Low prices remain a concern for the farmers in Rangpur region although cattle markets are gaining momentum ahead of Eid-ul-Azha, while rearers and traders in Pabna are expecting good profit.
Rangpur Divisional Livestock Department Deputy Director Dr Sheikh Azizur Rahman said around 13.75 lakh sacrificial animals are ready in eight districts of the division. The number is two lakh more than the number sold last year.
There are 8,92,905 cows and buffaloes, 4,82,769 sheep and goats and 492 other animals , he said.
He said there are 54,021 private and commercial farms in Rangpur division. Of them, 8,449 farms are in Rangpur, 2,250 in Nilphamari, 10,882 in Kurigram, 11,532 in Dinajpur, 4,693 in Lalmonirhat, 8,684 in Gaibandha, 4,241 in Thakurgaon and 3,290 in Panchagarh.
Aminul Islam in Parbatipur upazila said he has been rearing 300 cows. He has already sold 40 cows at Ambari Haat. “Price is less than expected,” he said, adding that if such low prices continue farmers will suffer a loss as the price of fodder and labour cost are higher than last year's.
“Prices will go down further if Indian cows become available in the markets,” said Rafiqul Islam in Sadar upazila.
Mahmudul Hasnan Bappy in Kurigram municipality said he has been rearing 30 cows for the last six months targeting Eid-ul-Azha.
Meanwhile, the cost of rearing cattle has risen in Pabna due to the soaring price of cattle feed but farmers are eyeing good profit due to the adequate supply of local cattle this year, farmers said.
“I sold 24 cows in the last couple of weeks for Tk 23 lakh and I am expecting to sell 10 to 15 more before Eid," said Md Saiful Islam of Faridpur upazila.
“Usually we fix the price of a cow at Tk 16,000 to Tk 17,000 per maund, depending on the estimated weight of the meat, but we are selling it for Tk 17,000 to Tk 18,000 per maund ahead of Eid,” he said.
“Although the prices of cattle have gone up ahead of Eid, it is not enough for farmers to get expected profit due to increasing production cost. Cattle feed was sold at Tk 800 to Tk 850 per maund four months ago, but it is Tk 1,200 now,” Saiful said.
Saiful said he earned Tk 1.5 lakh by selling 24 cows for Tk 23 lakh, and he is expecting to earn Tk 1 lakh more profit if he can sell the rest 15 cows at expected price before Eid.
Md Mamun Hossain in Sujanagar upazila said the supply of local cattle is adequate in the market, so farmers are expecting good profit if Indian cattle do not come.
“Cattle prices are soaring as Eid approaches, but we didn't get expected profit in the last few years as Indian cows flooded the market,” he said.
District Livestock Officer Md Al Mamun said 2.07 lakh sacrificial animals, including 80,000 fattened cattle, are ready to be sold in Pabna.
Our Dinajpur and Pabna correspondents contributed to the report.