New Delhi: Cattle markets, which have been the face of Indian villages for centuries, are slowly being replaced by mobile apps. There are several apps available online, including Animall, Pashushala, Pashulok, Pashumall, Pashu Mela and Pashu Vyapar. However, a few are way ahead of others in terms of popularity.
Animall, which has become an active presence in Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan, has been downloaded by over 40 lakh people. The app was founded by a group including Neetu Yadav in 2019. In the first 30 days of launch, only 50 cattle were sold through the app. However, today, the sale has touched five lakhs. According to Yadav, an IIT Delhi graduate, half a lakh cattle was sold when covid restrictions were eased in January 2021. Before that, 30,000 cattle were sold in November and 40,000 in December. Animall, however, serves only three states; Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan.
Gaurav Choudhary, a former student of Ranchi IIM and one of the founders of Pashushala, notes that 15,000 calls were received during the covid period. The services of Pashushala, which started in 2018, is available in Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, UP, Bihar and Madhya Pradesh. So far, 1,000 cattle have been sold through the app. In 2019, there was an estimated 54 crore domestic animals in India. Of this, 30 crores are cattle.
Following the success of private players, the central government launched its portal, E-Pashuhaat, with the same aim. The app, which was launched in 2016, is still not sufficiently active.
Is buying cattle online like buying other products?
In the past, cattle were purchased directly after ensuring several factors like their milk, health and colour. But when it comes to online shopping for cattle, there is only a picture that has been assigned a price. The question, therefore, is how effective this would be. Yadav, the co-founder of Animall, says he is seriously considering how to resolve the issue.
Additionally, there are also differences in the prices of different breeds of cows online. The price of Gir cows ranges from half a lakh to one lakh. The cost of each item could vary.
Cattle purchase went digital after the popularity of cattle markets weaned following changes introduced in the transportation sector. Statistics show that the clampdown of government-introduced laws and the active involvement of goons in the name of cow protection have reduced the popularity of markets. The Nagore Market, for example, is one of the busiest cattle markets in the country. In 2010-11, about 19,000 cattle came to the Nagore market, which dwindled to 5000 in 2019-20.
The Sonepur market in Bihar, said to be the largest market in Asia, is held every year in November and witnesses a large crowd. However, the number of cattle at the market is declining sharply every year.