THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The return of expatriates from the Gulf countries has given a fresh impetus to the animal husbandry sector in Kerala. Since capital investment required is low and turnaround period for returns not very long, many Gulf-returnees are banking on the sector to revive their fortunes.
The enthusiasm for animal-rearing is palpable in cyberspace where e-commerce sites and social media pages are awash with advertisements for cattle trade. E-commerce sites such as Indiamart, Karshika and Tradeindia have posts relating to the sale of cattle, poultry and goats. And there are numerous Facebook pages and WhatsApp groups dealing exclusively with the matter.
A Facebook page named ‘Cow Goat Market in Malappuram’ throws light on the aspect of e-trading. The group, which has about 5,000 members, gets a minimum of 50 posts a day while another page -- ‘Malabari Goat Lovers’, which has 29,000 members -- witnesses an average of 270 posts daily. A member of the Malabari group said it serves as a meeting place of people who are fully or partially into animal husbandry.
Dr A Prasad, a faculty member of the College of Veterinary and Animal Sciences in Mannuthy, said the e-trading of livestock has been increasing after the Covid-19 outbreak. “Many returnees have shown a keen interest in taking up animal husbandry as a means of livelihood,” Dr Prasad said. “Most expats use social media platforms and e-trading websites effectively to buy or sell animals. Knowingly or not, livestock trading in Kerala is shifting to e-commerce platforms.”
He said there were more than 500 WhatsApp groups on livestock sales and management in the state, with brisk sales being reported. Mohammed Sabith, a Malappuram native who returned from the Gulf, is among those who use social media platforms for goat trade.“I bought goats through social media and sold them to buyers within a week at a higher price and managed to get a profit of more than Rs 2,500 per goat,” he said.