Traders reach flood-hit areas to buy low-priced livestock

Farmers living in tents cannot afford to take care of their animals anymore

Asif Mehmood September 12, 2022
A man pulls his animals while others go to salvage their belongings amid rising flood water, following rains and floods during the monsoon season on the outskirts of Bhan Syedabad near Sehwan in Jamshoro district on September 8, 2022. PHOTO: REUTERS


In  true  one  man’s  loss  is  another  man’s  gain  fashion,  traders  from different parts of Punjab are visiting the province’s flood devastated Southern part to buy cheaper live-stock from cash-starved affectees. 

Having  lost  their  homes,  some  of  the  populace  of  the  flood  hit  areas of Taunsa, Rajanpur, Lehya, Mianwali, and DG Khan, are presently  living  under tents  and  caring for livestock has become a tall task given the shortages of fodder and the risk of diseases spreading in  animals.  

Explaining  the  dire  situation, a resident of the Fazilpur area  in  Rajanpur,  Amir Hussain  Lashari, who is currently living in a tent settlement with his family, said that taking care of his animals was proving to be a challenge.

“I had more  than  50  livestock  animals,  half of them got swept away in the flood and now I am taking care of the rest. However, I can barely attend to them given that I have my own two  meals  a  day  to  worry  about,”  lamented Lashari.

The small scale farmer said that he was worried if he held on to the animals while he was unsettled himself they would develop  foot  and  mouth  disease.  

“Even  though  welfare  organisations are providing fodder and vaccinations, selling the animals is in their best interest.” Ahmad  Khan  Baloch,  another  
farmer and flood victim, who has just  sold  his  animals  for  cheap,  agrees.  

“My house is currently sub-merged in water and I do not know when I will be able to go back. So it is better that I can get some cash for the livestock, to end their misery and mine,” said Baloch, adding that the cash would help him get back on his feet and help his family as well. 

According  to  Punjab  Wildlife’s  Spokesperson,  Dr  Asif  Rafiq,  currently, there are around 1,500 animals in camps and more than 6,500 animals in open places.

Hence, there are many other farmers like Lashari  and  Baloch  looking  for  a cash injection, which has resulted in  traders  from  Lahore,  Sahiwal,  Kasur,  and Faisalabad  flocking  to  Southern Punjab. 

One such trader, Rana Mubashir Hassan, who is from the provincial capital, said that prices of livestock were  already  low  due  to  the  outbreak  of  lumpy  skin disease  and  the flooding had a further impact.

“Presently a cow costs anywhere between Rs 50,000 to Rs 100,000.” 

However,  Hassan  informed  that  prices of buffaloes which give milk have gone through the roof. 

“In  South  Punjab,  milk  giving  cattle  is  retailing  for  Rs  250,000  to Rs 450,000 as people have a use for them.” 

Despite buying the live-stock at bargain prices, Hassan does not think that consumers in other parts of Punjab would get any benefit. 

“The cost of transporting the animals to cities like Lahore is quite high, so the prices of livestock over there  will  remain  the  same,”  the  trader explained while talking to The Express Tribune.


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