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8 August, 2019 12:19:43 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 8 August, 2019 11:18:56 AM

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Online cattle markets gear up

Faisal Mahmud, Dhaka
Online cattle markets gear up

Buying a sacrificial animal for Eid-ul-Azha from the comfort of home was something unheard of even a few years ago. People like Shahariar Nahid, a mid-management employee of a multinational market research farm, at least did not really think that the concept of “online qurbani haat” could be successful in Dhaka.

“Sacrificial cattle are not like electronic gadgets, clothes or perfume. It’s a living, breathing thing. No matter how filthy the Qurbani haats get or how foul the odour there, people still love to walk around the filth of a haat just for the pleasure of haggling and finding the perfect cattle for sacrifice,” said Nahid.

“This mindset, however, has changed, I believe. I bought my cow from an online haat last year. I can tell you that I was very happy with it. This year too, I am ordering my cow from an online haat,” he added. For a number of Dhaka denizens with demanding professions and busy life, the concept of the online qurbani haat has actually come as a great respite.

What was inconceivable even a few years ago is not just a reality in 2019, but it is also taken very seriously by a number of companies that have set up e-commerce platforms to sell cows and goats before Eid-ul-Azha, targeting customers like Shahariar Nahid. The recent nationwide outbreak of dengue fever, especially in the capital, has also prompted people to stay out of crowded places like qurbani haats, which get soggy and dirty and potentially become a breeding ground for Aedes mosquitos.

“Normally, I get pleasure in visiting qurbani haats. I even take a day off from office to do so. But this year, I am intentionally staying away from those places because of dengue fear. Yesterday, I was looking at the photos posted on different online qurbani haats and thinking of buying my sacrificial animal from one of them,” Abdullah Al Mamun, an employee of a cement company, told The Independent.

E-commerce site Amar Desh eShop could perhaps claim to be the first online qurbani haat as it was launched in 2010. This year, it is expecting to get a good response from Dhaka-based customers. “We have a number of cattle heads whose prices range in between Tk. 45,000 and Tk. 125,000. Our user-friendly website provides the customer a hassle free service. Once a prospective customer logs in and chooses a particular cow, the rest is taken care of by the website—from the moment of purchase to the delivery of the product,” said Enamul Haq, the project manager at Amar Desh eShop.

Payment is taken by card, direct bank transfer or bank draft, he noted. “We have hubs in almost all the 65 districts for sourcing our cattle and we are buying directly from farmers,” Haq added. Qurbani haats are also conducted through Facebook pages. For instance, Sharif Agro has been managing such a haat through its FB page since 2013.

The FB page of Sharif Agro, which has emerged as one of the promising ventures in the market, has received overwhelming positive reviews from users. Out of a total 225 such reviews, 191 customers have given five-star rating to its service. Sharif Agro sources all local breeds as well as Australian and Nepalese breeds. “We are committed to providing our customers with all available options. That’s why we source all the domestic breeds as well as the Australian and Nepalese breeds,” said Shamirul Islam, an executive officer at Sharif Agro.

The demand seems to have increased with more customers looking to buy online compared to previous years. “We are receiving 50-60 prospective customer calls every day, which is a lot higher than last year,” Shamirul said.

Like Sharif Agro, Sadeeq Agro is also happily responding to a growing number of calls from prospective customers. Since its inception in 2012, Sadeeq Agro has been witnessing a steady rise of profits from its online qurbani market. In addition to the regular sacrifice animals, cows and goats, Sadeeq Agro also sells camels and sheep.

“We are quite scrupulous in selecting our cattle. We source them from Kushtia and Benapol and we have diverse range of animals. We’re sending camels and sheep to Chattogram and Dhaka in addition to cows and goats,” said the managing director of Sadeeq Agro, Md Sadruddil Monty.

Bengal Meat has launched its online qurbani haat for the fifth consecutive time this year. The highlight of this year is the sale of farm cattle that have been fed natural feed, health checked by registered veterinarians, and rearing management by animal husbandry experts with minimum of three months to one year at feedlot. This will allow consumers to have steroid, anti-biotic, and disease free healthy cattle for qurbani.

“We have targeted 800 cattle heads for sale this year,” said Nazmul Sakib Farhad, executive activation officer of Bengal Meat. “We are already getting 60-70 calls every day from online customers for our cows,”he added.

Apart from the different known online pages like Bengal Meat, Daraz, Bikroy.com, there are some facebook groups which sell sacrificial animals. One such group is “Goru Chagol Er Birat Haat (GCBH)”, which has been active since 2016. At present, it has 30,000 members with eager buyers and enthusiastic sellers of all kinds of cattle, including cows, goats and sheep, from across the country.


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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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