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Dairy activities have traditionally been integral to India’s rural economy. The country is the world’s largest producer of dairy products and also their largest consumer. Almost its entire produce is consumed in the domestic market and the country is neither an importer nor an exporter, except in a marginal sense.
Despite being the world’s largest producer, the dairy sector is by and large in the primitive stage of development and modernization. Dairy industry is of crucial importance to India. The country is the worlds largest milk producer, accounting for more than 13% of worlds total milk production. It is the worlds largest consumer of dairy products, consuming almost 100% of its own milk production. Dairy products are a major source of
cheap and nutritious food to millions of people in India and the only acceptable source of animal protein for large vegetarian segment of Indian population, particularly among the landless, small and marginal farmers and women. Though India may boast of a 200 million cattle population, the average output of an Indian cow is only one seventh of its American counterpart. Indian breeds of cows are considered inferior in terms of productivity. Moreover, the sector is plagued with various other impediments like shortage of fodder, its poor quality, dismal transportation facilities and a poorly developed cold chain infrastructure. As a result, the supply side lacks in elasticity that is expected of it.
Latest Trends in Indian Dairy
Fortunately, the government and other stakeholders seem to be alive to the situation and efforts to increase milk production have been intensified. Transformations in the sector are being induced by factors like new-found interest on the part of the organized sector, new markets, easy credit facilities, dairy friendly policies by the government, etc. Dairy farming is now evolving from just an agrarian way of life to a professionally managed industry, the Indian dairy industry. With these positive signals, there is hope that the sector may eventually march towards another white revolution. Statistically observing, the market size for milk and milk products, which consists of both formal and informal sector, is estimated approximately $67 billion. The organized market is growing at nearly 10% in value terms annually. Traditional dairy products account for about 50% of the total milk produced. The organized sector processes an estimated 20% of the total milk output in India. Milk is processed and marketed by 170 Milk Producers’ Cooperative Unions. Dairy Sector Contributes 17% of the Country’s Total Expenditure on Food, and per-capita milk consumption is around 276 grams per day. Dairy contributes to 16% of consumer spend on food– 18% in Urban, 15% in rural and Milk procurement price has grown by about 2.5 times in the last decade.
Future Trends and Growth Prospects
Dairy farming from being a traditional family run businesses, today has grown hugely to an organized dairy industry with technological specializations in every part of the process. We have seen tremendous growth in dairy farming equipment that help modern dairy farms to manage thousands of dairy cows and buffaloes. This huge boost in the industry has created a lot of farming jobs for the people. But many of the dairy farms still manage and run organic dairy farms mostly in villages and supply the milk to get processed by large companies and finally sell to the retail outlets. The best approach is to create and run a sustainable dairy farm that gives maximum profits to the firm and also takes care of the effects of dairy farms on environments and animals for a longer period. Though a profitable business venture dairy farming in India requires hard work, proper planning and an active and very alert managers and supervisors. We all have heard stories of how simple woman from towns have made big in dairy farming. In today’s technological world there have been many advances in modern dairy farming. Every thing from feed for dairy cows to milk processing equipment have added tremendous scope to the dairy farming industry.