Seasonal traders were said to have discarded a huge amount of rawhide last year due to low prices and a lack of demand. According to the traders, frustration grew over not being able to recoup investments behind collecting the rawhides from the general public and conducting the initial processes necessary for preservation.
According to the Department of Livestock services, 55,164 bulls, 228 buffaloes, 25,009 goats and 750 sheep were sacrificed in Moulvibazar district last year.
This year there is a potential demand for 73,035 sacrificial animals.
"I can't buy the rawhide this time. What will I do afterwards? I am not willing to appoint a workforce as there are chances of incurring losses," said trader Jahangir Alam.
Moreover, there are apprehensions that those working at the field level could contract the virus, he said. This situation arose as tannery owners have not paid their arrears, said Shibbir Ahmed, a seasonal trader of Moulvibazar town. If this situation continues, it will be difficult to sustain this business, he said.
Due to a lack of buyers and of cooperation from the district administration, the rawhides could not be sold at the government set rate of Tk 28 per square feet, said another trader Monsur Mia.
Prior to 2020’s Eid-ul-Azha, the deputy commissioner of Moulvibazar held a meeting with the leather traders, promising to buy salt and facilitate bank loans
"But leather traders did not get any bank loan. After two-and-a-half to three months, I was forced to sell the perishable skin for Tk 8 to Tk 10 per square feet. I have lost Tk 4 lakh," he said.
Deputy Commissioner Mir Nahid Ahsan said banks were no longer providing loans for leather business but the district administration was always at hand to support the traders.