Eid-el-Kabir: Rams are scarce, costly in Katsina markets – Special report
This year’s Eid-el-Kabir which is marked with the slaughter of animals is around the corner. Muslim faithful are in high spirits to relish the celebration and joy that accompany the annual festival. The news of the celebration is already in the air. In less than two weeks time, the festivity will be observed across the world when Muslim worshippers will have another dose of the spiritual blessings that come with it.
In Muslim parlance, the festival called Eid-el-Kabir is the most important feast in the Muslim calendar because it is an occasion to celebrate the willingness of Prophet Ibrahim to sacrifice his son, Ishmael, in submission to Allah’s command.
One thing that is remarkable about the festival is the slaughtering of rams by the faithful as a part of religious obligation to demonstrate belief in Prophet Ibrahim’s submission to Allah through sacrifice.
A typical Muslim’s joy of the season is the ability to afford a ram to fulfil the awesome obligation. But prices of livestock that have hit the sky have begun to send jitters into the spines of the faithful due to the biting economy and attendant hardship.
Market checks by Daily Trust correspondents have indicated that the high cost of rams which has been attributed to scarcity occasioned by insecurity is threatening the usual fulfilment that usually comes with the festival.
At Sabuwar Kofa livestock market in Katsina, business is at a low ebb compared to the past Sallah seasons.
The chairman of the stall, Saifullahi Jibril, fondly called Lali said:
“Each and every year comes with its own peculiarities. This year has come with economic hardship which does not only affect livestock but all other business sectors. A ram that cost N20,000 last year now costs nothing less than N30,000. This is about a 50 per cent increase.”
“Another factor for the low business is buyers’ poor turn out, compared to what obtained in the previous years. It is 20 days away from Sallah, but you can see how scanty the market is now, unlike in the past that the place was full of business activities at a season like this,” he added.
Jubril also blamed the situation on insecurity and the high foreign exchange rate.
In the previous years, he recalled, most livestock in the market were brought from the Niger Republic, but with the high foreign exchange rate and insecurity, the animals in the market are majorly homegrown.
“In the past, you could go to the Niger Republic, buy some livestock and bring them in here to make some profit, but nowadays, it has gone the other way round whereby the livestock are exported to the Niger Republic for profit,” Lali said.
He also confirmed the high prices which, he said, ranged from N30,000 to N50,000 for small ones; N60,000 to N90,000 for the medium ones, while bigger ones go for N100,000 and above.
“Here, I can show you that of N80,000, N130,000 and N150,000. We are hoping to get more before the Sallah day. But the situation, for the time being, is pathetic,” he said.
When our reporter visited the market, there was no single buyer.
But Lali said that buyers were probably waiting to observe the situation at the next Yar Kutungu Market day.