Ram sellers in Zaria, Kaduna State, on Tuesday expressed concern over low patronage by customers barely three days to Sallah.
The ram sellers made their positions known in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Zaria.
Malam Abdulmuminu Alhassan, the Sarkin Turkun Sarkin Zazzau, described the market situation this year as worrisome.
He attributed the low patronage to the economic downturn presently bedeviling the country.
According to him, in view of the economic predicament and high cost of the rams, those who used to buy five rams now go for only two.
Alhassan said that a ram of about N70,000 now cost between N100,000 and N120,000.
“A small one that used to cost N20,000 now sells between N25,000 and N30,000,” he said.
Alhaji Uwaisu Lawal, a ram seller behind Queen FM, Tudun Wada, Zaria, while comparing the sales of past years, described this year’s sales as the lowest.
“Actually, the patronage is low compared to previous years.
“People are not purchasing as they used to and this can be linked with Nigerians not having enough money at hand.
“However, the price of ram is also on the high side due to the high price of animal feeds.
“A bag of crop residue that used to cost N3,500 now goes for N6,000; while a bag of seed pods, which was initially sold at N2,500 now sells between N4,500 and N5,000,” he noted.
He also attributed the high cost of the rams to low supply of the rams, compared with the demand for them.
According to him, the law of demand and supply will surely come to play.
Lawal, however, appealed to the government to rescue the business of animal rearing from imminent collapse by coming to their aid.
Meanwhile, Malam Auwal Aliyu, a ram seller at Sabongari, Zaria, attributed the scarcity of rams to the non-influx of animals from Niger Republic and other neigbouring countries.
“In the previous years, ram sellers from Nigeria go as far Niger Republic and other neighbouring countries to bring the animals.
“However, this year, the situation is no longer the same and this is due to the high exchange rates,” Aliyu said.