Govt launches digital cattle haat
The government yesterday launched a digital platform that allows customers from across the country to purchase sacrificial animals in a bid to maintain public health guidelines on Eid-ul-Azha amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Customers and sellers can now buy and sell qurbani cattle online by visiting the online portal: www.digitalhaat.net.
The platform features all the online cattle selling platforms from the district and upazila levels and a buyer can see the cattle before making a purchase from any part of the country.
An escrow payment system has also been introduced so that the customers' money will be sent to the buyers account only after meeting all the conditions.
The joint initiative, featuring the Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock, Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Division, and e-Commerce Association of Bangladesh (e-CAB), was launched with the technical assistance of the A2I.
SM Rezaul Karim, minister for fisheries and livestock, inaugurated the digital haat at a virtual event.
"Through the digital qurbani haat, the sellers of sacrificial animals will get a fair price and the buyers will get the assurance of buying the right animal," Karim said.
Zunaid Ahmed Palak, state minister for ICT, said information technology was now being used in education, healthcare, agriculture, trade, administration and even judicial activities.
"This digital haat is a safe and environmentally friendly platform, where customers can buy affordable cattle for sacrifice," he added.
The state minister for ICT went on to say that Bangladesh has transformed its physical haats into digital haats this year.
"In 2020, we were able to bring some city corporations, districts and a small number of upazilas on the digital platform," he said.
"But this time, as a result of preparation in advance, the initiative has been taken for the farmers to present their animals in the digital market from all the districts, upazilas and even villages," Palak added.
Around 241 hats were connected to the platform through 1,843 online shops including marginal ones.
More than 19 lakh people have visited the digital haat so far and a call center has also been set up to deal with various complaints about the online market.
During the inauguration, Palak purchased a sacrificial cow for Tk 70,000, which was later donated to an organisation called Manab Seba, run by e-Cab, for distribution among the needy.
It took him about three minutes and six seconds to complete the whole process of buying a cow online.
But in addition to online cattle markets for the upcoming Eid-ul-Azha, in-person cattle markets will be set up across the country in accordance with proper hygiene rules and other government guidelines, said the Local Government and Rural Development (LGRD) Minister Md Tajul Islam in a separate event yesterday.