Prices of rams, usually slaughtered as sacrifice during the Eid-el-Kabir Muslim festival, have crashed in markets across Yobe.
A NAN survey across some popular livestock markets in Potiskum, Babbangida and Damaturu on Monday showed that rams were massively supplied to the markets but with few buyers.
Malam Aisami Modu, a livestock farmer in Damaturu, said that stocks that were sold for N50,000 two weeks ago were now obtained between N42,000 and N45,000.
“Many livestock merchants who took their rams to Potiskum and Babbangida markets yesterday(Sunday) could not meet their anticipation.
“There were huge supplies to the markets with few buyers, forcing the price to crumble,” he said.
Adamu Bakari, another dealer in Babbangida, attributed the crash to lack of money with politicians who used to buy in bulk.
“Politicians in this dispensation do not have money to buy in bulk to distribute to their supporters.
“In the previous years, you find one public officer, a politician or civil servant buying 20, 30, 40 or 50 to dash their supporters.”
“Politicians do not have the money to assist or play around with as was done in the past; this has also affected distribution of rams and invariably, the price of rams in the market.”
Baba Idi, a herdsman, said he brought 20 rams to Babbangida market but sold nine “even when the price crashed, there were no buyers”.
Alhaji Usman Alkali, a prospective buyer, told NAN that the price soared last week when salary was paid to civil servants and there was rush in the market.
“I bought two last week at the Damaturu market but today (Monday) there was about 30 per cent decrease in the price at the same Damaturu” he said.
He expressed hope that the price might further slump by next week when there would be few buyers with huge supply in the markets.
The merchants also lamented that the number of traders coming from other states to buy the animals had also dropped this year compared to previous years.
In Dutse, dealers also decries low patronage due to economic hardship in the country.
A cross section of them said that only a handful of customers came around to buy their animals.
Alhaji Sule Maina, a seller, said that he was concerned that a week to Sallah celebration, the patronage was highly poor.
Maina said that he went to places to buy rams and brought them to the state capital to sell but was surprised on the low patronage being experienced.
He expressed optimism that buyers would still rush to the markets shortly before the celebration on Sept. 12 to buy the rams.
Malam Tsoho Galaje, another seller, saidt the business had not been moving as he anticipated.
Galaje explained that many people would come around, ask for the prices, lamented and turned back without buying.
He said that most of such customers complained of economic hardship while some decried the high prices.
According to him, a big size sells at N60,000; medium size, N45,000; while small size is between N30,000 and N35,000.
Galaje attributed the high in prices of commodities generally in the markets to the increase in prices of rams.
He added that a measure of ram feeds had gone up from N50 to N100, pointing out that 10 to 15 of such measures were used to feed one ram weekly.
Another seller, Aminu Sariki, said that due to low patronage in Dutse, he was considering taking his rams to southern part of the country to sell.
Sariki said that he would not mind the high cost of transportation but the low patronage he experienced had discouraged him.