Moroccans buying sheep online
Casablanca - With the approach of the Eid al-Adha, more Moroccans are choosing to go online to find quality sheep at decent prices for the Muslim feast of sacrifice and avoid the hassle of markets and middlemen who often inflate prices.
Mohammed Siti, the founder of alhawli.ma, has seen sales soar since he created the website seven years ago.
He said the idea came to him when he thought about people who wanted to buy a sheep, but wanted to avoid local markets.
Siti, a computer science engineer who has lived in the United States for 20 years, had already sold about 200 sheep the week before the Eid.
Sheep prices on alhawli.ma are between $200 and $447, depending on the animal’s breed, weight and age.
Once the financial transaction is done, customers pick up their sheep from an address given by the website on the eve of the Eid.
The Sardi.ma website is a bit more sophisticated and sells a specific breed of sheep called sardi with an emphasis on organic feeding. The website offers 150 sheep for prices ranging $200-$650. The firm charges a fee for the delivery with costs varying depending on the region.
Despite these successes, online sheep businesses are still far from winning every Moroccan’s heart.
Ahmed Khelloufi, a 65-year-old businessman, said he is not convinced by these websites.
“I cannot trust these websites because I have to check the sheep before buying it,” Khelloufi said.
Restaurant owner Rachid Nadire agreed. He said the fun of Eid al- Adha “is the atmosphere it generates in the markets and neighbourhoods”.
“If we want to keep this religious festivity going, our children need to learn a great deal about it by accompanying us to the vendors and learning how to check the sheep to choose the best,” Nadire said.