Digital cattle market poses brisk business
Eid-ul-Azha approaching fast
Golam Mostafa Jibon: Like the previous years, this year the e-commerce entrepreneurs are expecting to carrying brisk business of sacrificial animal selling and purchasing through online or digital platform.
Due to clutch of corona pandemic in the last years, bulk number of people across the country has already leaned into online cattle market with a view to avert additional hassles and risks including corona infection.
Last year, the government officially launched an online platform to reduce the risk of coronavirus infection.
The Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock of the government and other departments and agencies including the ICT department, district and upazila administration, e-commerce association of Bangladesh and other non-governmental organizations run the digital cattle market using the facilities of Digital Bangladesh.
In view of which a total of 3,87,579 cattle were sold online last year with a financial value of around Tk 2,735.12 crore, which is about 5 times more than the previous years.
This year too, the Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock is working to increase the range of buying and selling cattle on the online platform.
The government has completed all the preparations for the upcoming holy Eid-ul-Azha with local animals. This year, there are 1,21,24,389 sacrificial animals, which is 2.8 lakh more than the last year.
The Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock is in a strict position to stop the import of cows from outside the country as it is possible to meet the demand with domestic animals. There are enough animals in stock for the sacrifice, so not a single animal from abroad is needed to come in the country this year. The number of local animals is surplus even after meeting the demand. One-tenth of the cows produced forQurbani last year were not sold. In addition, many livestock farmers have the right animals for the current year. It will be possible to meet the needs of the country’s farms and households with livestock.
According to the Department of Livestock, like last year, there is sufficient stock of cattle. This year, out of 1,21,24000, the number of cows and buffaloes is 46,11,383. Among this number of cows and buffaloes,around 42,40,493 are fattened cattle, while the number of domesticated cattle is 3,70,890. The number of goats and sheep is 75,11,597, of which the number of well-fed goats and sheep is 33,48,740 and the number of domestic cattle and goats and sheep is 41,62,857. Besides, the number of camels, ewes (Dumba) and other animals is 1,409.
Zinat Sultana, deputy director of the livestock department said, animal statistics has been compiled for the upcoming holy Eid-ul-Azha sacrifice from 6,81,532 farms in eight divisions.
According to the Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock, about 90.93 lakh animals were sacrificed on Eid-ul-Azha last year. Out of which, 40,53,679 cows and buffaloes, some 50,38,848 goats, sheep and other 715 animals have been sacrificed.
Director General of the Department of Livestock Manzoor Mohammad Shahzada said, “There are more than 1.21 crore animals in the country this year, which is more than the demand. I think, there will be more sacrifices this time than last year. But we have overcome the situation as it was last time. Last year, about 91 lakh cattle were sacrificed, this time it may be more than that. But we have the preparation so that there is no shortage of sacrificial animals this year.”
“Online animal sales activities have already started. Those who do not want to go to the market, they can collect cattle online. In that case, we keep an eye on another thing like no one should be deceived while shopping online. Because of last year, this experience was new for everyone. I want no one is deceived again after purchasing animals online,” said Fisheries and Livestock Minister SM Rezaul Karim.
“You will get an opportunity to get back the money, if the cattle is not suitable after purchasing through online for sacrificing in Eid-ul-Azha this year. The government is going to arrange a refunding system. Besides, measures will be taken in coordination with Bangladesh Bank so that farmers can make financial transactions in a smart manner instead of cash,” said the minister adding that, “A lot of cattle were sold online last year. This time too, that system is going on. Besides, all kinds of preparations have been made by the government to make the Eid-ul-Azha celebrations safer.”
Adequate members of law enforcement will be deployed to ensure security. None of the buyers and sellers will be harassed. Eid-ul-Azha is very important for the Muslim community as well as country’s economy. Other government departments, including the Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock, are working to ensure highest security during Eid.
The farmers will not face any problem, if they sell animals from their homes this time as in the previous year. Strict action will be taken, if toll is collected from cattle laden trucks on highways. Law enforcement agencies and several local government teams will work to ensure these issues. There would be a veterinary surgeon at each animal market to control the quality of the animals. They will examine whether they are suitable for animal sacrifice and whether they have been injected with banned antibiotics or hormones, the minister said.
He further said, the concerned authorities would be requested not to set up huts on the highways or in places where traffic could be disrupted. Priority will be given to the vehicles transporting the sacrificial animals, so that the animals do not get stuck up in the road and create an artificial crisis. For this, a control room will be set up in the Livestock Department. The hotline 16358 of the department will remain open. Help can be sought by calling this number in case of any need. The recent floods have damaged livestock in the Sylhet-Sunamganj region. Cattle feed is being provided there from the Department of Livestock. Besides, treatment for the animals is being given. In addition, measures will be taken to allow animals from other parts of the country to go there during the Qurbani, he added.
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