, NEW DELHI, Sep 23 – After decades of flocking to traditional livestock markets ahead of Eid, breeders in India are now heading online to haggle a good price for their prized animals.
Goats, sheep and cows are slaughtered worldwide to celebrate the major Muslim festival of Eid-ul-Adha, which throughout South Asia falls this year on Friday.
India’s markets have long been bursting with breeders and buyers in the run up to Eid, with feverish negotiations for the thousands of specially bred animals.
But farmers said they were increasingly moving to India’s popular online classified portals like Quikr and Olx, for easier and stress-free sales.
“I am getting 10 to 15 calls every day,” Qaiser Khan, from the northern desert state of Rajasthan, told AFP.
Khan said he usually travelled to markets throughout Rajasthan in the lead up to Eid, keeping him away from home for weeks. But this year he has sold half a dozen goats online, including one for 250,000 rupees ($3,800).
“This is also hassle free for customers. We deliver to their doorstep. Most of my friends are selling their livestock online,” Khan said, adding that his most prized goat has been fed almonds and milk for the last year.
A search of the sites shows a multitude of photos of “premium” and “big black” goats on offer.
Those camped out at a traditional market in New Delhi’s old city shrugged off the online competition, saying customers preferred to see animals in the flesh before choosing one.
“Sales are yet to pick up, but there will be no impact on our business,” Juma Shah, from northern Moradabad city, told AFP.
“The goats sold online are costlier than (those at) this market,” he added.
Altamash Qureshi, who is selling four goats for a whopping four million rupees ($60,600) in total, said online shopping lacked the charm of traditional markets.
“The market has got its own charm and nothing can match it. I am getting customers for the goats amid this muck and foul smell,” he said.
Muslims sacrifice livestock on Eid and share the meat with family, friends and the poor to commemorate Ibrahim’s willingness to sacrifice his son Ismail on Allah’s request.