With the Eid-ul-Azha only two days away, sale of sacrificial animals at the capital’s cattle markets is yet to pick up pace.
Visiting three markets yesterday, this correspondent found low presence of buyers. Sellers were seen spending time gossiping and wiping dirt off their cattle.
Yasin Ali brought 13 bulls to Kauartek cattle market from Pabna’s Chatmohar upazila on Monday. But he could not sell one till yesterday afternoon.
The same is the case with Jinarul Haque. He was yet to sell any of his 45 cattle brought from Chuadanga on Wednesday.
He said his bulls weigh between two and 15 maunds. He was asking Tk 5 lakh for his bull of Australian breed, weighing 15 maunds.
Jinarul was hoping that all his cattle would be sold out by tomorrow.
A total of 24 Hasil (service tax paid by buyers) booths were set up at the temporary market, which occupied part of Dholaikhal road.
Bimal Saha, in-charge of a Hasil booth, said he collected Hasil for only one bull till 3:30pm.
“There are about 30,000 cattle in the market. I hope sale will pick up pace from this evening [last evening],” he said.
Although there were only a few buyers, crowds of children were seen asking sellers about their cattle.
“Children are roaming around the market, but their guardians are yet to be here,” said Kazi Lutfor Rahman who brought 20 bulls to the cattle market at Dhupkhola playground.
At the cattle market outside Kamlapur stadium, members of the market management committee were seen spending idle time.
“We collected Hasil for 13 cows since morning,” Hasan, a Hasil collector, told this correspondent in the afternoon.
Milon Reza, who has been selling sacrificial animals for the last 10 years, brought 13 bulls from Kustia on Tuesday, but all of them remained unsold.
He expected that he would be able to start the sale from night.
Some buyers said sellers were asking for quite high prices for their cattle yesterday. They were demanding over Tk 1 lakh for each bull weighing about three maunds.
Jasim Uddin, a resident of Kamlapur, said city dwellers neither have enough space nor manpower to keep cattle at their homes for more than two days.
“That’s why we usually buy cattle the day before the Eid,” he added.
BM Sirajul Isalm, chairman of the cattle market managing committee, was seen supervising the activities of the market.
“Our 40 cleaners are working to keep the market area clean and free from dengue,” said Sirajul, also a councillor of Dhaka South City Corporation.
He said there was no sign of supply shortage and more trucks carrying animals were on the way to the capital from different districts.
Traders said several lakhs of sacrificial animals have been put on sale at 24 temporary cattle markets this year.
According to statistics of the Department of Livestock (DLS), there are more than 1.17 crore cattle, including cows, bulls, buffaloes, goats and sheep, which can be slaughtered during this Eid.
Last year, there were 1.15 crore cattle and about 1.05 crore of those were slaughtered.
To assess the demand for sacrificial animals in a particular year, the DLS usually adds five lakh to the number of cattle slaughtered in the previous year. It estimated that the demand this year is 1.10 crore.