Sale of sacrificial animals through online marketplaces and e-commerce platforms has gained popularity ahead of Eid-ul-Azha as both the buyers and sellers want to avoid the risks associated with crowded cattle markets amid the coronavirus pandemic.
However, cattle sale may decrease by 20-25 per cent this year as people’s purchase capacity has been affected by the disruption in economic activities caused by the global pandemic, according to cattle market insiders.Cattle farmers, fatteners and traders are joining online platforms, digital cattle fairs and social media e-commerce platforms to sell their sacrificial animals in a safe and hassle-free manner.
Digital platforms are allowing buyers to view photos, live videos other necessary information of a large collection of sacrificial animals put up on sale by traders.
“Many service providers are also offering a wide range of additional services--- rearing the sacrificial animals till Eid, slaughtering, meat processing and delivery to the house of client,” said Imran Hossain, president of Bangladesh Dairy Farmers’ Association and also the owner of a cattle farm Sadeeq agro.
He said many buyers don’t want to visit the cattle markets and chop the sacrificial animals with the help of butchers at their house in fear of coronavirus infection.
“We are offering hassle-free arrangements for buying sacrificial animals including cow, goat, sheep, camel, dumba and buffalo through the digital platforms,” he said, adding that the buyers can make payment via credit and debit cards.
The digital sellers will also take care of the delivery of the sacrificial animals, he said.Mayer Doa Meat Center, a Facebook-base online meat seller, is selling goat and sheep. They are asking Tk 480 and Tk 400 per kg for goat and sheep respectively based on the live weight measurement performed during video calls with the interested buyers.
They also provide slaughtering service for Tk 1000 per goat or sheep on Eid day and Tk 500 after Eid day.
Many online platforms are offering complimentary delivery, slaughtering and meat processing services. A medium-sized cow was selling at Tk 360-420 per kg based on weight on different online platforms.
The ICT ministry also launched digital cattle market to facilitate cattle trade for Eid.
According to the Department of Livestock Services, there is a stock of around 1.18 crore of sacrificial animals this year.
More than 5 lakh cattle farmers raised the cattle to sell them at Eid-ul-Azha, said Dr ABM Khaleduzzaman, assistant director (farm) of Department of Livestock Services (DLS).
He said they will maintain health awareness in the cattle markets but feared that 20-25 per cent cattle may remain unsold this year.
A large number of marginal people including 5 lakh listed farms are involved in the cattle sector.