India is the world’s largest producer of milk, however the demand is projected to grow sharp in the coming years to reach 200 million tonnes by 2022. To achieve the estimated demand it is necessary to maintain annual growth of over 4 per cent in the coming years, highlighted at recently concluded event “Dairy Vision 2025,” organized by CII.
Salil Singhal, Co-Chairman, CII National Council on Agriculture & Chairman & MD, PI Industries drew the attention to the fact that though India’s dairy sector has performed extremely well in meeting national requirements, the demand for milk is now increasing at a much faster rate than production, a trend that can be attributed to increasing purchasing power, expanding markets, and rising population. The only answer to ensuring that the rapidly growing demand is met from domestic production is increasing productivity. He urged that instead of considering dairy as backyard farming it should be considered as an agro industry. Also the right technology needs to reach small farmers to enable their true empowerment.
“In 11th five-year plan the average annual growth rate of the milk production was 4.51 per cent whereas the consumption is estimated to grow between 6 to 8 per cent. Therefore the gap in production and consumption is widening and India that consumes 100 per cent of its production of milk and milk products may need to import milk if production does not keep pace,” he added.
Siva Nagarajan, Co Chairman, CII National Committee on Dairy and Managing Director, Mother Dairy Fruits & Vegetables remarked that dairying is a major source of livelihood for more than 70 million rural households and the dairy value chain is unique as there is only one input raw material and the entire chain is geared to preserve, value add and distribute. Thus continuous efforts are needed to improve the productivity as well as the quality of milk i.e. the entire system, from producer - procurement - processing - marketing – consumer, needs to be revamped.
“If India has to derive benefits from its intrinsic advantage and emerge as an exporting country, it is imperative that we develop proper infrastructure, which is capable of meeting international quality requirements”, he said. The Dairy system in India is considered to be low input low output system and suffers from the lowest productivity per animal. Large portion of production is self-consumed and the balance is made available for processing by organized and unorganized sector. At the same time, Dairy sector in India is undergoing several changes with intervention of government for enhancing productivity, rural infrastructure etc. and other external forces such as mergers and acquisitions. Another prominent trend is organic dairy providing premium products by tapping into urban quality and health conscious customers. The value chain is also gearing up for proliferation of various value-added products with increased processing by organized sector.
Some other eminent speakers at the conference were R S Sibal, Joint Secretary, Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries; S R Bhoosreddy, Joint Secretary Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairying & Fisheries; R S Rana, Joint Secretary Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairying & Fisheries; Dr A K Srivastava, Director, National Dairy Research Institute; Dr Harsev Singh, Chief Executive Officer, Reliance Dairy; Kuldeep Saluja, Managing Director, Sterling Agro and Neeraj Kumar, Managing Director, DeLaval.