This year’s Eid in Mali is not going to look anything like those celebrated in recent years. In livestock markets around the capital Bamako, the prices of animals have shot up remarkably. Butchers and consumers alike are being asked for upwards of 500 Eur a cow. The same figure would get you two animals not so long ago.
“The high cost of livestock starts in the countryside. On top of that, there are maintenance costs. It is no longer possible to walk with livestock. It is imperative to find a means of transport. To do this, you have to pay for loading and unloading and cattle feed is very expensive. All that counts,” said Oumar Sangaré, a herder.
Islamist violence in Mali has also hit cattle herding areas, forcing farmers to abandon their trade. Climate change too has led to competition for grazing lands and water, leading to intercommunal conflicts. The result, increased costs for breeders.
“Since 2pm, we have been here to buy a cow. We’ve even been looking for calves, and at the moment they’re between 200,000 and 350,000 CFA francs (between 300 and 530 euros). At the moment, the sum we have is 300,000,” said Sinè Diawara, a customer.
Muslim faithful in Mali say inflation has dampened the mood of this year’s festivities. They want authorities to intervene to bring down prices.