July 21, 2021 12:48:57 am
According to traders, the business saw a 20 per cent fall this year as many outstation traders did not come due to the pandemic.
Several believers perform kurbani (slaughtering of goats, buffaloes or sheeps) on the occasion of Bakri Eid, which falls on Wednesday this year — prompting many goat sellers, even from outside the state including Rajasthan and Punjab, to reach Surat ahead of the occasion.
Surat city also mandi for selling goats –Sachin Bakra Mandi — which has been running for a long time.
President of Surat Sachin Bakra Mandli Munaf Khambati said, “Along with small mandlis which comes up ten days before the Bakri Eid, we are the major suppliers of goats in Surat round the year. Last year we sold 20,000 goats during this period, while it dipped further this year as we have only sold 12,000 so far. However, before the pandemic, we used to sell 25,000 to 30,000 goats during the 10 days ahead of Bakri Eid.”
He added, “The price of goats ranges from Rs 15,000- Rs 32,000. This year, instead of spending money buying goats, people have opted for hissewali kurbani, where the organisation will give them meat after getting the goats slaughtered for cooking.”
Aasif Malek, a lawyer from Surat, said, “Prior to the pandemic, we were doing kurbani of two goats. Last year, we managed to purchase one goat and this year we have given money for hisse wali kurbani. We cannot afford to purchase a goat for Rs 15,000, so we paid Rs 5000 in hissewali kurbani.
A make-shift market has been erected at an open ground at Bharatnagar in Limbayat, where over 25 traders who had from Rajasthan are selling their goats. Earlier such small mandis could be found in different areas like Chowk Bazaar, Zampa Bazaar, Bhatena ahead of Bakri Eid, but this year, only Limbayat has one.
Among the traders is Zakir Sindhi (60), who has been coming to Surat for the last 20 years from Jodhpur in Rajasthan.
“Before the pandemic, we used to bring a stock of 200 goats to sell in the Surat market, and earned profit of Rs. 3,000- Rs. 4,000 on every goat. But this year, the margin has gone down to Rs 1,000-Rs 1,500 per goat. We have to take care of the transportation costs of the goats, along with their daily food and other expenses… This year we have brought only 100 goats and 20 of them are yet to be sold,” he said.
Another goat seller Jagdish Meena a resident of Chittorgarh in Rajasthan, who used to sell goats in the small mandi is now seen standing on the footpath at Chowk Bazaar area with his relatives selling goats.
“This year we have not booked space in the mandi. We can’t afford to pay the rent for ten day now. We also compromised on the prices of the goats but 10 goats are still left unsold. Earlier we had made a pucca house at my native place with the money earned from the Surat market after selling goats, but this year we suffered loss,” says Jagdish hoping for business to improve in 2022.
Jaleel Shaikh, a Limbayat resident who looks after the open ground at Bharatnagar, says the number of traders coming from outside has gone down this year.
“We had a few traders earlier from Punjab, but this year they did not come. Around 22 trucks loaded with 2,100 goats have come from Rajasthan, out of which around 300 goats are still unsold. Last year, at our open ground mandi, we had got stock of around 3,000 goats, with 35 trucks and before the pandemic, at our place goats over 5,000 in numbers were sold. With the drop in sales, we have also reduced the charges taken from traders. We have made all the arrangements including sheds, water facilities and toilet blocks for the traders, who sleep in the same tent. ”
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