India is the ‘Oyster’ of the global dairy industry with opportunities galore for the entrepreneurs globally. Since last 15 years, India continues to be the largest producer of milk in the world. This phenomenal increase is contributed to the several measures initiated by the Government of India to increase the productivity of livestock, Union Agriculture & Farmers’ Welfare Minister, Radha Mohan Singh said on the occasion of National Milk Day on Sunday in New Delhi.
Singh said that increasing the milk production significantly from 137.7 million tonnes in 2013-14 to 164 million tonnes in 2016-17. Milk production increased by 18.81% in 2016-17 when compared to 2013-14. Similarly, the per capita availability of milk increased from 307 gram in 2013-14 to 351 gram in 2016-17.
On this occasion the Minister said that livestock sector contributes significantly towards livelihoods and security net for the landless and marginal farmers. About 70 million rural households are engaged in dairying in India with 80% of total cow population. The strength of women in dairy has reached to the 70% of the total work force (about 44 lakh) of which 360,000 women are in leadership roles in village dairy cooperatives and 380 women on the boards of Union and State Federations.
Union Agriculture & Farmers’ Welfare Minister said that the consumption of milk is rising, commensurate with increase in the purchasing power of people, increasing urbanisation, changing food habits and life styles and demographic growth. Milk with its varied benefits is the only source of animal protein for the largely vegetarian population of the country. Further, factors such as increased consumer interest in high protein diets and increasing awareness and availability of value-added dairy products through organised retail chains are also driving its demand. During last 15 years, milk cooperatives have converted about 20% of milk procured into traditional and value added products that offers about 20% higher revenue.This share of value-added products is estimated to increase to 30% by 2021-22.
Union Agriculture & Farmers’ Welfare Minister further said that a scheme titled Dairy Processing & Infrastructure Development Fund (DIDF) for dairy cooperative sector has been initiated with an outlay of Rs.10,881 crore. This scheme would focus on creation of additional milk processing infrastructure and chilling infrastructure through setting up of Bulk Milk Coolers. Also provisions have been made for providing Electronic milk adulteration testing equipment and facilities for manufacturing value added products.