From a modest 17-22 million tonnes in the 1960s, milk production in the country shot up to 165.4 million tonnes in 2016-17, the Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare said on Saturday, adding that production shot up by 20 per cent in 2016-17 compared to 2013-14.
According to a statement by the ministry, the per-capita availability of milk increased from 307 grams in 2013-14 to 355 grams in 2016-17, registering a growth of 15.6 per cent. Also, the income of dairy farmers grew 23.77 per cent during 2014-17 compared to 2011-14.
“The government has taken several initiatives to increase milk production by raising the productivity of milch animals,” Union minister for agriculture & farmers’ welfare Radha Mohan Singh said while addressing a farmers’ conference organised by the Deshratan Dr Rajendra Prasad Dugdh Utpadak Sahkari Sangh at Begusarai in Bihar. He noted that the Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairying & Fisheries has initiated a number of schemes to double dairy farmers’ income by 2022.
The minister noted that India is the largest milk producer in the world and the credit goes to the government’s initiatives and implementing schemes to increase the productivity of milch animals. In the last three years, with an annual growth rate of 6.3 per cent, India has outpaced global milk production where it has grown by 2.1 per cent.
The minister noted that rising consumer interest in high-protein diets coupled with availability of value-added dairy products through organised retail chains are driving demand. “During the past 15 years, milk cooperatives have converted about 20 per cent of milk procured into traditional and value-added products that offer 20 per cent higher revenue.” This share of value-added products is estimated to increase to 30 per cent by 2021-22, the statement added.