Farmers from other States bringing sheep, goats to State for sale
With Dasara and Bakrid festivals round the corner, mutton prices are set to go up in view of the increase in the rates of goat and sheep, traders say. This comes as a double blow to the common man who is already reeling under the impact of increase in prices of essential commodities, including LPG cylinders.
Meat consumption goes up phenomenally during Dasara–Bakrid season as people consume non-vegetarian food during the festival season. In addition to those in the city, cattle farmers from as far as Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat and other States bring goats and sheep to sell in the city market to cash in on the demand.
A sheep weighing between 12 and 15 kilograms, which is now being sold at Rs.5,000 would be offered at Rs.7,000. “With both the festivals falling in the same week, we foresee reduced supply and huge demand,” says G. Prakash, general secretary, Jiyaguda Sheep Market Commission Agents Association.
To make matters worse, the hike in diesel price has further fuelled the sheep prices. As transportation costs have already been increased, traders would eventually pass on these costs to the customers.
Apart from diesel price hike, poor production is another factor that is leading to increase in prices. With scanty rainfall, many farmers have found it difficult to obtain grass and fodder for sheep in the State. As a result, there is a demand for sheep and goats from other States.
Given the speculation among cattle farmers and traders, many of them are reluctant to sell goats and sheep in anticipation of getting good prices during the festival season, says B. Shivlal, a mutton shop owner.
Even as traders hope for better business in the coming days, customers, on the contrary, are worried over the rising prices. “At this rate, it would be tough to adjust our budgets. We would be forced to buy only one or two against the regular practice of buying three or four,” says Nayeemuddin, a resident of Falaknuma.