Online sales of sacrificial cows have been met with a setback this year for floods in northern parts of the country and the dengue epidemic.
“We got a bit of a shock this year,” said Rezawan Ullah Khan, head of brand and category development at Bengal Meat Processing Industries, the pioneer in this field.
Last year, two weeks before Eid-ul-Azha, most of Bengal Meat’s cattle were sold. But this year, only 250 cows were sold since sales opened on July 13.
Bengal Meat has targeted to sell about 800 cows this year for Eid-ul-Azha, due to be held on August 12.
In order to drive up the sales, Bengal has called all its buyers from last year but a good number of them are yet to make their decision, Khan said, adding that they will take orders for live cattle until August 8. Eshita Sharmin, head of marketing of Bikroy.com, which has been selling sacrificial cattle since 2014, echoed the same.“The response so far is not quite satisfactory. Our prospective customers from cities are still waiting and want to observe the situation, especially on dengue.”
This year, Bikroy.com has targeted to sell more than a few thousand cattle. Last year, it sold 2,293, up 45.40 percent year-on-year. More than 10,000 cattle advertisements are up on Bikroy.com, according to Sharmin.
Bengal Meat’s average cow price is Tk 80,000, while more than 50 percent of Bikroy’s cows are priced less than Tk 50,000. However, Daraz.com is very optimistic about online cattle sales this year.
The e-commerce platform is resuming its online cattle marketplace this year after a one-year break.
It has launched a project called Nandini exclusively with the ActionAid to supply 100 organically fed cows. The cows were raised in remote areas of Gaibandha and are priced between Tk 42,080 and Tk 159,500.
The last date of order is August 5 and the delivery will start from August 9.
“One of the primary objectives of Nandini is to source products and livestock from women entrepreneurs and deliver them to customers from all over the country,” said Shayantani Twisha, its project lead.
The practice of selling cattle online ahead of Eid-ul-Azha was introduced by e-commerce site amardesheshop.com in 2012. Because of the convenience afforded, it fast gained popularity among city-dwellers and expatriate Bangladeshis.
Buyers can watch a few second clips of the cattle before they make their purchase decision. The payment can be made online too. The live cattle would be delivered to their doorstep. Not only that, they can also opt for full qurbani service, under which the company will slaughter the cow and deliver the meat.
Sheba.xyz, a popular online service marketplace, however, is not supplying butchers this year due to quality control issues, said Adnan Imtiaz Halim, chief executive officer of the company.
eCourier, a leading product delivery company in the country, used to transport qurbani meat on the day of Eid but this year it has decided to suspend the service.