PESHAWAR: As Eidul Azha neared, activities in Peshawar’s main cattle market gained momentum. To the relief of citizens, prices of sacrificial animals also dropped owing to a late influx of cows from neighbouring Punjab.
Earlier, the rates charged by vendors for goats and sheep were relatively high owing to a ban imposed on the export of sacrificial animals to Afghanistan by the caretaker provincial government.
Traders said that sacrificial animals such as cows and buffalos are usually exported to Afghanistan from Pakistan. On the other hand, Pakistan imports small animals such as goats and sheep from Afghanistan. But the ban affected this trade as well.
After new Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) Chief Minister Mahmood Khan took oath last week, he lifted the ban on Monday. Moreover, with Eidul Azha being celebrated in Afghanistan and some parts of the province a day before, the prices of sacrificial animals is expected to drop.
Located on the Ring Road of Peshawar, the cattle market has become the focus of attention for residents of the city who have yet to purchase their sacrificial animals for Eid.
Cattle traders say rates for cows and bulls have dropped down from Sunday owing to the influx of sacrificial animals from Punjab.
Vendors, who have been in the market since the first day, said that they have earned good profit owing to the shortage of animals in the market.
“The market was quite good this year as compared to the last year,” said Allah Ditta, an animal trader who hails from Taunsa Sharif in Dera Ghazi Khan district of Punjab.
Ditta said that he had brought 16 bulls from Punjab and that he had earned at least Rs10,000 as profit on each one of them.
He added that he had managed to sell all of his animals by Sunday evening and was now just waiting for his other companions to sell their animals so that they could return to their homes in time for Eidul Azha.
“Last year, traders had to suffer losses. But this year, everyone earned good profits,” he said, adding that rates in the market had dropped by Sunday evening after additional animals were brought by dealers.
“On Sunday, four truckloads of animals along with a countless number of mini-trucks brought animals from Punjab to the market due to which the prices have fallen,” he said, adding that the last two days before eid is a good time for residents to purchase sacrificial animals as the rates drop.
The cattle trader from Dera Ghazi Khan, however, was not satisfied with the arrangements and facilities provided by the market administration, particularly the provision of drinking water for animals who had to bear with the heat.
“We have paid Rs16,000 for the stall space and to feed our animal while each buyer had to pay Rs1,000 per animal to the market’s administration but the market still lacks basic facilities such as water,” he complained.
“Cattle from Afghanistan have not arrived in the market which is why animal rates are quite high,” said Mohibullah, a trader who operates a stall at the Ring Road cattle market every year.
He demanded Rs60,000 for his sheep which he claimed to have raised himself.
“It should make Rs60,000 as I sold similarly sized sheep last year for Rs55,000 and this year the market is high,” he responded to counter offers of Rs50,000.
Ahmed Ali, a trader from Bajaur said that a disease which is locally referred to as “Tabak” had affected some of his Balkhi sheep and rued that he could not make a sale since the market was good.
“Traders purchase the animals at high rates which can then fall prey to disease and now they are not making a good profit as they were expecting,” he said, noting that he had brought 60 Balkhi sheep out of which 18 were sold by Sunday evening.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 22nd, 2018.