With Eid-ul-Azha just three days away, sale of sacrificial animals at the capital's cattle markets was dull on Wednesday – the first day of the five-day sales at the temporary markets.
Sellers say cattle farming has become costlier this time thanks to surged feed prices. But buyers are offering prices which are way too low. Buyers also say the prices seem a little high this time.
In two Dhaka city corporations, 21 cattle markets have been set up ahead of Eid-ul-Azha. Of those, 19 markets are temporary which started the sales on Wednesday and continue till the Eid day.
Cows, goats, buffalos and lambs have already swarmed all the temporary and permanent cattle markets.
Visiting Badda Aftabnagar Eastern Housing haat in Dhaka north and Meradia cattle haat at Banasree area in Dhaka south, the sellers were found passing almost an idle day on Wednesday. Both the temporary markets were found stretched up to adjacent residential areas -- a violation of the city corporation leasing rules.
Aftabnagar market was full of sacrificial animals, mostly cows of different sizes ranging from Tk60,000 to Tk15 lakh.
Farid Hossain brought 36 large bulls from Pabna to Aftabnagar market. "The buyers are few and far between. Those who came offered prices that will not even cover the cost of raising the animals, let alone profit."
Showing a bull weighing around 1,000kg, he said, "I bought it a year ago at Tk3.20 lakh. Now the buyers are offering me Tk4.50 lakh for it, while this bull costs me Tk10,000 per month for feed."
Farid said if he fails to get a reasonable price for the bull, he will have to take it back and sell it to the butcher.
Mohammad Atik, a customer from Baridhara, said he came to the haat to check the prices.
"I do not have any place to keep the cow if I buy it now. So, I will buy the cattle at the last minute," he said, adding the prices seem a little high this time.
Karim Kabiraj brought 24 cows from Kushtia to Banasree's Meradia cattle market. He said customers are now assessing the rates.
According to the leasing terms, setting up a temporary cattle market in any residential area is prohibited.
But both the Aftabnagar and Meradia haats were found set up flouting the rules.
Aftabnagar haat stretched to adjacent roads and residential buildings causing nuisance to the locals. At Meradia, cows were lined up on the streets, in front of pharmacies, hospitals, residential buildings, grocery stores and super shops.
Some farms in Dhaka are selling live-weight cattle this time drawing a good response from the customers.
Sadek Agro, located near the Mohammadpur bus stand, prepared a whopping 2,500 animals for sacrifice, and around 70% of those have already been sold out live-weight.
"We are selling small and medium size cows at Tk450-Tk650 live-weight. Besides, we have home delivery services too," Sahriar Porosh, in-charge of Sadek Agro, told The Business Standard.