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Milk production estimated to increase by 6 percent annually, NITI Aayog report raises hopes

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Milk production estimated to increase by 6 percent annually, NITI Aayog report raises hopes

Milk Production: According to the latest figures of milk production, milk production is estimated to increase by 6 percent annually, while the current annual growth rate is 5.3 percent. This is the observation of the research paper, which was recently brought out by the government’s think tank NITI Aayog. It further said that with per capita milk intake already exceeding the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) and population growth being less than 1 per cent, domestic milk demand is likely to grow at a lower rate in the future than in the recent past.

Domestic demand will also decrease

A working paper titled India’s White Revolution: Achievements and Next Steps, authored by NITI Aayog member Ramesh Chand, states that the increase in domestic demand is also likely to be less than the increase in production, which is quite strong.

Milk production expected to remain in surplus

This will generate some surplus of milk as compared to the normal demand and supply. The dairy industry should (therefore) prepare to channelize some of the domestic production to overseas markets. It is better if it is processed into various products instead of liquid milk alone. For this, some changes in investment in dairy industry including value chain will be required. If India can address milk quality and livestock health, it can tap some high-end markets as well.

What is in the report of NITI Aayog

Export of dairy products is essential for India’s dairy to be globally competitive, he added, adding that India’s dairy industry has been opposing any free trade agreement that includes liberalization of trade (import) in dairy products. However, we have to be export competitive if we have to capture foreign markets to dispose of future surplus milk in the country.

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Proper testing of milk should be done from time to time

The paper further said that being export competitive requires higher competitiveness than competing with imports. A country cannot be export competitive if it is unable to compete with imports. This issue is important for the future development of the dairy industry in India. The indiscriminate use of chemicals in commercial dairy is affecting the quality of livestock and milk and also has an impact on the environment, it was observed. Studies have shown that animal urine and dung along with chemicals affect soil microbes and greenhouse gas emissions. The presence of antibiotics in milk needs to be monitored and properly tested.

India emerged as the largest producer of milk in the world

It further states that due to various phases of Operation Flood, India is now producing milk in excess of the RDA of 377 grams per person per day. The country has already emerged as the largest producer of milk in the world with a quarter of the global production. But India’s share in global exports of dairy products is very less. The value of world dairy exports in the year 2021 was $63 billion while India’s exports were only $392 million (0.62 percent of the world’s total). The goal and vision of the dairy industry for the next 25 years should be to make India the largest exporter of dairy products. This is a tall order, but looking at the past achievements of the dairy sector, it looks achievable though challenging.

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