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POST TIME: 4 September, 2018 00:00 00 AM
Seasonal hide traders in a predicament

Seasonal hide traders 
in a predicament

It is common knowledge that, during Eid ul Azha, a large number of animals are sacrificed with the country’s main supply of animal hide, to be used in the leather industry, coming from the buying and selling of hides after Eid. However, this year had seen early murmurs of discontent among seasonal raw hide traders who have alleged of an indifferent attitude among wholesalers to buy hide at the government stipulated rate. Reportedly, the government rates are not being respected, which has seen many seasonal traders face the prospect of monetary loss. There have been complaints that the hide from a cow, which costs more than Tk. One lakh is not getting Tk. 1000 in the market. There is also a belief that the Bangladesh Tanners’ Association, BTA, is facing a cash crunch.

However, the BTA says that they have plans to buy 70 lakh pieces of hide, which may even go up to 80 lakh. As per reports, the total number of animals sacrificed this year was 1.10 crore, which means a surplus of hides of around 30-40 lakh pieces. This could have been the cause in the fall of the price or the reluctance among main buyers.

Since there is a feeling of dissatisfaction among many temporary traders, the government can come in as a white knight to set up special hide buying spots in major cities at a fixed rate. Later, the leather derived from the hide can be used for manufacturing products to be used by the government or, to be sent as gifts for round the year government events.

To save the seasonal traders from woes, the government can also look into the idea of opening ward based hide buying booths from next year with the rates declared beforehand.

Also, traders need to carry out market research instead of jumping into a venture without considering the pros and cons. Once the hide trade was lucrative because the common trend during Eid ul Azha was for several families to unite and buy one cow or bull for sacrifice. A that time, the supply of hide was lower than what was needed. Since now the country is going through an economic boom with per household income seeing a notable rise, most families prefer to buy their own animals which results in a glut of hide in the market.

A government purchasing initiative at the field level can be a lifeline for seasonal traders.