as if it were a bottle of Rupchanda soya bean oil. We look at some of the leading online platforms that are offering this service this Eid.
One of the problems of buying from the haat is that all the sellers, who you never met, claim that their cattle are disease free, healthiest, not hybrid, and full of magic.
Meet Bengal Meat. Jesting aside, a reputed company like Bengal Meat provides one of the few sensible ways for getting a product that matches the description. Returning to online qurbani services for the third year this time, Bengal Meat offers two packages - ‘complete qurbani and live cattle delivery.’
As you can guess, the complete qurbani is where you get to sit back and they do the dirty work for you. You get everything chopped, packed and delivered to your home. But there is a caveat; you get the ‘goshto’ a day after Eid. On the other hand, you can always have live cattle delivered to your address before Eid.
The highlight of this year, says Bengal Meat, is the sale of farm cattle that have been fed natural feed, health checked by registered veterinarians, and have been reared by animal husbandry experts with minimum three months to one year at feedlot. This will allow consumers to have steroid, antibiotic, and disease free cattle for the Qurbani sacrifice.
The demand is increasing too. In their first year, Bengal Meat sold 100 cattle, which rose to 150 last year. This year the target is 400, informed Nazmul Sakib Farhad, executive activation officer at Bengal Meat. “This year we are receiving about 20-30 calls each day from online customers for our cows,” said Farhad.
Delivery starts five days before qurbani and will continue till two days before Eid. But if you are one of those unlucky people who have been eternally damned for living outside of Dhaka, Chittagong and Sylhet city areas, then your bad luck continues. Only those cities will have the delivery service.
Amar Desh eShop
E-commerce site Amar Desh eShop started the whole digital haat thing quite early, in 2010. In fact, they may have the legitimate claim to the digital haat iron throne, as the initiators of the trade. Regardless, the business stuck to it, because they envisioned, correctly, that this is where the market was heading. Their perseverance paid off, it seems. The company is expecting huge responses from its Dhaka based customers this year.
“After a customer logs into our system and orders a particular cow, we take care of the rest. We are in charge of delivering it and the customer will not have to worry about anything other than confirming the purchase,” said Enamul Haq, project manager at Amar Desh eShop.
Since its inception, Amar Desh eShop’s cattle sales were most successful in 2013. The company expects to surpass that this year. It has hubs in 65 districts for sourcing cattle. “We buy directly from farmers and we are confident that this will be our best year,” said Enamul Haq.
If you look at the customer reviews on Sharif Agro’s Facebook page, you will want to buy from them. A total of 255 customers wrote reviews, out of which 191 gave them a five out of five stars.
Starting operations in 2013, Sharif Agro are growing in the digital cattle market and promising to become a bigger venture every year. The company offers all of the local breeds, as well as Australian and Nepalese breeds. “We source deshi breeds and Australian and Nepalese breeds. We want to give our customers choices,” said Shamirul Islam, an executive officer at Sharif Agro.
Like other companies, Sharif Agro is also happily experiencing increasing demand for its services. “We get about 30 to 40 calls every day, which is much higher than what we got last year,” Shamirul said.