Qurbani Hatt 2024: Fewer buyers, higher prices

HP news: Despite the government’s announcement of a surplus of sacrificial animals this year, their prices remain high so far, compared to the same time last year. Traders at Gabtoli cattle market attribute this to the increased cost of cattle feed, transportation, and staff salaries.

Fisheries and Livestock Minister Abdur Rahman has recently said the number of available sacrificial animals this year is 1.29 crore. This is at least 22.8 lakh more than the demand and 4,44,034 more than last year.

This includes around 52 lakh cows, 1.60 lakh buffaloes, 68 lakh goats, 767,743 sheep, and 1,850 other sacrificial animals.

Md Dhoni Mandal, a cattle trader, said, “A mid-sized bull is selling for Tk 10 to 20 thousand higher than last year. Customer numbers have dropped. Last year, I sold around a hundred bulls a few weeks before Eid. The number has dropped to 10 this year.”

Sabeton, Mondol’s wife who helps in raising the bulls, said local farmers will suffer if the government doesn’t stop cattle smuggling from India.

Monzu Bepari of Manikganj said, “I sold around 250 bulls 15 days before Eid-ul-Azha last year. So far I sold only 100 this year.”

Md Santu Bepary, who brought four bulls to Gabtoli and plans to bring around 100 more on Wednesday, said sacrificial animals are available in local markets, but prices remain high. “We have to pay an extra Tk 10,000 to Tk 15,000 for a mid-sized bull outside Dhaka.”

Regarding the low sales at Gabtoli market, Md Jahangir, a cattle food seller, said many people buy bulls directly from farms well before Eid-ul-Azha, leading to fewer customers at this permanent cattle market.

Doly Akhter from Dholaipar, who went to Gabtoli cattle market 10 days before Eid to buy a bull for her son Ibrahim, said prices of bulls, buffaloes, and goats are higher this year. “I couldn’t buy it, it’s beyond my reach,” she added.

Five other buyers echoed her.

Amzad Hossain, a Gabtoli trader who bought 28 buffaloes, said small buffaloes are costing Tk 2 lakh this year, which is Tk 20,000 more than last year. Meanwhile, large buffaloes cost Tk 8 lakh.

Md Babul, a trader, said mid and small sized goats were Tk 1,000 to Tk 1,200 costlier than last year, with a 13kg goat selling for Tk 1,300 and a 45kg goat for Tk 50,000.

Besides, two camels were brought to the market, and their prices are also very high. Trader Amzad Hossain, who brought them from Pakistan, is asking for Tk 26 lakh for each camel, noting that if there were no restrictions on bringing them from India and raising them locally, prices would not be so high.

Sixteen cattle markets have been set up in two city corporation areas in Dhaka this year.

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