Welcome to "marché á betail". The cattle market takes place on Sundays in the city we live, Fada N´Gourma. As I´m working with mobile pastoralists and agriculturalist I had an official trip with my partner organization to this cattle market. So I spent a Sunday there, learning how to divide female and male calves from each other and how to identify heifers ( cow that has not borne a calf) and apparently, the president of our partner-organization and my colleagues could not stop laughing. City-Girl at the cattle market in Fada! When I explained them, that we buy chicken in the supermarket in Germany, frozen and without head, they were shocked and could finally understand, why I´m vegetarian.
The cattle market in Fada is a strategic point. Cattle from the entire country, even from Togo or Benin, is send here. In the rural village, the herdsman start already on Tuesdays or Wednesdays by foot to reach the cattle market on Sundays. For mobile pastoralists, cattle is perhaps their most income source. So when you quickly need a lot of money, you have to sell a cow or a steer. Animals, that have been already sold, are marked by blue color on their back. You then need to pay the local taxes for your new bought animal and get an official vaccination certificate.
But at the cattle market it is not everything about b-u-y-i-n-g a new animal. It´s also an economic hub to buy clothes, handmade furniture or medicament for animals.