On the occasion of the upcoming Eid-ul-Azha, 6.89 lakhs animals (cows, buffaloes, goats and sheep) are ready in Chattogram, which is 94 percent of the target. This time the total target has been set at 7.30 lakhs.
In 2015, the production in Chattogram was 3.20 lakhs, which has doubled in the last five years.
Farmers are worried about getting a good price for animals if the number of buyers is low due to the current Covid-19 pandemic. They think those who buy big cows will not come to the market for fear of Covid-19 infection. As a result, if the demand is less than the supply, the price will go down.
On the other hand, the Department of Animal Resources says that increasing the number of markets so that farmers can trade without any hindrance will help sales. The animal sale will not decrease, however, 5-6 people used to come to buy a cow in the past, but that will come down to two people this time.
For the last two to three years, local animals have been sacrificed in this country as Indian cattle import has stopped. Farmers are getting a good price for cattle and many are coming forward to raise cattle. As a result, people concerned think the supply is increasing equal to the demand.
Chittagong district animal resources officer Reazul Islam said the supply of animals is close to target in Chattogram this time. The rest of the demand will be met by animals from other parts of the country. Due to the Covid-19 situation, social events, hotels and restaurants were closed, and additional animals are found in the Eid cattle market.
"We are asking for more cattle markets so that people can trade animals while maintaining social distancing," he added.
The government has decided to stop importing cattle from India as was done last time. As a result, marginal farmers and ranchers will benefit. Moreover, at present many educated people are raising cattle, which is one of the main reasons for the increase in domestic production, he said further.
According to the District Animal Resources Department, this year the total production of animals has been 6.89 lakhs including 4,36,683 cows, 44,117 buffaloes, 1,36,776 goats and sheep.
In 2019, there were 6,10,219 animals including 4,14,387 cows, 48,284 buffaloes and 1,47,548 goats and sheep.
In 2018, the total number of animals was 5,81,634 including 3,95,503 cows.
In 2017, the total production was 3,56,163 whereas in 2015 it was 3,20,000.
4,006 farmers of 15 upazilas of Chattogram and three thanas of the metro area have reared these animals for Eid-ul-Azha. Among the farmers, 140 are in Sitakunda, 90 in Sandwip, 270 in Fatikchhari, 264 in Raozan, 225 in Rangunia, 303 in Hathazari, 169 in Boalkhali, 539 in Patiya, 560 in Chandnaish, 400 in Anwara, 450 in Lohagora, 169 in Banshkhali, 475 in Karnafuli, 75 in Kotwali, 84 in Double Mooring and 75 in the Panchlaish area.
According to the Department of Livestock, at least 3,000 cows and 500 buffaloes are slaughtered every month in Chittagong on the occasion of mezban. And hundreds of cows and buffaloes are slaughtered in a single day.
As the mesban event has been closed since March 19, about 15,000 cattle have accumulated. Apart from this, there are innumerable sacred places in Chattogram where cattle are slaughtered, which are also closed due to the pandemic.
Malik Mohammad Omar, general secretary of the Chittagong District Dairy Farm Association, sells around ten bulls produced from his dairy farm every year. He said so far, the price of cattle has been acceptable, but the economic crisis created by Covid-19 will have an impact on the buyer turnout this year.