Bangladesh's digital cattle markets are being prioritised this year over conventional cattle haats (markets).
Online sellers are now very busy attending to their online customers.
Meanwhile, some city corporations have reduced the number of makeshift animal markets this year, in their areas, to reduce the risks of contracting the novel coronavirus.
"Customers have a huge interest in the digital cattle market and we are seeing tremendous responses. This year, our sales are around 80 percent higher than compared to previous years," said Anup Munir, assistant manager at othoba.com.
Actually in previous years, people were not very familiar with online services. However, the situation has changed this year due to the outbreak of the pandemic, he added.
"Customers find online cattle markets the easiest and safest mode of buying cattle – avoiding the hustle and bustle of the conventional cattle haat," said Anup Munir.
Some other ecommerce and f-commerce ventures – including Bengal Meat, Food for Nation, Priyoshop.com, among others – are having greater sales than previous years.
A fresh venture, DNCC Digital Haat, which joined the online fleet a week ago, is also seeing a good response. Its website says that they already sold 27 cows until Friday.
Meanwhile, the owner of Organic Bull Station, a cattle farm which opened online three years ago, Shaheed Khandaker said, "Though I moved online three years ago, my in-person sales were higher."
"Even earlier, customers usually checked out cattle photos online, then came to visit my farm to see their selected cattle physically, and then made a purchase," he added.
"However, this year, my online sales have increased drastically, bringing my in-person sales to almost zero," said Shaheed.
Owner of Rabeka Dairy Farm, Moslem Talukdar, echoed Shaheed's conclusion. He said, "I had never focused on online sales earlier, but this year I am making more sales through them."
Digital haats are taking the lead for selling sacrificial cattle ahead of Eid-ul-Adha. A few city corporations are also reducing the number of the conventional animal markets due to the novel coronavirus outbreak.
Narayanganj City Corporation (NCC) Mayor Selina Hayat Ivy said, NCC is to set up 11 makeshift cattle markets this year although the number was higher in previous years.
Gazipur City Corporation (GCC) Estate Officer Md Nuruzzaman Mridha said, "The GCC has finalised 10 makeshift cattle haats until now," adding, "Four more haats might be added which will be finalised by Monday."
However, there used to be 20 haats in previous years, he added.
Chattogram City Corporation (CCC) has set up six makeshift cattle markets at different points of the city.
In addition, it has two permanent cattle markets, said CCC Chief Executive Officer Md Shamsuddoha.
Meanwhile, the Dhaka North City Corporation has finalised only five makeshift cattle haats and there is a permanent cattle market in its region, said Chief Estate Officer Md Muzammel Hoque.
Dhaka South City Corporation is likely to set up 14 makeshift cattle haats, and of these, five have already been finalised.