Thursday, October 18, 2018
 India Ranks Among Top Milk Producing Nations  

To ensure sufficient supply of milk at affordable rates, India’s Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar has said there is a need to increase the share of organized sector in milk business to 50 percent by the end of the current Five Year Plan in March, 2017.

Despite severe drought in some states like Maharashtra this year, milk production has not reduced, thereby providing good supplementary income to farmers and sufficient supply of milk in the market, he said.

"India, with 128 million tons of production, now ranks first among milk producing nations. ...we need to target that by the end of this Five Year Plan period, at least 50 percent of milk in the country is handled by organized sector," Pawar said addressing a CII event here on dairy sector.
At present, about 30 percent of milk is marketed by the organized sector, he said.

Stating that sustainable development of India's dairy sector will be in true spirit of 'inclusive growth', Pawar called upon both private and cooperative sectors to invest in especially in improved infrastructure for milk collection, testing, processing and product development and establishing market for diversified products.

Dairy contributes close to a third of the gross income of rural households and in case of those without land, nearly half of their gross income, he added.

While noting that the private sector has an important role in enhancing sustainability of dairy sector, Pawar pointed out that the private companies in most cases adopts a strategy not conducive to farmers.

During flush season, the private sector reduces procurement of milk and procurement prices, sometimes to a level which is uneconomical to farmers, he said and suggested them to maintain a consistent strategy that would benefit both farmers and consumers.

He also suggested the private sector to establish a strong backward linkage with farmers by providing extension and marketing services to milk producers.

Besides ensuring remunerative price to farmers, the Minister said the dairy industry needs to ensure both availability and affordability of milk and its products to consumers.

The government has launched the National Dairy Plan Phase-I with a total investment of more than Rs 2,200 crore for 12th Five Year Plan (2012-2017) to meet the projected demand of 150 million tonnes of milk.

On fodder supply to livestock, Pawar said the shortage in the country is estimated to be 36 percent and the government has taken initiatives to improve the supply. 

Source: The Economic Times


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