PESHAWAR: The floods and soaring prices have put a damper on the cattle markets ahead of Eidul Azha, traders said on Friday. A visit to the cattle market located in the main slaughter house on the Ring Road area of the city shows little activity, while dealers at this market said that the business has come down by at least 40 per cent as compared to last year.
According to traders, the reason for this downfall in sales is due to inflation and the recent floods that have increased price.
Maslihat Khan, a trader told The Express Tribune, that the prices of animals have gone up by Rs 2,000 for smaller cattle and around Rs 10,000 for the big ones. He said that he used to buy his animals from the Batkhela area of Malakand and usually paid the driver Rs 800 for transporting his cattle to Peshawar. This year, however, he had to pay Rs 2,500 for the same journey. “The floods have destroyed roads and other infrastructure in the area. The water also killed cattle and destroyed fodder fields,” Khan said.
After the floods, he said, many people left for Swabi as their lands had been destroyed and their cattle killed. “Most of the animals are now coming from Punjab and local villages from nearby districts,” he said.
Ahmed Shah, another resident of the area, said that the scarcity of fodder has added to their miseries and that the increase in prices is making it much worse.He said that straw was being sold Rs 200 per 40 kilogram before the floods and following an increase it was now being sold at Rs 300. Plantations of green fodder were destroyed in Charsadda, Nowshera and other villages in the outskirts of Peshawar.
He said that the prices of the animals have gone up from Rs 10,000 to Rs 15,000 in the market. Shah said that previously the market used to be full of buyers but these days it was empty.
Khatir Zaman, another dealer, said that good quality oxen are available at around Rs 100,000 and buffalos were available for Rs 60,000 to 65,000. “People come and look but never buy,” Zaman said.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 6th, 2010.
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