About a dozen e-commerce sites and meat brands are selling sacrificial cattle online and offering home delivery, enabling people to have a hassle-free Eid this time.
Some companies have gone a step further, slaughtering the animals on behalf of the customers and distributing meat to the addresses provided.
Online shopping portals are selling cattle at prices ranging from Tk 60,000 to Tk 200,000, complete with photos and details of the animals.
Bengal Meat, a popular brand for meat, introduced home delivery services last year. Under the initiative, it slaughtered 305 animals last Eid-ul-Azha and delivered the meat to the customers’ homes.
This year, Bengal Meat has expanded its Eid-centric services, offering cattle purchase as well.
The company started taking orders on August 25 and has received 80 orders for live delivery and 25 orders for processed meat delivery as of Saturday, said AFM Asif, chief executive of Bengal Meat Processing Industries.
The company will receive orders for processed meat delivery until today, for which another Tk 15,000 to Tk 19,000 will be charged as service and delivery fees on top of the price of the cattle.
“We have a huge stock in our own farm. If needed, we can get support from our affiliated farmers if we get orders higher than our initial estimate,” Asif added.
Online cattle purchase gained popularity in the last couple of years, especially in cities, ahead of Eid-ul-Azha.
Other than convenience, the development is also helping cattle sellers reach out to more urban customers, cutting middle-men and thus, helping them make more profits.
“The practice is quickly catching on,” said Ataur Rahman, founder of Amardesh e-shop.
In 2009, the e-commerce site began selling cows online and sold 76 cows that year. This year, it has put up about 200 animals for sale and is hopeful of selling most of them by Eid, Rahman said, adding that most of Amardesh e-shop’s customers are from Dhaka.
“Buying sacrificial animals online is still a new concept in Bangladesh. But I am sure it will be a boon in a few years,” he said, adding that the e-shop will target cities beyond Dhaka next year. Rahman said the market is growing fast and amounted to Tk 10 crore last year, with sales expanding this time as well, he added.
Online platform Bikroy.com has posted 700 ads so far from around the country and delivered over 100 animals until last week, said Misha Ali, director of marketing for the company. “We continue to see the trend in digitisation that has been taking Bangladesh by storm over the past few years.”
“We have undertaken a new concept, the online marketplace, and made it truly Bangladeshi,” Ali said, adding that the platform allows sellers to post ads and sell their animals. Bengal Meat and Amardesh e-shop prefer online payment or payment via banks. Amardesh is charging Tk 3,000 for home delivery.
Atiqur Rahman Khan, a businessman, said he decided to buy a goat at the last minute in 2015 and ordered it online. “The owner, who was from Savar, delivered it to my house in Mohammadpur the night before Eid.”
Khan paid the seller on the spot and was happy with his purchase. Market insiders said the ongoing flood in parts of the country might create a problem for the overall cattle trade and also affect the online platform as well.