150 cattle traders in Pabna village thrive in online markets

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Over 150 cattle traders and farmers of Haropara village, in Pabna’s Bhangura upazila, are trading sacrificial animals on online markets — setting an example and inspiring fellow traders.

Md Shahabul Islam, a cattle trader of Haropara village, used to sell cows in local haat (rural market) a few years ago. He often did not make expected profit due to the hassles of the cattle market, but is now seeing good profits through online sales of sacrificial animals.

Shahabul told The Daily Star, “A month ago, I bought cows from local farmers as well as from other villagers. Then I took photos and videos of the cows and posted them on Facebook and YouTube, along with my phone number and the name of my cattle farm (ABC Farm).”

“If a potential buyer is interested to purchase a particular cow, they contact me through Facebook. If a deal is reached, I deliver the cow to the buyer’s address after he sends the money via mobile banking,” he explained.

Shahabul currently has nine cows at his farm. However, he purchased 10 more cows last week and sold at least 15 until last Friday.

Md Ashraful Alom, a farmer from Haropara village, told The Daily Star that he prepared three cows this year to sell during Eid-ul-Azha, but avoided traditional cattle markets due to the alarming Covid-19 situation. Instead, he sold the cows online.

Md. Johurul Islam, acting livestock officer of Bhangura upazila in Pabna, told The Daily Star that cattle traders in Haropara village have set an example in digital cattle trading — inspiring others during these trying times of the pandemic.

“Due to the recent surge in Covid-19 cases, we requested that everyone attend cattle markets in accordance with health guidelines, but no one complied. Hence, we’ve encouraged cattle farmers to switch to online platforms, and now the cattle farmers of Haropara village have set an example by successfully trading animals virtually and inspiring others,” Johurul Islam added.