DHARMAPURI: With the model code of conduct in force, the cattle trade has taken a hit. Dairy farmers said, as only limited cash of Rs 50,000 can be carried by buyers, they have been facing losses as farmers fear money would be confiscated during checks.
P Vivekanandan, a resident of Harur, told TNIE, "One of the most famous markets in Dharmapuri district is the Wednesday cattle market near Gopinathampatti. Every week, nearly 300 to 500 cattle are sold in the market. During festival season, over a thousand cattle are sold. On average Rs 25 to Rs 30 lakh is made in total by the farmers. But over the past few weeks, the sales have dropped by more than 50 per cent. Last week, only around Rs 10 to Rs 12 lakh of trade was made. We believe this is because of the MCC.”
Ramchandiran, a cattle owner said, "We do most of our saving in chits, where there are no proper documents authenticating ownership of money. So, many farmers are unwilling to participate in the cattle markets. Even sellers are unwilling to go to the market as they believe that their cows or oxen will not fetch a good price. And because of this, the cattle trade has been low. But after the elections, we believe that there will be a massive boon."
Nandhakumar, a resident of Bommidi, said apart from the Gopinathamapatti market, minor markets in Pennagaram, Bommidi, Nallampalli are also affected. “Selling milch animals is the livelihood for many. On average, a healthy goat can be sold for Rs 8,000 and a good cow can be sold for over Rs 15,000. Now, because of the people's interest in native variety cattle, they boast even higher prices. But, as these trades do not have a bill or receipt, sellers fear that their money would be taken by the flying squad.”
When TNIE spoke to district administration officials, they said, "The State Election Commission has mandated the rules to ensure that a fair election is undertaken. As of right now, we are working in accordance with the guidelines. Hence, we cannot comment on the matter."