The Bold Voice of J&K

Srinagar’s largest sacrificial animal market seeing fewer buyers

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MASROOR AHMAD

SRINAGAR: With just a few days remaining until Eid-ul-Azha, the sacrificial animal market at Eidgah Srinagar is experiencing an unusual slowdown. Traditionally a bustling hub of activity, this year’s market is seeing fewer buyers, much to the dismay of sellers.
Mohmad Altaf, a seller, who has travelled from another district, has the most expensive sheep in the market, priced at a hefty Rs 70,000. However, Altaf is struggling to find a buyer willing to meet the price. “This year, the market is very slow. People just don’t have the money to spend,” he said.
Another seller, Ghulam Muhammad echoed same views, attributing the decline in purchasing power to ongoing economic hardships exacerbated from 2019.
“Ever since the economic conditions have worsened for many people here, it has become harder for them to afford even essential purchases, let alone sacrificial animals,” he said.
You can gauge the economic conditions of the people of Jammu and Kashmir from the fact that the Central Hajj Committee has allocated the annual Haj quota 11500, but only 7000 people have submitted their Hajj forms because, despite the holy journey for Muslims, the people are not in a position to pay Rs 5 lakh for this journey,” he said. He said that subsidy was given in the previous governments but this government scrapped it and the people are suffering.
Abdul Mufeez Dar, a buyer from Srinagar said that the inconsistency in animal prices has added to the market’s unpredictability.
“The rates are fluctuating. Yesterday, sheep were being sold for Rs 400 per kg, but today, the price has dropped to Rs 380 per kg. There’s no regulation, and it’s making it difficult for buyers,” Dar explained.
General Secretary of Mutton Dealers Association Kashmir, said there is a discrepancy between supply and sales.
“Sales have not met our expectations so far, but the true level of consumption will become clear after Eid,” he said.
He said: “This year, we have a variety of high-quality breeds from outside the state, including Rajasthani, Marwadi, Kaju Walla, Jasalmeeri among others. Currently, these out-of-state varieties are known for providing the best quality meat for buyers.”
Sharing details about livestock arrival in the Valley, he said that on an average, 50 to 60 trucks loaded with sheep are arriving in the Valley daily. The supply from outside the state remains strong and will continue up to two days before Eid.
The reduced buzz and economic strain suggest that this year’s Eid-ul-Adha celebrations may be more subdued than usual for many families in Srinagar. As the festival approaches, both buyers and sellers are hoping for some last-minute activity to uplift the market’s spirits.

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