Nearly 60,000 cattle were sold and over Tk 1,000 crore were transected in over one week on digital cattle market initiated by the government in partnership with other organisations, authorities said on Tuesday.
Data from the Digital Haat platform showed that between the inauguration day on July 3 and Eid day on July 10, the number of visitors on the platform was 66,06,842 and a total of 59,481 sacrificial animals, worth of Tk 739 crore, were sold from the platform and regional haats.
In addition, 17,502 sacrificial animals, worth of Tk 142 crore, were sold by merchants and khamaris and a total online transaction tracked was Tk 1008 crore.
Bangladesh government initiated the online cattle market Digital Haat through flagship digital programme a2i in 2020 amid Covid-19 restrictions.
Fisheries and Livestock ministry, E-Commerce Association of Bangladesh and Bangladesh Dairy Farmers Association are partners to the ICT division in the initiative.
Organisers of the digital cattle market said they were overwhelmed by the response from traders and buyers, who were increasingly turning to digital platforms with growing online literacy in the country.
‘We are happy with response and engagement,’ Rezwanul Haque Jami, Head of e-commerce, a2i, ICT Division, Bangladesh.
‘Last year the response was very good due to strict Covid-19 restrictions. This time there was no such tough restrictions in physical markets, so the visitors in Digital Haat was a bit less compared to last year; still, it was better than expectations,’ he said.
Jami said that they had trained upazila livestock officers across the country, who created 900 virtual markets where farmers could upload information about their cattle.
A seller needed to give certain information like the number of teeth, weight, height, colour. Once these information were uploaded online, a consumer could directly contact the farmer to buy the cattle.
Jami added that they kept several payment options on the platform, including cash on delivery, and payment through online gateways, where funds remained blocked until the cattle was delivered.
Sakhawat Hossain, Head of Finance & Operations at IDLC Securities Limited, said he bought his sacrificial cow online ahead of Eid-ul-Azha this year using an online platform, which not only saved his time but also helped him to avoid the hassle of going to the crowded cattle market.
‘It was tough to go to market physically, especially in this weather. I was very confused about what to do. Finally, I decided to give it a try online and I found it really easy,’ Shakawat told New Age.
Shakawat said he chose the cow by visiting www.digitalhaat.gov.bd and contacted the farmer over phone before driving to Dumni in 300ft to meet the seller and pay in cash.
‘All I needed is driving for 15 minutes. If I had chosen to visit a regular market, I had to spend three to four hours in the market,’ he said.
Hasibul Hasan of Sabhaa Agro Farm in Rajshahi’s Charaghat district said he was very happy to see a platform like this to sell his cows.
‘I run this farm alongside my regular job, so it was not possible for me to take all my cows to the cattle market. But thanks to Digital Haat. I have sold my all cows,’ said Hasibul, who sold some 50 cows ranging from Tk 60,000 to Tk 115,000 using the platform.
A total of 99,50,763 cattle have been sacrificed across Bangladesh on the occasion of the holy Eid-ul-Azha this year.