National Milk Day


The celebration of National Milk Day started in the morning with a walkathon at Anand, Gujarat after garlanding statue of Dr. Varghese Kurien

About National Milk Day:

  • In 2014, all the dairy majors of the country, along with the Indian Dairy Association, resolved to observe Dr. Verghese Kurien’s birthday, November 26, as National Milk Day.
  • Verghese Kurien (1921 – 2012) is known as the ‘Father of the White Revolution’ in India.
  • He was a social entrepreneur who led Operation Flood – the world’s largest agricultural dairy development programme.
  • It made India the world’s largest milk producer from a milk-deficient nation, which doubled milk available per person and increased milk output four-fold, in 30 years.
  • Kurien played a key role in formation of Amul, which broke the local trade cartel 65 years ago, paving way for the dairy co-operative sector to flourish in Gujarat. He served Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation (GCMMF) from 1973 to 2006. 

Operation Flood (White revolution):

  • Phase I (1970-1980): It was financed by the skimmed milk powder and butter oil gifted by the European Union through the World Food Programme. In this phase, operation flood linked 18 of India’s premier milk sheds with consumers in India’s major metropolitan cities namely Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, and Chennai, and established mother dairies in four metros.

  • Phase II (1981-1985): In this phase, milk sheds increased from 18 to 136. Also, around 290 urban markets expanded the outlets for milk. And by the end of 1985, a self-sustaining system of 43,000 village cooperatives with 4.25 million milk producers had become a reality. The production of domestic milk powder also increased from 22,000 tons to 140,000 tons by 1989.

Note: Operation Flood programme was jointly sponsored by the European Economic Community, the World Bank, and India’s National Dairy Development Board.

  • Phase III (1985-1996): In this phase, dairy cooperatives expanded and strengthened the infrastructure to increase the volumes of milk in the market. This phase consolidated India’s dairy cooperative movement by adding 30,000 new dairy cooperatives to the 42,000 existing societies that were organized during phase II. Milksheds increased to 173 in 1988-89 with women members and Women’s Dairy Cooperative Societies also increased significantly.

In 1995, the Women’s Dairy Cooperative Leadership Programme (WDCLP) was launched as a pilot programme to strengthen the dairy cooperative movement by increasing the participation of women as active members and as leaders in the governance of cooperative societies, unions, and federations.

This phase also emphasised research and development in animal health and animal nutrition. The productivity of milch animals also increased due to innovations like a vaccine for Theileriosis, bypassing protein feed, and urea-molasses mineral blocks.

  • Objectives:
    • Increase milk production (“a flood of milk”).
    • Increase rural incomes.
    • Reasonable prices for consumers.
  • Significance:
    • It helped dairy farmers direct their own development, placing control of the resources they create in their own hands.
    • It has helped India become the largest producer of milk in the world in 2016-17.
      • Currently, India is the world’s largest milk producer, with 22% of global production.

About the Dairy Sector in India

  • Dairy is one of the biggest agri- businesses in India and a significant contributor to the Indian economy. 
  • It is the largest single agricultural commodity with a 4 % share in the economy. 
  • India is the largest producer of milk globally with 188 million MT production in 2019-20. It produces over one-fifth of the global milk production

  • Organizations like Amul, Mother Dairy, Kwality Limited, etc. have played a pivotal role in expanding the production. Amul today has over 3.6 million milk producers nationwide.
  • Further, there has been a proliferation of private dairy enterprises that now account for more than 60 % of dairy processing capacity in the country.
  • In the Gross Value Added (GVA) from agriculture, the livestock sector contributed 28 percent in 2019-20. Further, India witnesses a 6% growth rate in milk production every year.
  • The dairy sector serves a wide range of consumer needs too – from protein supplements and health foods to indulgence foods such as yogurt and ice creams.

Significance of the Dairy Sector in India

  • Tackling agricultural uncertainties: Farmers keep 2-5 milk animals for livelihood. They provide great support to them, especially during drought and flood. Further, dairying is not a seasonal occupation in nature, like agriculture.
  • Nutritional Support: The milk and associated products have immensely helped India in reducing the malnutrition and undernourishment levels in the country. Thus, the dairy sector is indispensable for meeting the nutritional requirement of the country’s rising population. 
  • Employment Generation: It is a significant contributor to farmers’ income as approximately 70 million farmers are directly involved in dairying.
  • Reduces Import Bill: Operation Flood (also called as White Revolution) converted India from a milk importer to the world’s largest producer.
    • The program launched in 1970 and adopted a multi-pronged approach. This included tax incentives, food quality standards, subsidies on inputs, infrastructure provisions such as cold chain and electrification. 
    • All this helped in reducing import bills and made India an exporter. The country exported dairy products worth $187 Million in 2019-20.  
  • Women Empowerment: Female population comprises around 69% of the sector’s workforce. They are dependent on the sector for their livelihood. Therefore, the dairy sector’s development automatically augments women’s empowerment. 
  • Boosting other sectors: The dairy sector provides cow dung which is used as an organic manure for the agricultural sector. Further, the sector provides raw materials to manufacture processed foods. 
    • For instance, the whey protein powder is an extract from the watery portion of milk that separates from the curds during the cheese-making process.

Making India milk exporting nation

  • Indigenous cows produce 3.01kgs of milk per cow per day, while the yield of exotic crossbred cows is 7.95kgs.
  • Crossbreeding has taken off in a big way because of the advancements in reproductive technologies like In vitro fertilization (IVF), embryo transfer process, and artificial insemination.
  • Out of these processes, IVF and artificial insemination have proven to be the most popular and effective methods.
  • The NAIP (Nationwide Artificial Insemination Programme) Phase-I was launched in September 2019.
  • Every animal in the programme was assigned a 12-digit unique identification number under the Pashu Aadhar scheme.
  • NAIP Phase-II was initiated on 1 August 2020 with an allocation of ₹1,090 crore in 604 districts covering 50,000 animals per district and is on track to be completed by the 31 May 2021.
  • Under the programme, 9.06 crore artificial inseminations will be performed and is expected to lead to the birth of 1.5 crore high yielding female calves.
  • Consequently, 18 million tonnes of additional milk will be produced as average productivity will be enhanced from 1,861kg per animal per year to 3,000kg per animal per year.
  • Artificial insemination (AI) technology has been the most used method in India, but its success hinges upon accuracy in heat detection and timely insemination.
  • And this is where In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) technology will prove to be more

Initiatives Related to the Dairy sector:

  • National Action Plan on Dairy Development 2022: It seeks to increase milk production and double the income of dairy farmers.
  • National Animal Disease Control Programme & National Artificial Insemination Programme: It was launched to control and eradicate the Foot & Mouth Disease (FMD) and Brucellosis amongst the livestock in the country,
  • Pashu-Aadhar: It is a unique ID on a digital platform for traceability for the animals.
  • Rashtriya Gokul Mission: It was launched in 2019 for setting up of 21 Gokul Grams as Integrated Cattle Development Centres.

Source: PIB

You can find many articles on AGRICULTURE (part of GS III) in our website. Go through these articles share with your friends and post your views in comment section.

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