The dream of many traders and firm owners has been shattered as a large number of cattle remained unsold during the Eid-ul-Azha this year.
They are facing an extra burden amid the pressure of repaying the loans taken for establishing the farms.
A total 90, 93,242 cattle have been sacrificed across the country during Eid-ul-Azha this year, around 4 lakh fewer than the previous year. Around 11,916,765 sacrificial animals have been reared by the farmers to be sold during Eid this year. Of the total stock, 2,823,000 remained unsold, according to the Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock.
“Many cattle farmers are facing a financial crisis with their unsold cattle worth around Tk 290 billion,” Shah Emran, general secretary of Bangladesh Dairy Farmers Association (BDFA), said.
They are also facing trouble in selling their cattle to butchers as they are not interested in buying big cows raised for selling as sacrificial animals, he said.
Indiscriminate import of frozen meat also affected the local meat market as most of the restaurants, hotels and other shops use frozen meat due to lower prices, said Emran.
He also said the higher cost of cattle feed is also affecting farmers as they have to feed the unsold cows.
"My cattle firm is at risk of closure in the face of soaring prices of cattle feed. There are only five unsold cattle are in our farm, but we could not buy any calf to rear due to the huge loss we faced this year,” said Shamim Ahmed, a farm owner at Kumarkhali in Kushtia.
BDFA sources said a crisis of small and medium cattle will be seen next year as most of the small and medium cattle have been sold.
Farm economist professor ASM Golam Hafeez said farmers fell victims to a situation created by a lack of proper marketing and statistics. “ A huge number of cattle farm faced lose this year and they don’t have enough to invest further in their farm,” he said, adding that this crisis will discourage them to raise cattle further, which will create a crisis in this sector.
The number of sacrifice animals has decreased by 15 lakh in the last two years compared to the previous years.