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Prices of sheep soar in Senegal ahead of Eid al-Adha

Prices of sheep soar in Senegal ahead of Eid al-Adha, Tabaski festival.   -  
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Eid al-Adha is much more than a holiday for Gueureum Yalla. For this sheep breeder, it is also an opportunity to sell his animals, often not affordable for the average Senegalese. It is also a high season for the sheep festival commonly called tabaski in Senegal.

"We can't sell tabaski sheep to those who want to improve their breeds. But we expose them, then it's up to them to see what they want. Because if you want to improve, instead of going to a sheepfold to pay 2 or 3 million FCFA ($3,610 or $5.425) for sheep, you come to the barns where people have promotions. They're going to bring out males who are competent, who are up to snuff, just for the good of everyone", Yala told our Senegalese Correspondent Wahany Johnson Sambou.

Here, he is negotiating with this young customer. The two of them end up striking a deal for 425, 000 FCFA for this male breeder. For Pape Samba Sall, it's a good deal.

"I was sent to buy a racy sheep. I saw this tarpaulin and came across this young male who is a very good male. And I can say that this is a promotion. He is really very affordable. I think whoever sent me is going to be rubbing his hands together. He'll be very pleased", Sall said.

But having a purebred sheep is the least of the worries of the majority of Senegalese.

Many are already complaining about the high prices of sacrificial animals. These allegations were refuted by local sellers.

"Here you will find sheep for 500,000, 400,000, 200,000 FCFA. There are also for 100,000, 80,000 and even 75,000. But if you find a sheep for which the owner has spent a lot to raise it for six months and you come with 100, 000 FCFA to buy a sheep worth 200,000 or 300,000, it is not possible. But everyone can have their sheep according to their purchasing power", Cheikh Leye said.

However, the market will have to be well stocked. This seems complicated during this Covid-19 period. But the Senegalese Ministry of Livestock has announced that it expects 810,000 sheep this year. 

Eid al-Adha is an Islamic festival to commemorate the willingness of Ibrahim (also known as Abraham) to follow Allah's (God's) command to sacrifice his son. Around the world, Muslims celebrate this occasion with feasts.

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