More than 90.93 lakh cattle have been sacrificed across the country during Eid-ul-Azha this year, around 4 lakh down from last year.
Among the slaughtered animals, more than 40.53 lakh were cows and buffaloes, over 50.38 lakh were goats and sheep, and 715 were other animals.
Farmers reared 11,916,765 cattles to be sold at Qurbani haats. Of those, 28.23 lakh remain unsold at Qurbani haats this year.
Talking to some traders in the capital's cattle market, The Business Standard came to know that many farmers could not bring big cows to Dhaka due to floods last year. They brought those cows to the capital this year with a hope of getting a higher price.
However, the cows that were worth more than Tk3 lakh were sold very little. The farmers were forced to take back more than half of the high-priced cows, they added.
In order to reduce the risk of further spread of the novel coronavirus infections in the country, the government initiated an online service to facilitate a safe environment for sacrificial animal trade.
Cattle traders say many businesspersons, who buy 20 to 30 big cows every year, did not come to the market this time. Additionally, those who used to sacrifice big cows have now sacrificed small cows due to the fall in income thanks to Covid pandemic.
Some people have not been able to make sacrifices due to the economic crisis, which has resulted in unsold animals, they also said.
Mohammad Zahir Uddin Miah, director (production) of the Department of Livestock, told TBS that the way people's purchasing power had increased had suddenly decreased due to the Covid outbreak. A search of his native village revealed that half the cattle were sacrificed than last year. The situation is the same everywhere.
He said, "We will urge the government to subsidise the affected farmers like other sectors. The government should provide subsidies to farmers in different aspects including animal feed."
"Like the Netherlands and Denmark, our government needs to help the farmers by providing food subsidies and other assistance, as many people are involved in the sector. This sector will suffer if the farmers cannot survive. Besides, they will lose interest in rearing animals," he added.
Cattle worth Tk2,735 cr sold online:
This year, the digital cattle market has yielded more than a whopping Tk2,735 crore by selling more than 3.87 lakh animals – almost five times higher when compared to last year's sales on the platform.
Some 86,874 cattle worth Tk596 crore were sold online in 2020.
The government has initiated cattle sale on the online platforms this year utilising the benefits of Digital Bangladesh.
The number of online platforms for sacrificial animal trading this year was 1,768 of which 602 were run by the government and 1,166 by the private sector. Most of which are Facebook-based.
Next year, the Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock will work to increase the range of online trade of cattle, according to the Department of Livestock.
Director (Production) of the Department of Livestock Mohammad Zahir Uddin Miah told TBS, "We will encourage more online transactions in the future. This time many have brought meat after slaughtering."