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16 July 2020

Qurbani: Interview With a Farmer in Senegal

Safa Faruqui
Qurbani: Interview With a Farmer in Senegal

Muslim Hands is distributing Qurbani in over 20 locations worldwide. See all our Qurbani locations and order your Qurbani.

It's Qurbani season, so our experts are checking up on local farmers and getting your animals ready for Eid day! This year, it is even more important to support local businesses in impoverished communities, as many Qurbani farmers have been financially impacted by coronavirus.

Our team in Senegal interviewed a farmer to find out how coronavirus has affected his cattle-rearing business. Read his story below.

Tell us about yourself and how you started raising animals.

My name is Abdul Rahman Toure. I am 60 years old and I have nine children.

I've been raising animals since 1981. I inherited it from my father, and my great-grandfather also reared cattle. So I was born into this family business. I didn't go to school - cattle-rearing is my passion.

Do you sell a lot of animals in your community?

Sometimes I sell four to five animals per month. Most of my customers are butchers who buy cattle and sell the meat in the local markets. 

But I sell many more animals during Qurbani season. Alhamdullilah, during last year’s Qurbani I sold more than 80 bulls.

Who do you support with the livestock you sell?

I'm providing for fourteen people - not just my nine children, but my daughters-in-law and my grandchildren as well.

I use the money from selling cattle to buy them food, clothes and medicine and to pay school fees for the children.

Has your business been impacted by coronavirus?

This year is one of the most stressful years I have ever had in my life. Coronavirus has had a huge impact on me financially.

The selling is not going well. Sometimes, I sell one bull in the whole month. Restaurant owners who used to buy bulls from me are no longer operating - their restaurants have closed. My customers from outside Senegal can't buy from me because the borders have been closed.

My income has therefore dropped since the pandemic began, because the business has been affected so much.

How are your family coping with the drop in sales?

My main worry is that prices have increased in the market. It's now much harder to provide food for my family. Since April, the price of goods has doubled but our business isn't doing well. I can't even afford to buy sanitiser and face masks for my family, so I'm worried that they will be exposed to coronavirus.

Qurbani season is the most important time for farmers like me. If Muslim Hands weren't buying Qurbani animals from me, I wouldn't be able to feed my family.

I wouldn't be able to take care of my cattle either. I wouldn't be able to buy my animals food or medicine, or pay the veterinarian, so many of my animals would die.

Do you have any message for the people sacrificing Qurbani animals this year?

I thank you for putting joy in the faces of poor people, who can’t afford to sacrifice an animal for Eid.

I also want to say that cattle owners are benefiting from this Qurbani too. When you buy bulls from our farms it helps us provide for our families as well. May Almighty Allah reward you abundantly.

Muslim Hands is distributing Qurbani in over 20 locations worldwide. See all our Qurbani locations and order your Qurbani.

 


Muslim Hands UK

Established in 1993, Muslim Hands is an aid agency and NGO helping those affected by poverty, conflict and natural disaster in over 20 countries worldwide.