India importing Milk by 2021! Can you believe that?


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?

  1. Pragya Rai says

    I respect the article bringing out the terrible situation of animals involved. But in comments I see everyone pointing out flaws in Govt policies and “farmers still not aware of how to exploit the genetic potential of the cows,they own”. Reading this out makes me sick. I understand our ancestors never had such problem and so did not worry. But us, facing horrendous animal agriculture leading to global warming, climate change, are not looking at THEIR OWN LIFESTYLE. Don’t we understand the simple logic of demand and supply? Ever considered about our own demands? Accepting the fact that the animals are treated like shit in industries and farms, but still wanting to steal their udder secretions for our chai, coffee, paneer etc. How hard is it to say NO to animal products in a generation which has numerous alternatives. Can one do their part of being ethical first??

  2. kishan says

    Most of your allegations are false . As There is is a proper & good transportation , cattle feed(of good quality )is available at the right price & right time .Farmers are being taught how to get more yeild . The animals are not treated as piece of junk & are provided good shelter .
    The problem is India’s ever growing population .

  3. […] to be one of the largest producers of Milk – however, given the circumstances it may happen that India may need to import Milk from other countries in next 10 […]

  4. madan says

    well said …i am really afraid in near future in dairy sector is really a national concern …we should improve

  5. A.Ashraf says

    Many milk producers in india are marginal farmers.

    Most of the farmers are not aware of scientific dairy farming.In particular,dairy nutrition and balanced feeding.

    Now a days,balanced and nutritious compound feeds are
    avillable every where.But, farmers are still not at all using or using only sub standard or under ration feed.

    Compounded dairy feed is really a boon to increase the productivity of milching cows and their health by which farmers can generate more revenue and can increase their profits.

    India can increase it’s milk production not less than 20%, if all milk producers/farmers feed their cows with compounded dairy feed.

    No need of increasing the number of cows.Because,farmers still not aware of how to exploit the genetic potential of the cows,they own.

    The mantra is to increase the milk production:
    Scientific Feeding/Feed animals with Nutritionally Balanced Compound DairyFeed.

  6. dpi says

    milk production is always associates with Agri. But these govt policies do nothing to improve agricultural, water resources and benefit for farmers.Excess of land grabbing for SEZ and industries. How can we get food, milk from these idiotic administrators.

    1. Aseem Rastogi says

      You have correctly pointed out the fact that nobody really cares about agriculture in this country. Though historically we have been an agricultural economy, it doesn’t really show from the way politicos are looting us today..

  7. Jagannath A says

    * ban cow slaughter.
    * give subsidies for farmers to buy cows. not pesticides and fertilizers.
    * turn to organic farming.
    * invest the amount saved from pesticides and fertilizers subsidies into organic farming techniques and logistics research.
    * ban gm seeds and mncs like monsanto.
    * for the small amount of beef eating people, it can be imported.

    now we will have a natural and sustainable green and white revolution!!!!

    not the so called first green revolution that has made lands barren by the over use of pesticides and fertilizers.

    1. Aseem Rastogi says

      The points you have mentioned here are really worth considering. I hope the governments listening.

  8. Altaf Rahman says

    @ Aseem,

    Importing milk into India is not an unimaginable, unthinkable, very insulting thing. Only 25 or 30 years ago, due to poor food availability in India, some countries like NewZeeland, Australia, US were sending milk powder free of cost as a gift. Only after the green revolution with higher productivities, India could manage its own affairs after that.

    Now what is happening is some people consider agriculture as whole (cultivation, animal raising etc) as waste as they grew up on IT, Telcom, Software incomes. If you ask some of the kids where do you get your milk from, I will not be surprised if they answer “from the super market” instead of cattle. Such is the upbringing of these so called neo-modern parents.

    With the increasing population, forest lands, agriculture lands are being occupied in the name of urbanization. Therefore every year the land required for food production, milk production is going down. With our farmers still not adapting available technology and still manage with one baffalo with a single farmer, it is not surprising to see the future as you mentioned.

    1. Aseem Rastogi says

      As you have rightly pointed out, the biggest problem is people not valuing agriculture because of being brought up on the diet of IT, Telecom and software. And to top it, the lax attitude by successive governments towards this sector.

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