PESHAWAR: The prices of sacrificial animals have witnessed a huge increase this year, as the devastating floods and conflict in parts of the province and the adjacent tribal region is hampering supply of animals to the provincial capital.During a visit to the cattle market on the Ring Road on Sunday, Daily Times observed that arrival of animals in the market had started but the prices were so high that people were not taking interest in buying.
The traders who have brought sacrificial animals to the cattle markets are eagerly awaiting customers. Cattle trader Khatir Zaman said prices of big animals had increased from Rs10,000 to Rs15,000 per animal as supply had decreased by up to 40 per cent because of devastating floods in the province.He said most of the people visiting the market were checking rates and returning without purchasing animals. However, he said that animals’ sale would pick up momentum within a week. Another trader Said Ahmed Shah said there was no supply of animals from the flood-hit areas resulting in increase in prices. He said though supply from parts of the Punjab and Sindh had also been affected, still most of the animals were coming from the Punjab and the nearby districts.
In many parts of Malakand division, he said, the sources of fodder were destroyed in flood and most of the traders had left the business. He said those who had raised herds had left for Swabi, Mardan and other districts due to scarcity of fodder.He said that scarcity of fodder had added to their miseries as fodder prices had also gone up, resulting in high prices of animals. He said straw was being sold at Rs200 per 40 kg before floods, but now the same bundle of straw was sold at Rs300. He said flood destroyed the green fodder in Charsadda, Nowshera and villages on the outskirts of Peshawar and its per kg price had gone up from Rs7 to Rs11. The heavy torrential rains and devastating floods caused a loss of Rs 5.344 billion to livestock and Rs 12.139 billion to agricultural sectors of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) province, respectively.
KP Minister for Information Mian Iftikhar Hussain had said that statistics gathered from various districts showed that 94,924 cows and bulls worth of Rs 1.769 billion were affected and 29,081 died in the floods.However, traders of Afghanistan were seen active striking deals with owners of animals.A majority of the traders said in the past animals were brought from different districts and tribal regions to the main cattle market here but the process had been stopped due to the clashes between Taliban militants and security forces.Another reason for shortage of animals and high prices, the traders said, was the frequent supply of animals to Afghanistan, adding that in the open auction local traders could not compete with Afghans.They said the only main market left was Punjab which was supplying animals to parts of NWFP and the local production was next to nil. In the war-hit areas, they said, the people sold their animals when the operation was launched against militants as they could not shift the animals to safer places – Dailytimesnews