Online sale of cattle is gaining momentum ground ahead of Eid-ul-Azha as the worsening coronavirus situation has created uncertainty over cattle trade through traditional makeshift markets.
Different online marketplaces set up by the government and private organizations have started to sell sacrificial animals ahead of Eid.The country has a stock of around 11.91 million sacrificial animals against the demand for around 10.5 million, said Dr. Shaikh Azizur Rahman, Director General of the Department of Livestock Services.
The ongoing strict lockdown has also forced to shut the traditional cattle market across the country. The National Technical Advisory Committee on Covid-19 recently advised the government not to allow any makeshift cattle markets this year.
Due to the fear of covid-19 contamination, many people will prefer buying cattle from online platforms, experts said.
Amarfood.com, an online platform, is selling sacrificial animals with processing and packaging facilities for the customers.
Misthah Uddin, a co-founder of the platform, told the Daily Sun that some 750 marginal farmers in different northern districts have raised cattle targeting this Eid under their supervision.
“In addition, some 600 cattle have been raised at farms near Dhaka,” he said, adding that last year they have sold 350-400 sacrificial animals but this year they have already received orders for 900 sacrificial animals.The price of a cow is Tk 390 per kg of live weight and goat is Tk 550 per kg live weight at Amarfood.com.
The platform also offers cow processing and delivery services for Tk 20,000 for cattle priced below Tk 90,000 and Tk 25,000 for others and Tk 3,000 for goats.
Meat processor Bengal Meat is also offering full-service Qurbani services. People only have to choose the cattle from their website and the rest of the process will be done by them. The government has launched an online cattle market (www.digitalhaat.net) on Sunday to facilitate cattle trade ahead of Eid-ul-Azha in a bid to prevent public gatherings and stem the spread of the coronavirus. The Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC), ICT Division, E-Commerce Association of Bangladesh (e-CAB) and Bangladesh Dairy Farm Association are jointly operating the online platform.
DNCC will facilitate various services for the cattle sold through the marketplace, including selecting the places for slaughtering, providing shelter to cattle, ensuring water and electricity supply and sewerage service, and extending assistance to check the health of cattle through veterinarians.
DNCC Mayor Md Atiqul Islam said, “A target to sell 100,000 cattle has been set. A total of 60 marketplaces, such as Daraz, Evaly and 2,000 farmers, will be connected through this platform.”
Fisheries and Livestock Minister SM Rezaul Karim said the authorities had taken strict measures to stop cattle smuggling. “According to our figures, there are 11.9 million cattle for sale ahead of Eid. We expect 10 million cattle to be sold,” he said while addressing the inauguration of the online cattle market.
Many of the digital platforms are already offering discounts and vouchers. Some are facilitating free deliveries at the buyer’s preferable date and time.
E-commerce platform Daraz started this year’s “Qurbani Haat” campaign in the middle of June. Listed sellers and farmers are uploading detailed information about cows from different cities.
According to Bangladesh Dairy Farmers’ Association BDFA, online sales accounted for only 5 per cent of the total cattle sales on the occasion of Eid-ul-Azha last year.