KARACHI: The short animal supply due to livestock losses in the floods, increase in various government fees and charges and high breeding cost have made sacrificial animals costlier for this Eidul Azha.
Consumers already in distress due to soaring food prices and rising utility bills are now making extra bargaining efforts with animal traders.
A random survey of the Cattle Mandi on Thursday by Dawn depicted thin arrival of buyers while most of the tents were without animals.
The traders were charging higher prices citing various reasons primarily shortage of livestock due to unbridled animal export and rampant smuggling to Iran and Afghanistan.
Many traders felt that the entry of big investors and business houses for the last two to three years had caused price flare-up attracting others to venture in sacrificial animals in the residential areas for making instant profits.
A government official and some traders offered different views on the reasons for surge in animal prices including higher prices for fodder, fees and charges for spaces. However the traders would draw out maximum from the buyers’ pockets.
Administrator Cattle Mandi Shahab Ali told Dawn that so far around 25,000 big animals (cows and veil) had arrived in the market, a fall of 25 per cent when compared to last year’s arrivals the same period ahead of Eidul Azha last year.
Citing floods as the main reason of low animal arrivals, the market administrator was of the view that the total arrival of animals (cows and goat) may remain short by 25 per cent by end of Eid.
He said that arrival of goat had been very negligible right now as no big buying had been witnessed.
He said a total of 200,000 cows and veils and 200,000 goat had arrived in the Mandi in 2009.
This year the government is charging a fee of Rs700 per cow and Rs400 per goat, an increase of Rs20 and Rs50 over the last year, he added.
He said that the (30×100) size tent was priced at Rs60,000 last year. Now a 30×120 size space was being allocated at Rs70,000.
Shahab said that the price of animals was 15 per cent higher than last year. “The demand and supply will play a key role in determining the price of sacrificial animal in coming days,” he added.
Meanwhile, Mr Ghulam Nabi from Naushero Feroz said that a cow, which was priced at Rs100,000 last year, was now available at Rs125,000, while a veil (bachia) was now priced at Rs75,000 which was selling at Rs50,000 last year.
He said he paid Rs14,000 in government fees for 20 cows this year as compared to Rs10,000 last year besides paying Rs70,000 as space rent as compared to Rs60,000 last year.
He claimed that the fee on one cow was Rs700 as compared to Rs500 last year.
Mr Noni from Hyderabad said that fodder (tori) rate had surged to Rs360 per 40 kg from Rs240 last year while chokker rate swelled to Rs650 from Rs480 per 37 kg last year. The rate of green grass was now Rs240 per 40 kg as compared to Rs120 last year.
In-charge of Jamal Cattle Farm Mr Mahrab said a veil named Tiger (age three years) was tagged at Rs1.3 million. An eight-maund veil is now priced at Rs250,000 as compared to Rs200,000 last year, he added.
He said he had paid Rs55,000 for tent space installation last year which had risen to Rs70,000 this year. He said a huge tent had been prepared at Rs260,000. A veil named Bhola Badshah carries a price tag of Rs1 million, he added.
Zulfiqar from interior Sindh said he had brought only eight goats this year as compared to 30 last year. Quoting price of goat between Rs18,000-25,000 per animal, he said goat rate had risen by Rs2,000-3,000 as compared to 2009.