Digital Cattle market for the Eid-ul-Azha

Many prefer buying cattle online as they considers it hassle-free against the fiasco of going to cattle market in person, buying cattle based on sheer speculation

A person checks price of cattle on a website using smartphoneProthom Alo file photo

For the third time, a digital cattle market has been launched across the country. This is not just for the Eid-ul-Azha, rather it will be operating permanently. From now on, cattle can be bought from this market throughout the year.

Fisheries and livestock minister SM Rezaul Karim virtually inaugurated this online market named, during an event on Sunday.

This market will be running under the management of ICT division, Ekshop-a2i, e-CAB along with fisheries and livestock ministry. Commerce ministry, Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) and Bangladesh Dairy Farmers’ Association (BDFA) will provide assistance in running the online market.

This virtual market is being organised, centring the Eid-ul-Azha since 2020. Farmers from the across the country will be able to sell their cattle on this platform. Besides, ‘live’ updates of the physical cattle markets will also be available there.

It was said during the inauguration that apart from the website there will be a mobile app of the digital cattle market as well. Customers will be able to lodge their complaints on the website.

There will be online payment option along with ‘Escrow’ method, available for financial transactions. Alongside home delivery system, there will be butchers for dressing the animals - though only in Dhaka, Chattogram, Rajshahi and Jashore.

During the programme e-CAB said, 27,000 sacrificial animals were sold on the digital market in 2020. In 2021, the sales on this platform escalated to 387,000 animals, worth more than Tk 27 billion (27,351,100,000).

Fisheries and livestock minister SM Rezaul Karim said, there are more sacrificial animals available in the country compared to the actual demand. Customers can return their cattle on this virtual market, in case they don’t like it. There are no risks either, as the transactions will be done online. However, the minister said to keep an eye on the issue that no one is being cheated.

State minister for ICT Zunaid Ahmed Palak said, this market has the live update facility. In addition, cattle can be chosen on video call as well.

Among others, Tapan Kanti Ghosh, senior secretary at the commerce ministry, NM Ziaul Alam, senior secretary for ICT division, AHM Shafiquzzaman, director general of the consumer rights protection directorate, Shah Emran, general secretary of BDFA and Shomi Kaiser, president of e-CAB spoke during the event.

Advertisement on social media

As of now, social media is full of advertisement of sacrificial animal. Those ads include pictures, weight and specific price of the animals. There are special discount offers on payment through mobile financial services (MFS) as well.

Skimming through many such advertisements in the last few days, Tk 430 to 500 is being asked for per kg of beef based on the cow’s live weight (weight of the living cow) whereas, a kg of beef costs Tk 650 to 700 in the market.

Now, if a cow is sold for at the rate of Tk 430 per kg against its live weight what is the actual cost of the meat?

In this regard, Md Manjurul Islam, one of the entrepreneurs of Jamalpur’s Boro Mia Agro said to Prothom Alo, customers only buy the flesh of a cow from the market. However, the live weight includes its skin, intestine, head, legs etc as well. Based on this, if a cow is sold at the rate of Tk 400 to 500 per kg, just the flesh will cost Tk 700 to 800.

Many prefer buying cattle online as they considers it hassle-free against the fiasco of going to cattle market in person, buying cattle based on sheer speculation and bringing it back to home by hiring two or three labourers as transporters.