Barely five days to Sallah, rams and cattle dealers at the Sokoto’s Kara livestock market are complaining of low patronage.
Chairman, Sokoto Ram Sellers Association, Alhaji Abubakar Buba Gaya, said compared to last year, the dealers are recording poor sales this year.
The chairman, who has spent 37 years in ram business, attributed the poor patronage to economic downturn. “Last year was far better because around this time, we had buyers all over the market. A dealer sold 30 to 40 big rams on a daily basis. But this year, we hardly sell 10 rams daily”, he said.
He said an average ram cost between N30,000 and N50,000 while bigger ones go for around N160,000 to N200,000.
The chairman said despite the economic hardship, the ram prices are higher this year.
He said members of the association need support from government to boost their business.
“With government support, we can flood the market with enough rams at affordable rates,” he stated.
Another official of the association and an elder in the ram business, Aminu Abubakar, said a setback in this year ‘s ram business is the absence of buyers from the western part of the country.
“Customers from the western part of Nigeria usually come to the market to purchase trailer loads of rams but this year, we are yet to see them,” he said.
He however commended the federal and Sokoto State governments for giving priority to agriculture, which he noted made many people to go into cattle rearing.
He added; “many people are now doing well in cattle rearing and the situation is making us to transport some livestock to Niger republic instead of getting from them.”
Some buyers’ who spoke to Daily Trust on Sunday, lamented the hike in ram prices, urging dealers to consider the economic situation and lower the prices.