Eid-ul-Azha is the biggest season for the cattle farmers’ business in Bangladesh. But many farmers had to return home without selling their cattle this year.
The pandemic has already taken a heavy toll on the country’s economy. A lower number of animals were reported sold in the markets of sacrificial animals across the country during this Eid-ul-Azha.
Farmers reared more than 1 crore sacrificial animals this year to sell on the Eid-ul-Azha market.
Of them, more than 28 lakh cattle remained unsold, according to the Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock.
The economic slowdown severely impacted the job market, making many unemployed due to the pandemic.
A large number of middle and lower-income group people are facing hardship in maintaining livelihoods during the pandemic time.
Many marginal farmers and the expatriates who returned home invested in cattle rearing as a business targeting this year’s Eid-ul-Azha.
“People’s purchasing capacity has been affected by the pandemic while many people would not buy big cattle due to the decline of their income,” he said.
Among the slaughtered animals, more than 40.53 lakh were cows and buffaloes, over 50.38 lakh were goats and sheep, and 715 were other animals. Of them, 24 percent cattle remained unsold.
Farmers who had been raising animals with loans from various sources are in most dire state.
“I raised five bulls this year and two of them are big. Three of my bulls were sold but two big bulls remained unsold.”
“I have to wait more than one year to sell these two bulls,” he said.
While visiting cattle market in the capital Dhaka, it was seen that the demand for small and medium cattle was high while the bulls worth Tk 2 lakh to 3 lakh each were sold in a low number.
Most of the farmers bring back their big bull this time from the cattle market in Dhaka.
Around 7 lakh recognised farmers were engaged in raising cattle targeting this year’s Eid-ul-Azha. Many marginal people were also involved in the business.
Last year, a total of 1 crore 18 lakh 97 thousand 5 hundred cattle were ready before Eid-Ul-Azha. Of them, a total of 94 lakh 50 thousand 2 hundred sixty three cattle were sacrificed.