Milk is regarded as the most important source of nutrient, vitamin and mineral provider for people across the world. It is regarded as a sea of calcium which helps people develop stronger bones and muscles. Even today moms ask their children the first question in the morning – “Beta, tumne doodh pee liya?”
India is the largest producer of milk with 112 million tonnes being produced year after year. The production capacity is increasing by 3.5 million tonnes but the demand is increasing at a faster rate of 6 million tonnes. And here’s where the biggest problem lays – the demand and supply mismatch. How will India manage to feed its population of more than a billion with a white revolution?
As the economy prospers, increasing number of people are willing to loosen their pocket strings to spend money on different kinds of milk like pasteurized, skimmed, UHT milk, etc. As the per capita income goes up, there is a greater health consciousness among the individuals and urge to consume nutritional foods. Obviously in this scenario the consumption of milk and its products is bound to rise at a maniacal pace.
In order to keep pace with the milk demands of the rising population, the production has to increase at the rate of 5.5% to 180 million tonnes by 2021-2022. If that doesn’t happen, India will have to import it from the international markets over where negotiation of prices could be a problem.
The domestic problems are many in sight. The productivity of a cow or buffalo to produce the milk is still very limited, despite India having one of the largest cattle populations on the planet. I wonder what are the research and development guys doing on this front. Looks like all the spending on innovation and such words is going to waste.
The animals are treated as some piece of junk. Their shelters are poor and pathetically maintained. There’s no proper veterinary structure in most of the countries towns and localities and this is the reason that major chunk of the cattle suffer from various diseases. The feed and the fodder are of poor quality, low yielding and not available at the right time and the right place.
The entire processing and transport facilities for the final production of milk are inadequately maintained and poorly handled.
If the world’s largest producer of milk has a per capita availability of just 263 grams per day which is lower than the world average of 279.4 grams, then we should be ready to import milk from the international market place.
Can we have a white revolution please?