The 10-day shutdown in the city has come as a bolt from the blue for goat sellers. They expected to pull off some profits during Bakrid and make up the loss they incurred during the past three months. It, however, happened otherwise, because 90% of their stock remained unsold. The Eid will celebrated on August 1.
Mohammed Gulfam, who breeds goats at his GK Goat Farm in Parwalia, said that he is into the business for the past eight years but has never seen such bad times. “Due to the lockdown, we cannot sell the animals in the local markets and neither can I dispatch them to places outside the city,” he told Free Press.
Gulfam said that till the last year, he used to sell his goats online to customers in Mumbai, Pune and Kolkata. But this year, as the train services remained suspended, that option was closed. “I have about 50 goats ready for sale. But how I will sell them is the problem. And till they remain unsold, I have to spend Rs 2,000 per day on feeding them,” he said. Gulfam says the sales may be just 10 per cent of the usual.
Mohsin Ahmed Khan is not a breeder. He is a trader, who buys goats from farmers and sells them to customers. “Even before Covid, the economy was in recession. Then came the disease and lockdown followed. What can be worse for a businessman,” he asks. According to him, he had bought around 40 goats but 90 per cent of the animals remain unsold and it is unlikely that he would be able to get rid of them this year. “Even if I manage to find a customer online how would I deliver the goat? There are check posts in the city and they would not allow transport of animals to places outside Bhopal,” he said.
Mohammed Siddiqui, who has been selling goats for sacrifice on Eid for the past several years, said that he had so far managed to sell seven of the goats bred by him at his farmhouse, located at Ahmedpur Chandal, about 50 km from Bhopal. However, six others still remain unsold. He sells goats on orders received online. “People are facing financial crisis. They have slashed their budgets. In Bhopal, for example, the budget of 70 per cent of the buyers is less than Rs 15,000,” he said. He has sold four goats to customers in Mumbai at the rate of Rs 18,000-Rs 30,000 per goat and three in Bhopal for Rs 14,000 to Rs 17,000. With the city put under lock and key, he has no hopes of selling his remaining goats. “I suppose I would have to feed them for the next one year”, he said.
Shabad Iqbal, who sells goats online, said that they are getting a good number of orders through social media for goats but they are unable to make supplies due to the sudden lockdown in Bhopal. “Before lockdown we are getting 20 to 25 calls daily but now it is 10 to 15,” he said. The sales, whether online or offline, have completely ceased, said he, adding that they would be able to make deliveries to only to customers who live in nearby areas,” he said. “The sale is down by 90%. We sold 50 goats last year but to date, this year, we have managed to sell just 10,” Shadab said.