MEERUT: Braham Singh, a resident of Muzaffarnagar’s Khatauli town, was never really tech savvy. On the insistence of his sons, both of whom are engineers, the dairy owner however decided to place an ad for his cow on the internet. And bingo. Someone from far off Karnataka bought it for Rs 60,000.
Singh is an example of a growing trend online where farmers and dairy owners like him have taken to online classified sites such as OLX and Quikr to find buyers for cattle.
“I wasn’t expecting to be paid a lot of money for my cow,” Singh told TOI on Monday. “We have a small family-run enterprise and we decided to sell one of our five cows. I was surprised to find that there were many takers for my cow on the internet, more than willing to pay more than what I had initially expected. I was getting offers from across the country. The person who finally sealed the deal was from Karnataka and he coughed up Rs 60,000 for one of my cows. Later, I found out that people sell cattle heads for as high as Rs 1 lakh.”
On OLX alone, there are close to 3,500 ads for cows, buffaloes, goats and sheep. Quikr, too, has a large list.
People are increasingly discovering the benefit of trading animals on the internet. Salim Qureshi, who owns a dairy on the UP-Uttarakhand border near Bareilly, says his cattle-trading business has grown manifold ever since he started trading online. “I started putting ads on OLX and Quikr about two years ago. Since then, I have placed between 300-400 ads on the internet and the response has been overwhelming,” smiled Qureshi.
According to Qureshi, his business has now ”become” national. “At first, the offers were only local. But soon, they started coming from everywhere. I have received offers even from Kanyakumari – the southern-most tip of the country. I have had several people from Kerala contacting me over the years. While we prefer if the buyer can arrange for transport themselves, we even transport the cattle if the need arises.”
Shamli farmer Gautam Malik says he may soon give up buying animals from cattle fairs and start trading exclusively online. “I recently tried a hand at selling cattle online. I decided to test waters first by selling a calf. I got Rs 3,000 for it. While it is not a lot, it is definitely more than what I would have got at cattle fairs. The internet cuts off the middleman and I deal directly with a buyer. Besides, when people from far-flung places come to these fairs, they are, at most, from a 100 km away. On the internet, buyers from all over India are within my reach.”
Organizers of cattle fairs, however, say if this method of buying cattle replaces the traditional way, it would be “unfortunate”. Binnu Tyagi, who organizes cattle fairs at his property in Meerut’s Parikshitgarh, says, “There can be no substitute for traditional cattle markets and it would be unfortunate if they are replaced. Unless you interact with an animal, you cannot see how healthy it is and how it behaves. Unless you experience all those things personally, it would not be prudent to buy cattle.”
Originally Posted in The Times of India