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consequently produce less milk and meat.

Many argue that in order to stabilise one of the biggest sectors of the country that contribute to the GDP, the government should provide farmers with better opportunities, along the lines of the Grameen Bank in Bangladesh, where they have the capital to buy cattle, and also the capabilities to provide them with feed and fodder according to the requirements.

Experts say that the dairy farms should be inspected properly in order to help with any kind of improvements so that the cost is lowered. According to dairy farmers, the animal is a water animal, and to keep it in its natural habitat requires huge amounts of water, which has become too expensive for the farmers. That is why they want the city government to give them a concession on the total amount of water. With such high bills of it, it is almost impossible not to raise the prices of milk being sold.

They say that once the infrastructure is improved, many of the issues related to transport will be solved, and the cost will automatically be lowered. It is important for the government to take the dairy sector seriously as Pakistan used to be the fourth biggest milk producing country in Asia, while now, because of disregard by the government, it has fallen down to the seventh position, they added.

(By Xari Jalil, The News-19, 23/05/2007)

JUNE

Professor Canteen: An honest man’s meal

Eating out at hotels and other places is quite in vogue these days, but selecting a suitable diner with affordable prices and a sense of belonging is the key issue.

Professor Canteen, the name given by students and teachers of the University of Karachi (KU) and Nadir Edulji Dinshaw (NED) University, to a local food outlet situated behind Gulshan-e-Iqbal, Block-7, is an example worth mentioning here.

The actual name of this food outlet is Al-Madina Hotel but it is commonly called Professor Canteen, as many university teachers frequent it.

The food served here is reasonably cheap in comparison to other places and a group of four can easily eat to their hearts content within Rs100.

One reason cited for the low prices is that it also caters to the local populace of daily-wage earners of the area. It is also pertinent to mention here that waiters at this hotel work hard to maintain a special standard, and customers visiting are given prompt and quality service.

One of the oldest clients of the hotel, Khalid, said that he loved eating at the food joint, as the dishes served here are delicious and can be compared to home-cooked meals in terms of quality and taste. He further said that whenever he wishes to eat something other than a home-cooked meal he prefers to come to the Professor Hotel.

The hotel is run by Fazal Dad who is assisted by his two young sons; Adil and Waqas and they hail from Abbotabad. Some of the dishes they serve here Lobiyia (Beans), Chana and Mash tarka dal (fried Gram and Mash pulse seeds), mixed vegetables, Bhindi (ladyfinger), Aloo Gosht (meat and potatoes gravy), Bhuna Ghost (Fried Beef), Anda Ghutala (Egg with mixed spices), and Anda Tematar (Egg with Tomato paste and spices) along with Lal and Sufaid Tandoori Rooti (white baked bread) and Chapatti (plain bread).

“Our menu does not offer Biryani, as the cost of preparation of Biryani is high and because we are primarily concerned with serving our customers good quality food at reasonable prices to ensure customer satisfaction,” Adil stated.

The hotel can cater to about 35 to 40 people at a time and according to them the most demanding dish is ‘Anda Ghutala’, which only costs Rs20 per plate. The most expensive dish at the hotel is ‘Bhuna Gosht’, which is available for only Rs35 per plate.

Waqas, the younger of the two brothers, who does the dirty dishes and cleans the tables after customers have left is a student and is presently taking his intermediate examinations. Both, Fazal and Adil have worked as cooks in the hotel. It is usually Fazal who serves at the tandoor (Clay Oven, used to bake breads) along with another person.

A former student of NED, who comes to dine at Professor Canteen along with his family, said that he savours the tasty food served here and has being doing so since the last five to six years. He loves to eat ‘Anda Ghutala’ and ‘Dal Chana Fry’, especially since they are so economical compared to other eateries in the area.

A group of students, who study in different departments at KU, stated that they come to this hotel for lunch, but as this place also gives them a sense of belonging they now assemble here frequently to have discussions and conversations with their colleagues.

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