Despite a ban on bull slaughter, prices of goats did not soar like last year ahead of Bakrid this year, as sellers across Mumbai had hoped. At Deonar abattoir, where a record 2.44 lakh goats were brought this year, anticipating high sales, at least 1.44 lakh were sold until Monday, a day before Eid. Left with the last five goats, mostly white and of shorter height, in his tiny shed in Jogeshwari West, Hidayat Umba said that a goat weighing 35 kgs that he could easily sell at Rs 18,000 last year was getting sold at Rs 15,000 this year.
“There are more goats in the market. Since customers have a lot of options, they are also bargaining more,” he said. Anticipating a high demand, he had got 200 goats this year as compared to 150 he had got last year for Eid. “We get our goats from Rajasthan and Gujarat. This year, the rates in the market have reduced,” he added.
At Deonar abattoir, the starting price for a goat this year was Rs 5,000 and for a buffalo, it was Rs 20,000. “The easy availability of goats has led to a decline in prices,” said Dr Yogesh Shetye, general manager at the abattoir. Last year, 2 lakh goats were brought and 1.7 lakh goats sold, which had raised the hopes of the goat-sellers and the cattle-rearers for a high demand this season too.
The state-wide beef ban had even encouraged cattle-rearers to rear more goats. Abdul Bashir has reared 24 goats this year, while he had been rearing only four till last year. “Bulls are out of the picture now. Since only a few people buy buffaloes for Eid, people like me are rearing more goats,” he said. He has supplied ten goats for Rs 1 lakh to Andheri-based Yusuf Chunawala who said that a lot of new rearers had emerged to supply goats.
As opposed to 1.44 lakh goats, only 3,600 buffaloes were sold at Deonar abattoir this year. “Rearing and selling buffaloes is considered risky because it may be mistaken for a bull and invite tension. As more people are shifting from bulls to goats, the rearing of goats has significantly increased. People also do not wish to sacrifice a buffalo outside their home. Goat is an easy choice,” said Mohammed Ali who is attached with the beef association in Mumbai.
According to him, goats are getting sold based on their weight, height and looks. But a new trend has emerged in certain pockets. “Since there are so many goats and prospects of bargaining are high, traders in certain areas are fixing goat prices to make the sale easy for the farmers. In that case, both the farmers and the traders are happy,” he added.