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As the green revolution tapered off, a poultry revolution began; in the late 1970s. Ever since, Pakistan has been gnawing away at broiler chicken and there’s no turning back. Today a dairy revolution is sweeping Pakistan. As the world’s fifth largest milk producer, the country can only process three per cent of its milk production. Sitting in his factory office in Khanpur — one could have been in any plush office in a metropolis — we open his wireless notebook and download a pre-feasibility study for a milk pasteurising business from Smeda’s website. We glean through it, and at a Rs160m capital outlay it looks doable for him. The ‘go’ decision is made on the spot and my host asks me to recommend a good consultant. In 2009, an NGO distributed young cattle on micro-credit to 1,000 small farmers and built an apex organisation to collect and market milk from these grass-roots. The Dutch consultant for the NGO informs me that a modern farmers’ cooperative model is now evolving. Such models have long been in vogue in Europe and indeed in several developing countries. Usually the extended supply chain ends at farmer-owned retail outlets — co-ops. Why hasn’t this concept gained traction in Pakistan? Several of us seated around the conference table are unable to provide an intelligent answer until one of the NGO’s employee’s mutters something about biradari-based rivalries as the stumbling block. Indeed. After he hanged Bhutto, Ziaul Haq, to keep the PPP out of Punjab, had gone on to fragment politics in this province along biradari lines. -- Moazzam Husain