INDIA - One of the Asia's largest cattle fairs, Sonepur Cattle Mela, opened in Sonepur near capital city of Bihar, Patna from November 6, 2014.
The fair is organized by Bihar State Tourism Development Corporation (BSTDC) from Kartik Poornima (the full moon day) in the month of November of every year.
It is the biggest cattle fair of Asia and stretches on from fifteen days to one month. It has its origins during ancient times.
Cows breed such as Milch, Jersey, others breeds were on sale. Milch cows were on sale from $700 and jersey cows were fetching over $1000 per cow, per hundred more if calf was also sold along with the parent.
While speaking to 5m Publishing, Firoz Rai, a cow trader said, “The cows were ranging from $750 to $2400 along with one day or two day calf. Jersey cows that are ranges around $2000 give around 35 liters of milk per day.”
Horses too were the center of attraction, which were in the range of $500 to $2500.
This year we see sale of over 25000 animals that includes cows, oxen, buffaloes, goats.
The fair is only organized by government, but the sales of cattle are done by farmers themselves and by cattle traders.
“This year in the first two days there were over 5000 goats at the goat market, which is expected to be sold in the first week, if we get a good response, we will bring more livestock,” a goat trader, Suresh Rathod from Rajasthan told 5m Publishing.
Another trader told that goats range from $50 per goat to $300 per goat, depending on the breed and size.
“Goat breeds from Rajasthan like Totapari, Jamnaupuri, Ajmeri and local breed are sold this year.
There is good demand for Jamunapuri breed this year,” Rathod said.
This year there are more horse than last year, however it is early to say how many are there, but horses are coming. Last year, fair has recorded horse sale of 5,218 horses in 2013.
However, there has been decline in sale of Oxen at the fair. In 2013, Oxen sale was recorded at 1781 and in 2012 it was 5680.
There is huge drop in Oxen prices because of increasing mechanized farming in the country.
The prices of Oxen pair starts around $650, which was over $1000 a year back. I wanted to sell my Oxen pair, but I am not finding a buyer, a farmer from Saran district told 5m Publishing.
In the time of tractors, the demand for oxen has drastically come down, even in remote areas we see tractors sale are up, the farmer adds.
“Only where people feel that oxen are important and as a status symbol buy and farmers which has only small piece of land they opt for oxen, as tractors service becomes expensive,” Subhakar Rai, a small farmer from Vaishali district said.
Although, the Wildlife Conservation Act has banned sale and purchase of elephants, only over 20 elephants arrived in Mela this year, as compared to 33 elephants arrived in 2013.
The fair will also see sale of birds, dogs, buffaloes, donkeys, ponies, rabbits, monkeys, langurs, camels, others.