After days of gloom, Dhaka cattle traders smile big on Eid eve amid pandemic

Sale of sacrificial animals on the internet also appeared to have satisfied the traders as many chose online marketplaces over the traditional ones mostly to reduce the risk of coronavirus infection amid the pandemic.

A few cows were left at Kamalapur market on Friday afternoon. Idris Mia, a trader from Barishal, said they were finally making profits as the customers began crowding the market from Wednesday.

Only one of the 12 cows he had brought was left unsold. “I doubted I would get this much price even amid the coronavirus outbreak,” he said, claiming that he had sold the first five cows at lower prices.

Meherpur’s trader Chan Mia said he also made a “little” profit after the customers had offered half the asking prices in the opening days. “I’ve sold all of my eight cows,” he said.

Another trader, Shaheen Alam from Jhenaidah, said: “The customers  finally understood the situation we are in. They are not haggling much.” He was waiting to sell the last two of his six cows.

The customers, however, complained of high prices.

Abdur Rahman, a resident of Basabo said he had bought the cow at Tk 86,000.

The price was a “bit high”, he said but added he was okay with it considering the coronavirus crisis.

“The traders are not ready to sell the cows at low prices. I had to buy the cow because the Eid is tomorrow. What else could I do?” he asked.

Jatiya Party leader Monirul Islam Milon wrote on Facebook that there was a lack of cattle at most of the markets across the city while some wrapped up business by Friday morning.

“It’s not an artificial crisis. There is really a shortage of cattle,” he said.

Reaz Uddin, a trader at Postogola Shashanghat market, believes limited ferry services due to river erosion and flash floods led to the crisis.

Lessees of the markets under the two city corporations in Dhaka said all the markets became almost empty by afternoon.

Yusuf Ali Joarder, a resident of Dholpur, said he began searching for a suitable cow online and found one after failing to get any at Postogola and Dholpur markets.

Around 27,000 cattle were sold in the online marketplaces, Dhaka North City Corporation and e-Commerce Association of Bangladesh.

Customers bought nearly three tines the amount of cattle sold online by visiting farms and homesteads after choosing the animals on the internet, officials said.