Seeing the immense opportunity in India’s agriculture sector, various countries are making their presence felt in the country. From European countries like Germany, Italy, and Netherlands to Latin American nations like Brazil and Argentina, countries have made their foothold in India.
We cannot forget the Israeli effort in India’s agriculture sector. This Middle Eastern country is already running many centres of excellence for vegetables in India. And the country which has recently jumped on the steaming wagon is Australia, which is known for its dairy farming.
Even though India is the largest producer of milk, accounting 13 percent of world’s total milk production, it also has the largest number of milk consumers in the world. Delhi alone has a demand of 70-80 lakh litres every day. The increasing demand brings huge opportunity to the dairy farmers of the country.
Sudha from Bihar has heightened its production and expanded its sales from Bihar to western Uttar Pradesh and Delhi NCR, Amul has recently set up a plant in Faridabad and is planning to move towards northern and eastern States. The western and northern regions of the country have attained sufficiency in milk production in recent decades. However, the demand for milk and milk products has been insatiable, resulting to an imbalance in demand and supply equilibrium.
Australia has the advanced technology to help increase milk production, and it is with high quality fodder seeds. According to Nicola Watkinson, Sr. Trade and Investment Commissioner, Australian Trade Commission, "Pacific Seeds, an Australian company, has developed a range of specific fodder seeds for the cattle industry here in India and they have already started to sell them." Fodders grown from these seeds help improve the productivity of the pasture.
It is apparent that the dairy farm business in India can be reshaped with the adoption of modern technologies. This oceanian country has mostly been working in the dairy sector in South-Asian countries like Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Bangladesh for many years. Now, it has entered the Indian dairy business and seeks to work with the largest Indian milk cooperative, Amul, along with Reliance Dairy.
In the beginning, they had to persuade Indian dairy farmers due to their reluctance in accepting new changes and technologies. However, after a long persuasion the farmers have started accepting the technology.
Australian authorities are working with a range of farmers with their expertise and pasture management, and now the farming community is more open to looking at how to improve their farming technique which can increase their farm productivity. The country is seeking for more partnerships in the Indian dairy sector and wants to form dairy cooperatives in India.
Primarily, they are focusing on fodders and pasture management for the dairy cattle, their health and hygiene and sheds for cows, mainly Jersey and Friesian, which can multiply the milk productivity in India and consequently help improve and the livelihoods of the farmers. On dairy cooperatives, Nicola says, "Dairy cooperatives are very important part of how the milk is produced. The farm land is very much fragmented here which is tough to be invested on large scale. Thus, they should come under the umbrella of cooperative farming. It will enable them in getting good investment for applying new technologies. Only that way productivity can be increased. And therefore, we are focusing on setting up farmers’ cooperatives."
Nicola sees urbanisation as a big challenge for dairy farmers in Australia and India. Thus, she bats for modern technologies and making milk production more remunerative job for farmers. According to her, only economic viability can attract and tie farmers with dairy business. That can only be possible by adopting new ways to increase milk production with less expenditure.
The increasing population is further increasing the demand for food. Thus, the farming sector needs technological advancement in the future. In this field, technological collaboration can be a good effort among various countries. India can adopt technologies developed in other countries if they are suitable for Indian tropical weather. It will help increase the productivity and will enhance the livelihood of people in rural India.