Muslims to celebrate without COVID-19 restrictions after two years.
Mumbai: As the festival of Eid-al-Adha approaches, seasonal markets selling goats and other animals for sacrifice have sprung up across India.
However, inflation has significantly affected goat prices while traders are struggling to bring animals to market given the strict restrictions in several states. Eid will be celebrated on July 10 and Indian Muslims sacrifice goats and other animals.
However, community members purchasing animals for the annual ritual sacrifice must shell out larger sums as traders hike their prices. The move is proving a deterrent for many people. Inflation has boosted the price of goats by nearly 25% year-on-year.
“The prices have gone up substantially … the goat that was available between Rs 10,000 and Rs 15,000 ($145 to $217) last year is priced at Rs 25,000 ($362) this year,” said Mohammed Abdul Fahim Qureshi, President, National Central Jamaitul Quresh, a body of traders and butchers in southern state of Telangana.
He said restrictions in many parts of the country have affected supply and thus prices.
“In a southern state like Karnataka, traders are facing problems as the administration is not allowing buffaloes of less than 13 years to be sacrificed. Many states have also asked residents to sacrifice their animals in government slaughterhouses only,” Fahim told Salaam Gateway.
Goat trader Mohammad Adil said in Lucknow in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, goats of Barbari, Deshi, Kanpuri and Jamunapari breeds have been brought to the markets. An expensive Kanpuri goat costs up to Rs 30,000 ($434).
“We hope sales will pick up as Eid is drawing closer. Traders are looking forward to good sales despite high prices,” he added.
Muslims are gearing up to celebrate the festival of sacrifice after two years of COVID-19-induced lockdowns and restrictions. The cancelled festivals in 2020 and 2021 also saw cattle sellers suffer huge losses.
This year they anticipate partially making up their loss and both animal sellers and buyers are flocking to the cattle markets in major cities like Hyderabad, Delhi, Lucknow and Mumbai.
Inflation has hit goat traders
Mohammad Zubair, a Bhopal cattle trader, said, “The prices of goats have shot up this year due to rising costs … petrol and diesel prices have increased substantially in the last year. Transport and other input costs have also increased.
“Last year the average price of a small goat was about Rs 15,000 ($217), but this year it costs over Rs 20,000 ($289). The price of a goat can go up to Rs 60,000 ($868) depending on its breed, size and weight.”
The same applies to the southern city of Hyderabad. Goat prices have soared 50%, according to various traders and customers. Trader Maaz Khan said heavily built goats fetch more and may sell for up to Rs 50,000 ($725).
“Prices are fixed according to the weight, size, breed and other special characteristics … people have to sacrifice healthy animals and they are available in premium,” he told Salaam Gateway.
Animal sales pick up a few days before festival
An estimated 250,000 sheep, goats and other animals are sacrificed in Hyderabad annually for Eid. The process of buying and selling animals in connection with the sacrifice begins a month before the festival and gains momentum.
“This time we have to shell out more money as there has been an appreciable increase in the price of goats, but we are happy to be able to celebrate with family and friends without any restrictions after two years,” said Anwar Khan, an advocate in Hyderabad.
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