Yes it is that time of the year again. When goats run amok and cows are hounded by cash strapped buyers. It has been a turbulent year for the people with shadowing inflation hot on their heels.This year the farmers have decided to join the caravan of businesses lining up to shake hands with credit companies such as Visa and MasterCard. True to tradition they gave American Express (Amex) the cold shoulder. Farmer Shaukat hailing from inner Punjab clarified his decision, “We have noticed Amex card holders are a non-existent entity in the bakra and beyri mundis of Pakistan. It was a no-brainer really.”
Fielding questions from the press Shaukat further commented “We have decided to reach out to low income households this year. Our 2007 models will now include hybrid versions that feed off of alternate food sources such as lentils, boiled water and saw dust. This range of livestock will cost half as much but yield twice the sacrificial quantity.”
“Clearly these days the middle class is also feeling the strain of economic hardship” queried one reporter. “Have you catered to their needs?”
Shaukat beamed “Oh jee bilkul, we are quite keen on keeping our biggest customer base satisfied. We will be offering leasing and financing programs on all models. Now everybody can afford our beefed up products for a mere fraction of the price. We are quite optimistic about projected sales in the last quarter. We expect demand to increase by 200% at least.”
“200% is quite a catch. Are you logistically ready to deal with such an increase?”
The paa jee from Punjab laughed heartily. “Oh jee don’t you worry, our pockets are ready, baki you know jaga toe dil mein honi chahiyae, kyon jee?” he chuckled. “I mean we must keep a positive outlook for the future”
“But do you really think that Pakistan’s households, their lawns, back yards and patios are aptly equipped to deal with large quantities of farm animals?” persisted the reporter.
“This quarter we foresee the beginning of a new age of economic prosperity for the Livestock Industry in Pakistan. What more could you ask for?” Shaukat shrugged.
“What about the trails of fertilizer these products will leave in their wake? Won’t such a population explosion saturate our surroundings with piles of urea and methane excesses in the atmosphere?”
“You worry too much” he said winking at the reporter.
Clearly flustered the reporter moved on to the next question “You said in your statement that you intend to import camels from the Middle East and some parts of Africa. Do you think there is a market in Pakistan for them?”
“That’s a good question. We are a responsible corporation and would never go forward without catering to all our market segments especially our upscale customers. Since cows and goats will be a trivial meat product this Eid, we wanted to maintain the status quo of the more affluent society. To meet that end we are partnering with BEEMAR (the largest livestock producer in the Middle East) to bring to Pakistan numerous camels. “
Confused the reporter interrupted “Camels? What is so special about them that your subsidiaries in Southern Pakistan can’t deal with?”
“These camels are a cut above our local variety of animals. They are not allowed to graze rather they are fed their livestock by their own servers. They have been massaged twice a day by the softest hands money can buy and every night they are lulled to sleep by flute players from the Mediterranean. For their grooming needs they are given mud baths and regular pedicures.”
“How can you expect to sell such extravagant units in Pakistan?”
“Well you will be surprised to hear that we are overbooked on this particular unit. It seems this model is proving quite popular with the upper gentry. In fact we have placed a few orders for the Government too!”
“God help us” bemoaned the reporter.
“Oh jee God is helping. Don’t you see.” giggled Shaukat. “Now I’m afraid all this thinking is making me hungry. Everybody please join me in doing justice to some exquisite mutton karahi my chef from Qatar has prepared especially for us all.”
Everybody shuffled out of the press room their heads spinning and their tongues wagging about the next big thing to happen to the Livestock Industry in Pakistan.