Shamiur Rahman Lipu

Published:
2020-07-04 00:35:37 BdST

Cattle raisers fear price slump in Magura


MAGURA: Cattle rearers in the district are in apprehension of a drastic fall in the prices of sacrificial animals during Eid-ul-Azha this year for a sluggish demand of the animals due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Besides, price hike of cattle feed is a big concern for the farmers as it will cut their profit substantially.

Magura District Livestock Office sources said farmers are rearing a total of 15,136 cows for Eid ul Azha but estimated demand of cows this time is 9,200.

Fatteners' sources said last year about 34,000 animals were slaughtered in the district during Eid ul Azha.

But due to the coronavirus pandemic demand of cattle has dropped by 70 per cent this year.

On the other hand, prices of various feeds have witnessed a big jump in the local markets in the last one year.

Straw is now selling at Tk 3,000 per thousand bundles as against Tk 1,000 last year, husk at Tk35 per kg as against Tk 28 three months back and oil cake at Tk 35 per kg as against Tk 25 six months back .

Chandu Biswas of Kanda Bashkutha village in Magura sadar upazila said, "This year, I'm fattening eight cows. I purchased the animals nine months back when there was no pandemic. Every year, traders from Dhaka, Chattogram and Sylhet come to our house for buying cows two months before Eid-ul-Azha. Sometimes traders give us advance payment booking cows for purchasing. But this year not a single trader has come to us so far. Want of customers is frustrating us very much."

Bablu Mian, another cattle fattener of Nanduali village in sadar upazila said, "I purchased three cows for fattening 10 months back, taking Tk 80,000 from a money lender on high interest. Now if I fail to sell the cows during the Eid how shall I repay my loan?"

Contacted Shafiqur Rahman, executive director of Palli Prakriti, an agriculture-based NGO, said demand of sacrificial animals has dropped in the district by 70 percent this year compared to last year. On the back of this is also hike in feed prices.

Under these circumstances, cattle fatteners may face huge loss this time.

Farmers fear that taking the opportunity of the fall in demand middlemen may manipulate prices of cattle in the markets.

If farmers face loss, they may be discouraged in fattening cows next time. Consequently, the country may face extreme crisis of cows during Eid.

That is why the government should provide interest free loan to cow fatteners to help them come out of the prevailing situation.

Our Bogura Correspondent writes: Farmers in Dhunat upazila of the district are facing an acute crisis of fodder for their cattle amidst flood as the river Jamuna keeps swelling.

On the one hand, due to scarcity of fodder, they cannot feed their cows, buffaloes and goats properly and, on the other hand, there is no dry place for their animals to graze.

It is learnt that as a result of swelling of the Jamuna, about 2,000 people in 14 villages of two coastal unions have got stranded. The grazing land in the char areas has been flooded.

As a result, supply of grass, one of the main food sources of cattle, has stopped.

In this situation, the farmers who have raised cows, buffaloes and goats for sealing those during Eid-ul-Azha have fallen into a serious crisis.

Our Chattogram correspondent adds: There is an adequate stock of sacrificial animals in the district for the upcoming Eid-ul-Azha.

There is no need to import cattle from the neighbouring countries as the local farmers and farm owners have a stock of around seven lakh cows for the Eid this time.

But the farm owners fear that if the coronavirus pandemic continues till Eid-ul-Azha, they will incur heavy losses as the demand of sacrificial animals will drastically fall for the prevailing situation.

According to official sources, there are 338 cattle farms in Chattogram where more than five lakh cows are ready to be sold during Eid.

Besides, many of the locals are also rearing animals in Chattogram for sacrifice during Eid. They have more than two lakh cows in their hands for sale then.

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