Dairy sector provides livelihoods and security net to the landless and marginal farmers. About 7 crore rural households are engaged in dairying in India with 80% of the total cow population. Consumer interest in high protein diets is increasing and growing awareness and availability of value-added dairy products through organized retail chains are also driving its demand. During the last 15 years, Milk Cooperatives have converted about 20% of milk procured into traditional and value-added products that offer about 20% higher revenue. This share of value-added products is estimated to increase to 30% by 2021-22.
The importance of dairy sector in doubling the farmers’ income was underlined during a Consultative Committee on Dairy Development, chaired by Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh.
“The Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairying & Fisheries (DAHDF) has initiated a number of schemes with the objective of doubling the dairy farmers’ income in line with the resolution of the government to double the farmers’ income by 2022. In this direction, dairy farmers’ income is being raised in two ways – one by raising milk production and productivity and by increasing the price of raw milk per kg,” Singh said while addressing the Committee members in New Delhi today.
India continues to be the largest producer of milk in the world since last 15 years. According to official data, milk production, which was around 17-22 million tonnes in the 1960s, has increased to 163.7 million tonnes in 2016-17. Particularly, it has increased by 19% during 2016-17 in comparison to the year 2013-14. Similarly, per capita availability of milk has increased from 307 grams in 2013-14 to 351 grams in the year 2016-17, which shows a growth of 14.3%. Similarly, the income of dairy farmers increased by 23.77% in 2014-17 compared to 2011-14. During the last three years, with the annual growth rate of 5.53%, milk production in India has outpaced global milk production where it has grown by 2.09%.
Singh said that India is the oyster of the global dairy industry with opportunities galore for the entrepreneurs globally. The government has undertaken three important projects for dairy development-National Dairy Plan Phase I (NDP I), National Programme for Dairy Development (NPDD) and Dairy Entrepreneurship Development Scheme.
Dairy Entrepreneurship Development Scheme is being implemented by NABARD (National Agricultural and Rural Development Bank) in association with the state governments through nationalized banks at the district level.
Dairy Processing & Infrastructure Development Fund (DIDF) is an ambitious scheme, which was launched in 2017-18 with an aim to double the income of the milk farmers and to further the efforts of the White Revolution. This scheme is being implemented by the NDBB through the state government through cooperative milk organizations/milk federations of the concerned state.
The Committee emphasised that it is necessary to gradually shift towards a technology-driven environment. Senior official of the department informed the Committee that DAHDF is working on a National Action Plan Vision 2022 where along with enhancing the outreach of dairy cooperatives to additional villages and milk producers, suitable provisions are being made to build additional milk processing infrastructure for processing additional volume of milk expected on account of higher milk production and meeting the increased demand for value-added products.
The aim of the scheme is doubling of dairy farmers’ income which is not possible without creating additional milk processing infrastructure. This plan envisages assigning a higher priority to the judicious use of available resources through the adoption of modern technologies which will ultimately help all the stakeholders involved including the milk producers.