How did India go from being milk deficient to being the world’s largest milk producer?

A few decades ago, India was a milk-deficient country and imported milk from other countries. Today we are the largest milk producer in the world. The journey from being milk deficient to becoming the largest producer has seen ups and downs in the growing era of technological advancement. Of all milk production in the world, India accounts for one fifth.

This trip is full of events that have generated growth in employment opportunities for women, have led to the adoption of food security measures and have proven to be a concrete source of income for multiple households. Let’s deepen your understanding.

Statistics and figures

Milk production in 1991 in India: 55.6 million tons
Milk production in 2018 in India: 187.7 million tons
Milk production growth during 1991-2018 in India: 4% CAGR

In the 1950s to 1960s, India was highly dependent on milk exports. With the establishment of the National Dairy Development Board in 1965, multiple reforms were established to develop our dairy sector. Operation Flood, launched in 1970, proved to be one of those that started the Indian dairy industry. In 1991, when the LPG reforms were launched, India produced milk from 55.6 million tons. By 1998, our country surpassed America in milk production to become the largest milk producer in the world.

How has Amul facilitated the development of the dairy industry?

Responsibility for this development rests with Amul, a federation of 3.6 million milk producers in Gujarat. Amul became known as the leading entity of the White Revolution in the country, which proliferated by empowering small dairy farmers and helping them earn a living. This revolution adopted a model in which, instead of mass production in one facility, milk was mass produced in a different location. Today, Amul has 31 plants in India, 13 of which are located in the state of Gujarat.

Technological advance

The technology that helped develop skimmed milk powder from buffalo milk turned out to be revolutionary in nature. Amul herself is aware of the use of technology and uses automatic milk collection systems that help to collect milk more easily and help streamline all operational processes.

According to projections made by NITI Aayog, India will double its milk production over the next decade. The purchase of milk by cooperatives is expected to increase to twenty percent in 2023 from 10 percent in 2020 and the role of the private sector in purchasing milk is also projected to increase to 30 percent by 2023.

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