Hundreds of sacrificial cattle stood stiff on the muddy grounds of Brindaban Gorur Haat at Mirpur DOHS of the capital on the gloomy afternoon of August 8.
Downpour since morning left the otherwise populated cattle market empty but sellers were still hopeful that at the last minute, customers would be flocking here.
When the rain stopped for a while, Azam Ali brought his one Friesian bull out of the shed for a walk and as soon as he did, customers gathered around the 5.6 feet-tall handsome animal.
Many began to enquire about its price while some of them took pictures with their phones.
“I want to sell this fine 1100 kilogram-bull at BDT 10 lakh at least. Let’s see what the bargaining leads to!” Azam said while massaging the bull’s dewlap.
Azam hails from the Sirajganj district and after coming to Dhaka, his previous excitement faded. He realized that this particular cattle market was largely dominated by local-breeds. So potential buyers were not very interested to buy Friesian bulls.
Since its launching three years ago, the Brindaban Haat has been gaining popularity among customers during Eid-ul-Adha.
Cattle farmers from Siranjganj, Kushtia, Meherpur and Chuadanga gather here to sell their homegrown bulls and cows.
Monir Hossain, member of the market management committee, told The Business Standard on August 8, that farmers can sell their cattle here directly to the buyers, without the brokers’ interference.
“The market management committee provides facilities such as shed, water supply and security, all free of cost, to the participating cattle farmers. Only the buyers are charged five per cent of the selling price. The committee even bears the transport cost of the insolvent participants, hoping that they will refund after selling their cattle,” Monir said.
He added that the committee members want to create a good example of market management to attract sellers and buyers of local cattle breeds having high demand.
Yusuf Ali of Alamdanga under Chuadanga district brought two bulls to Brindaban market this year. He has been selling homegrown bulls for Eid for the last eight years.
“Previously I used to sell bulls to the traders directly from the stable. This is my first time participating in a cattle market,” said Yusuf while feeding the white-and-black bulls paddy straws and wheat husk.
However, after looking at the cloudy sky, full-time paddy farmer Yusuf was worried about selling his bulls at his preferred price.
According to Monir Hossain, since August 7, only 17 bulls were sold at the market.
Despite having few customers, a number of laborers were seen busy erecting temporary sheds with plastic sheet and bamboo. The sudden gusts of wind tore apart some of the structures which needed to be fixed.
“All of us are hoping that the market would become busier from Friday morning,” Monir said.
Like other sellers, cattle farmer Alamin also wishes to sell his two bulls at a good price. However, he too was not very hopeful about it.
“If illegal import of cattle from neighboring countries cannot be controlled, farmers of local breeds might end up with huge losses,” he said.