India’s ancient and traditional way of livelihood has been farming, cattle rearing and hunting. Among them farming and rearing of animals have still been the source of income for many rural Indians.Milk and milk products always had have huge demands in Indian market.Yet to fullfill the huge demands of milk supply has become the biggest concern .
To solve and giving it a solution the government to launch “Operation Flood”.It has been the most successful government-led programs on inclusive growth and livelihood generation.
Operation Flood was implemented in three phases and with three main objectives – increase in milk production, augmentation of rural incomes and fair prices for consumers.
Milk procurement is an important source of secondary income for over 80-90 million milk producers, signifying its role to alleviate rural income and employment.
Out of the total milk production of 140 million tonnes, about 55 per cent is marketable surplus after self-consumption. Currently, the organised sector processing (packaged milk and dairy products) accounts for about 25-28 million tonnes, which is 18-20 per cent of the total production.
Over the last few years, demand for processed milk and milk derivatives has been rising, driven by changing income and consumption patterns.
Considering the requirements, the National Dairy Development Board launched the National Dairy Plan (NDP) in 2012 to focus on means to grow production and provide producers with greater access to the organised milk processing sector.
Processing the milk through the organised channel will facilitate standardisation of product quality and strengthening the direct supply channel will eliminate the intermediaries, both of which will ensure better compensation to small and medium milk producers.
Nearly 80 per cent of India’s milk production is contributed by small and marginal farmers, with an average herd size of one to two milching animals. Indian yield is still much lower than that in the US, New Zealand and Germany. These countries certainly have an advantage on the cattle breed, and also benefit from extensive mechanisation and larger herd size.
In India, there is high dependence on family labour and limitations to deploying mechanised milching systems, given the small herd size holding. Dairy farming and newer concepts on herd aggregation, both of which support collective animal management and mechanisation, are at a very nascent stage in India.