By Yankuba Jallow
Many livestock dealers and vendors have expressed disappointment at this year’s Tobaski ram sale.
During Tobaski in The Gambia, many livestock are purchased by Muslims in order to fulfil their religious obligation. The vendors said people neglected them by going to the hinterland of the country and the Casamance Region in Senegal to buy livestock from those people with the claim that it is expensive.
Days prior to the feast, the cost of a ram rose to over thirty thousand dalasis whilst some went over fifty thousand. It was observed that the rams sold at ten thousand or slightly below that price are rams that are small and cannot meet the needs of extend families.
Speaking to Foroyaa, some of the livestock dealers, said they embarked on the business with a view to making profit not to make losses. They added that the expenses they incurred from the process made the cost higher this year. They also said the expenses included feeding, transportation and taxes among others.
They said they bought the livestock using the Senegalese currency (CFA) and that they paid legal dues in Senegal.
“If we sum up all the expenses made, the livestock cannot be cheap,” they said.
They were disappointed that people went to the interior of the country in places such as Central River Region to buy livestock.
“We should have the option to increase the prices of livestock since we have made many expenses” they said.
The vendors said they are not desperate and they will not sell their livestock at prices that do not favour them because of large expenses they made.
Two weeks before the Tobaski, livestock were seen all over the urban area at major junctions where people came and enquired about the prices but hardly came to terms with the vendors.
Meanwhile, the Tobaski period this year was not a good experience for many Muslims as there was scarcity of vehicles and fares were increased.
Many people were seen standing on highways waiting for vehicles to carry them but seldom got one. Most of the taxi drivers were only willing to take passengers for town trips and they charged whatever suited them.
The vans that plied the high way acted in a similar manner.