The capital's sacrificial animal markets have already been crowded with buyers and sellers even though these markets are supposed to be officially launched on Saturday.
Traders from different parts of the country brought cows, buffaloes and goats to the permanent cattle market in Gabtali and the temporary market in the 100-foot Notun Bazar in the capital.
One trader has brought 10 to 40 cows. There are some big cows in Gabtali for which sellers are asking for Tk20-35 lakh.
Rehana Khatun brought a cow from Mirpur in Kushtia to Gabtali. She is asking Tk20 lakh for this 1,000-kilogram-cow.
Md Iddis came to Gabtali haat with 11 cows from Khoksa in Kushtia on Wednesday. He sold a bull weighing around 300 kilograms for Tk1.61 lakh. He said all buyers had not come to the market yet. They will come in two days.
Sahidul Islam brought 18 cows to Gabtali market from Manikganj. He has already sold 13 at Tk1.4 lakh to Tk1.5 lakh.
Mojibur Rahman bought a bull from Gabtali haat for Tk70,000. He said the price of cattle is higher this year. The bull he has bought was around Tk60,000 last year.
Palash Hossain, a seller at Notun Bazar market, said there were some buyers but they are asking for low prices. Moreover, many have come to visit the market.
Iqbal Hossain Khandaker, the lessee of the market, told TBS they hope that about 15,000 cows will be sold this time.
All the haats of the two city corporations of Dhaka will run from 17 July to 21 July i.e. Eid day. There are one permanent and 10 temporary cattle markets in Dhaka South while Dhaka North has nine cattle markets including a permanent one.
To prevent Covid-19 infection, sellers and buyers in the market have to follow 46 conditions related to hygiene, social distance and masks but at the Gabtali market, but there was a crowd of people paying no heed to health hygiene. Many came with children to see large bulls.
Md Sanwar Hossain, a member of the management committee of Gabtali haat, told TBS they were trying to follow the government's instructions but could not do it properly.
Online cattle market
Besides traditional cattle markets, online trading has been good so far.
According to the Department of Livestock, in the last 14 days, 2,38,68 animals have been sold across the country from the government's online markets. Of these, 1,85,120 were cows and buffaloes, 52,948 goats and sheep, worth over Tk1,665 crore. About 1.19 crore animals are slaughtered in Bangladesh every year.
"We have been preparing for the sale of livestock online since last year and we are reaping the benefits," said Jinat Sultana, deputy director (farm) of the livestock department.
She added that buyers are being encouraged to buy animals online.
According to the department, the highest number of animals sold online till 15 July in Chittagong division – 1,07,468 cows and buffaloes and 24,030 goats and sheep, followed by Dhaka division. Mymensingh division is lagging in terms of sales.