Bakrid: Goat traders stare at losses for 2nd consecutive year

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PATNA: Goat traders are staring at losses for the second consecutive year due to poor footfall of buyers ahead of Eid-ul-Adha (Bakrid) owing to the Covid-19 pandemic. Bakrid will be celebrated on July 21.
The traders, who have brought goats from different parts of the country to the city’s traditional ‘Bakra Mandi’ (goat market) at Raja Bazaar, said the demand has been the lowest this time.
Mohd Ziaullah Khan, coordinator at the cattle market, told this newspaper that the situation is pretty bad even compared to the previous year. “The market which used to bustle with buyers, looks deserted after the pandemic. Last year, the market was down due to the Covid, but this time it is worse as many are scared of the likely third wave of the virus,” he said.
“Many people are not buying because of high prices of sacrificial goats and financial impact due to Covid-19 lockdown. Those who can afford will perhaps buy animal for qurbani (ritual sacrifice). The sales have further declined by 15-20% compared to the previous year. The number of traders has also declined from 200 to 70 this year,” Khan said.
Most of the cattle rearers and traders have bought limited number of goats. Tota Pari from Jaipur, Barbari from Etawah, Jamnapari from Allahabad and Ajmeri from Rajasthan are some of the goat species available in the market, besides local breed from different parts of Bihar.
Beeral Singh from Etah in Uttar Pradesh said he has been visiting Patna goat market for the last 40 years, but never experienced such a low footfall of customers ahead of Bakrid. “It is really depressing. In last one week, only 15 goats were sold. Last time, we had sold almost two dozen goats in just 5 days. I have brought only 60 animals, but don’t find buyers. I don’t know whether I will be able to sell these animals before the festival,” he told this newspaper.
He displayed different varieties of goats, including Sirohi, Gangapari, Ajmeri and Jamunapari, ranging between Rs15,000 and Rs35,000 per animal.
Mohd Shamsul from Harat in Begusarai said, “We are unable to sell the first lot that I have bought from my village. I have around 50 goats but so far only 18 have been sold. We are even ready to reduce the prices, but the customers just leave after enquiring about the prices. The minimum price of a goat is Rs12,000 and the maximum Rs45,000, depending on the weight,” he said.
Awadh Pal Yadav, another trader from Uttar Pradesh said, “People mostly buy sacrificial animals only a couple of days before the festival. So, we are hoping the situation to improve in the next few days. We can’t reduce the prices because we are spending more money on animal’s maintenance, feed and transportation.”
Mohd Hamza from Samstipur said, “I have reared a dozen of goats at home, but could not find any buyer yet. I have reduced the prices from Rs14,000 for a small goat to Rs11,000 and for big one from Rs38,500 to Rs35,000.”