Many small scale cattle traders, who came to Dhaka with sacrificial animals and expectation of making a fortune ahead of Eid-ul-Azha, incurred big losses this year.
The Daily Star spoke to 10 random small scale traders at different cattle markets in the capital and found that eight of them made losses. Although the other two did not incur losses, they failed to get their expected profit.
One of the traders, Sanwar Mandal, brought 15 sacrificial animals to Dhupkhola cattle market from Pabna’s Ishwardi upazila. He made a loss of Tk 3 lakh.
He said, “I took a loan of Tk 4 lakh from a local NGO and invested a total of Tk 9 lakh in the business. I could not even get my capital in return.”
“If I rear cattle for next Eid-ul-Azha, I will sell those at local markets. But I will not go to Dhaka again,” he added.
Jinarul Haque, another trader who tried his luck with 13 sacrificial animals at Kauartek cattle market, said he made a loss of Tk 1.65 lakh.
“I am completely destroyed. I cannot express in words how my family and I spent the Eid,” he said.
Another trader Milon Reza brought 13 sacrificial animals to Kamalapur cattle market and made a loss of Tk 1 lakh.
Sanwar, Jinarul, Milon and many more cattle traders who incurred losses alleged that a large number of cattle were imported until the government became strict about it around two weeks ahead of Eid. As a result, there was a surplus of cattle in the market, they said.
Asked, Mahbubur Rahman, director (production) of Department of Livestock Services, admitted that there was a surplus of cattle in the market.
According to an estimation of his department, the number of cattle including cow, buffalo and goat were 1.17 crore against the demand of 1.10 crore.
He, however, blamed the high price of cattle feed for the loss of small scale traders.
CATTLE FARMS MADE BIG FORTUNE
Although the small scale traders made losses, cattle farms made big fortune from the cattle markets in Dhaka.
Sadeeq Agro of the capital’s Mohammadpur said they sold over 1,500 cattle on the occasion of Eid-ul-Azha this year.
Maidul Islam, in-charge of the farm, said most of their cattle were sold in-house and they made a good profit.
Another farm Sharif Agro, situated in Keraniganj, sold over 200 cattle during the Eid season.
Saiful Islam, in-charge of Sharif Agro, said they not only sold their cattle but also bought 20 more as the price fell in the last few days of Eid markets.
Dr Golam Mostafa, deputy livestock officer of Chuadanga, said most of the big cattle were sold online by the farms.
Besides, he also said that many cattle traders made losses as their production cost increased.
“A cattle that weights 200 kg needs two kilogrammes of granular feed including wheat husk and rice bran every day. These feed price went up at least by Tk 10 per kg at least two months before Eid. As a result, the production cost went up,” he explained.
If the traders continue to face losses they will become uninterested in farming, he warned, adding this could make a crisis of cattle during Eid in future.