New White Revolution: The new Milky Way to growth

  • Category
    Economy
  • Published
    19th Sep, 2019

Increasing supply management hurdles due to growth in Milk production has outstripped population growth in India.

Issue

Context

Increasing supply management hurdles due to growth in Milk production has outstripped population growth in India.

Background:

White is white revolution?

  • White revolution or Operation Flood, known as the ‘billion liter idea,’ as conceived by DrVergheseKurien is the world's largest agricultural dairy development programme.
  • It aimed at making the dairy farming India's largest self-sustaining industry and the largest rural employment provider.
  • Launched in 1970, Operation Flood gave dairy farmers autonomy over the milk production in the area. Over 700 towns and cities in India were linked by the National Milk Grid, bridging the gap between milk producers and consumer.
  • This model was replicated nationwide with rigorous efforts by National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) to give a boost to the co-operative sector in milk production.
  • The Anand pattern experiment at Amul, a cooperative dairy, was the pioneer behind the success of the program.

Achievements of white revolution:

  • The white revolution ended India's dependence on imported milk solids. India not only met its local dairy needs but also started exporting milk powder to many foreign nations.
  • Genetic improvement of milking animals also increased due to cross breeding. As the dairy industry modernized and expanded, around 10 million farmers started earning their income from dairy farming.

Though the white revolution achieved most of the targets but due to changing consumption pattern and lifestyles of people there is need of new way to deal with the issues which could be fulfilled by the advent of new white revolution.

Why there is a need of New White Revolution?

  • Surplus production in India: From a chronic milk deficit country in 1950-51, with a production of 19 Million Ton per year (MMT), the production has increased to 176 MMT in 2017, and per capita availability of Milk has reached 375 grams per day. As Indian milk production has continued to grow rapidly, growth in Milk production has outstripped population growth.
  • Negligence of development of recognized Indian breeds: In White Revolution, the focus was on introduction of exotic cattle breeds like HF and jersey and producing their cross bred. Therefore the developments of recognized Indian breeds were largely neglected.
  • Adulteration of milk and rising demand for organic milk:
  • About 68 per cent of the milk produced in India is found to have adulterants like detergent, starch, urea and white paint.
  • Consumers are becoming more health conscious day by day which is fuelling growth for organic and natural milk products instead of milk from animals that are injected with growth hormones for more milk production and are full of antibiotics.

Therefore there is a need to have a re-look at the whole policy for Dairy sectorand to take steps so that the interests of the Indian farmers and consumers are protected. 

What is new in New white revolution?

As white revolution mainly focused on production aspect of milk, new white revolution focuses more on other ways and aspects which could increase farmer’s income as well as the development of the related sectors:

  • Use of Artificial Intelligence (AI):
  • AI tagging of animals helps to keep track of health related issues of particular animal.
  • Tagged cows can be used as bank loan liabilities or used for insurance purposes.
    • Generating income through quality cattlemanure by changing traditional methods:Unlike the dung collected from traditional sheds, in which the animals are kept tied, the manure from free-stall barns — a gated open area, where the cows can freely move around to eat, drink and rest — comes out as a fine manure. This quality manure can have good market value which would boost farmer’s income.
    • More focus on organic dairy products:

To produce organic dairy products, new white revolution focuses on the following aspects:

  • Managing crop and pasture land without the use of synthetic fertilizers, genetically engineered (modified) organisms (GMOs), fungicides, herbicides or insecticides.
  • Feeding 100% organic rations to cows and buffaloes.
  • Avoiding the use of antibiotics or synthetic hormones.

But to achieve the new white revolution there are certain challenges that need to be addressed.

Major Challenges:

  • Demand management:
  • Although, the average per capita milk consumption in the country at 376 gms is more than the world's average of 313 gms , it is much below the OECD levels.
  • Even within the country consumption is not homogeneous and the poor have lower availability of milk and milk products as compared to the middle class and the rich.
  • Hurdles in maintenance of cold chain and quality levels by distributors.
  • Uneven spread of cooperative industry in the northern and eastern parts of the country the cooperation movement in milk production has still not taken off. 
  • The challenge of increasing productivity of Indian breed of bovines rapidly still remains a major bottleneck. The average productivity of Indian cattle per year is 1719 kg per year while in Denmark its 9386, USA 10360, and Israel above 13000 kg.
  • The challenge of increasing the Artificial Insemination (AI) coverage from a very low level of 30% to some 75% within 5 years.

Measures need to be taken:

Government initiatives in the direction of New White Revolution:

  • RashtriyaGokul Mission: It aims to conserve and develop indigenous breeds in a scientific manner under National Programme for Bovine Breeding and Dairy Development.
  • Animal Husbandry infrastructure development fund:It will enable the small and poor farmers and entrepreneurs,especiallywomen,self help groups, weaker sections to avail latest infrastructure facilities and to get better remuneration for their produce.
  • Galvanizing Organic Bio-Agro Resources Dhan (GOBAR-DHAN): It will manage and convert cattle dung and solid waste in farms to compost, bio-gas and bio-CNG.  
  • Increasing thrust on organic dairy industry: Currently, the organic dairy industry accounts for less than 1 per cent of the total dairy market in India. So more steps need to be taken for development of organic dairy industry.
  • Boost the productivity of the non-descript and indigenous cowsby focusingon programmes like comprehensive programme on AI covering 116 Aspirational districts covering their villages through semen of high yielding indigenous breeds (HYIB). This will help double their milk production in the next 2-3 years.
  • For health of breeds: The 12 digit UID along with the heath card for bovine animals would help ensure their traceability and health concerns. 
  • Providing processing infrastructure: As there is increasing demand for value added products like Cheese and yogurt there is need to provide robust processing infrastructure. 
  • Increasing production scale:Indian dairies should go in for industrial-scale production of traditional milk products for selling in both domestic and export markets.
  • A constructive push for strengthening of cooperative structure in deficient areas would not only increase the reach of the organized sector in the country but also increase the demand. 
  • Strict enforcement of FSSAI act by the enforcing agencies like States to achieve Safe Milk and Milk exports targets.
  • Explore frontiers of technology like development of genomic chip through institutions like NDDB and National Bovine Genomic Centre. 
  • Supplement the nutritional levels of the poor who constitute one-third of the population by providing supplementary nutrition through government schemes like Mid-Day Meal or Anganwadi Centers.

Conclusion:

Indeed, the White Revolution has played an important role in improving the living standards of the people in India. There is a need to add quality through new white revolution which can help achieve the true motto of New India.

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