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OPS SAVE MILK INDUSTRY-I THERE’S NEED FOR CRITICAL REVIEW OF MILK INDUSTRY
PROVIDE A STABLE MARKET FOR MILK
Amid the current scenario of gloom caused by Corona – 19 pandemic and predicted/projected economic slowdown, the agriculture and the dairy sector continues to provide a gleam of hope. The development of dairy sector over last seven-decade is a shining example of how important is; “providing a stable market and a reasonable price” for the agricultural commodities particularly for perishable produces like milk, fishes, fruits and vegetables.
GROWTH RATE OF MILK PRODUCTION BETTER THAN THE GROWTH RATE OF POPULATION
India’s milk production (22% of total global milk production in 2018) is expected to outperform the Global milk production (843 MMT) and is expected to grow to 185 MMT per annum and surpass the European Union. India will emerge as the largest dairy producer this year (2020). The growth rate @ 6.4% over last four years also outperforms the global growth rate of 1.7 percent. The per capita availability rose from 225 grams (2001-2002) to 375 grams. (2017-2018); growth rate better than the growth of population.
VALUE OF MILK MORE THAN THE VALUE OF PADDY AND WHEAT COMBINED
The importance of the dairy industry lies in the fact that “milk” is now the largest crop in India in term of value of milk output at Rs. 6.5 lakh crores (2018-19), which is “more” than the “total value of paddy and wheat combined”. It is contributing approx. 26 % of total agricultural GDP. The industry employs over 10 million people on yearly basis – 71% of which are women. Seventy percent of Nation’s Milk Herd is owned by marginal farmers and landless labor. The significance of the industry must be seen in the mind boggling massive daily operations involved in transfer of these Rs 6.5 lakh crores over the year from the pockets of consumers in metros, cities, towns and big villages; to the pockets of the small milk producers in rural India throughout the year undeterred by strikes, unrests, pandemics, droughts, floods or even demonetization thus providing year round employment/cash to mostly the poor.
With more than 10 million dairy farmers in cooperative sector alone, 96,000 local dairy cooperatives, 170 milk producers’ unions and 15 state level federations, besides a large range of processors in private sector, the structure of dairy operations is massive by any standard. The Indian Dairy market is projected to touch Rs. 18599 million by 2023 exhibiting a CAGR of 15 % during 2018-2023.
The operation flood projects (1970-1996) which initiated this revolution started with very little investment but had a focused approach. Honesty, integrity, dedication and self-sacrifice were among the key values of the people at the top.
INCREASED FOCUS ON MILK PRODUCTION UNDER NATIONAL DAIRY PLANS I AND NATIONAL DAIRY PLAN II
The government of India has done well to rightly recognize the importance of this sector and under National Dairy Plans (NDP) initiated several steps to realize its full potential. The NDP I, (2011-12 to 2018-2019) focused on Fodder Development, ICT for MIS, Village based Milk Procurement Systems, Monitoring, learning and evaluation, Production of High Genetic Merit Bulls, Ration Balancing Program, Development of viable doorstep AI delivery service and Semen production, steps to increase milk production. The project had an outlay of Rs. 2,242 Crores (R s. 1584 Crores (US$352 million) being loan from International Development Association (World Bank), Rs. 174 Crores as GOI share, Rs 282 Crores as share of End Implementing Agencies and Rs. 200 Crores by NDDB. The project focused on increasing milk production. During this period, the milk production increased @ 6 % plus per year. Fifty-five thousand milk potential villages were connected to organized milk processing plants also.
The NDP II is a Rs 8000 Crores project (2020-2025) and would emphasize on expansion and modernization of processing plants besides continue the strengthening of existing programs of NDP I. The NDP II would also link another 1.26 lakh milk potential villages to the organized sector milk processing plants. The proposal envisages setting up of 12 mass embryo production institutions to further hasten the rate of growth of the milk production in the country.
NEED TO UPGRADE PROCESSING CAPACITIES TO INCORPORATE EFFICIENT PRACTICES TO BE COMPETITIVE
The current processing capacity is approx. 423.4 MMT in cooperative sector and 700 MMT in the private sector. Except Gujarat and a few other states, most of the processing capacities set up under cooperative sector during operation flood programs have become obsolete and inefficient. There is urgent need to update our processing technologies and make them more energy and water efficient and manufacture products of much better quality; more competitively to be acceptable in the international market and even by discernible consumers in India. Our processing technologies need to incorporate more efficient practices.
The use of IoT, predictive I.T technologies and robots and improvement in design to give better quality products at much more competitive costs has become necessary even for basic survival.