GANDHINAGAR, March 18 (PTI): Union cooperation minister Amit Shah said on Saturday that India should set a target to contribute 330 million metric tons (MMT), or 33 percent, of global milk production by 2033–2034, stressing the need to also produce milk for the masses.
Shah said at the 49th Dairy Industry Conference organized by the Indian Dairy Association here that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government is working for the 360-degree growth of the dairy sector.
“We should not be satisfied with becoming the world’s largest milk producer. If two lakh new primary milk producing committees are formed (at the panchayat level), then in the coming years, there is the possibility of India becoming the contributor of 33 percent of global milk production,” Shah said, while calling for the need to explore this possibility.
“We have to move ahead to achieve the target of producing 330 MMT, or 33 percent of milk globally, by 2033 or 2034,” he said. According to the Indian Dairy Association, the country’s milk production is now 220 MMT.
“To achieve this, the central government and state governments, as well as cooperative movements, should work together. We have to make mass production a reality while maintaining mass production,” he said.
He said India should also work toward becoming the world’s largest exporter of milk processing equipment in addition to being the world’s largest producer of milk.
Shah said that the Modi government will make all efforts to also become the world’s biggest exporter of milk.
“In the last decade, the dairy sector has grown by 6.6 percent at an annual rate. I assure you that when the cooperation ministry sets up rural dairies across two lakh panchayats in the country along with the NDDB (National Dairy Development Board) and the animal husbandry department of (Union Minister Parshottam) Rupala, this growth rate will increase to 13.8 percent. Our dairy sector will witness a peak then,” he said.
Shah also said that India’s milk processing capacity is 126 million liters per day, the highest in the world. “Around 22 percent of the milk that we produce is processed. The income of farmers rises in proportion to the milk processed and sold in the market,” he said.
The dairy sector has become a deciding factor in the export of milk products like milk powder, ghee, and butter, he said.
“I can see a huge possibility in this. The day the multi-state cooperative society formed for export is connected with two lakh dairy unions, there is a possibility of our exports growing five times,” Shah said.
Shah lauded the dairy sector for increasing production from 22 MMT, or around 6 crore liters per day in 1977, to 58 crore liters per day in 2022. He said that the Modi government will not lose any opportunity for the development of the sector.
“The Narendra Modi government will make all efforts so that we emerge as the world’s biggest exporter, now that we have already become the world’s biggest producer,” Shah said.
Shah said that India would never have become self-reliant in milk production had there been no White Revolution and Operation Flood, one of the world’s largest rural development programmes, which transformed the country’s dairy sector.
“Now there is a need for White Revolution-2, and we have moved ahead in this direction. “The dairy cooperation model… works to make sure that maximum benefit reaches the farmers by removing the middleman,” he said, assuring further strengthening of the dairy cooperation model.
He said that dairy contributes to 4.5 percent of India’s GDP (gross domestic product). “Dairy is a strong part of our economy and also a source of job creation. As many as 9 crore rural families are associated with the dairy business,” he said. For marginal farmers, the dairy sector has proved to be a blessing, he said.
While India’s population rose fourfold, milk production rose more than 10 times, he said. Per-person milk consumption was 107 grams in 1970, which rose to 427 grams per person in 2022, as against the global consumption of 322 grams, he said.
Shah also mentioned the success story of the Amul model, a highly successful three-tier dairy cooperative structure, and said it has played a major role in India’s 21 percent contribution to global milk production.