Operation Tabaski 2015 generates nearly $43.8 million in livestock sales
In the weeks leading up to this important Islamic holiday, over a million animals are transported and sold region-wide. Historically livestock markets are concentrated at a few sites in major cities, so buyers and sellers often travel long distances at considerable expense. Theft is common, especially after dark, and animals are sometimes damaged or killed during transit.
The livestock sector is evolving—due in part to increasing consumer buying power in many secondary cities, which may make them attractive markets. But entering a new market is risky, especially during the short window before Tabaski. Thus West Africa’s regional livestock association, which works with national federations across West Africa, enlisted the Trade Hub to mitigate that risk by helping traders to organize sales in new markets.
Two months before the holiday, the Trade Hub organized and supported prospecting trips to potential market sites in Senegal and Côte d’Ivoire for the Malian federation. In each location, the Malians and the Trade Hub’s livestock specialist, Dr. Seydou Sidibe, met with municipal officials and federation members from the importing country to discuss how many animals that location required. They made plans for the holding pens, water, police surveillance, and lighting for better security after dark and, with Trade Hub guidance, organization of tracking and reporting sales.
Among the traders testing out a new market was Aliou Toure, who previously trucked his sheep from Mali to Abidjan where he normally waited about 10 days to sell them all. This year, he went to Bouake in northern Côte d’Ivoire instead—saving time and ultimately making more money.
“My first shipment of 240 sheep was sold the day after my arrival,” Toure said. “I returned to Bouake three days later with an additional 200 sheep which I sold in three days. I sold all my sheep at a slightly lower price than in Abidjan in previous years, but given the number of sheep I sold in two trips, I made more money.”