17 min read.Updated: 26 May 2018, 09:36 AM ISTNeha Bhatt
The world's largest milk-consuming nation is having a crisis of faith with dairy. Can new techniques of production and high-end alternatives make the glass appear half-full?
The day after a violent dust storm in early May, two of the four cowsheds at the 4S Foods farm near Rewari, Haryana, are missing a roof. There are some 80 cows here, all of the high-yielding Holstein Friesian breed, housed in sheds spread over 5 acres of the 70-acre farm, and they look quite unperturbed, munching on fodder freshly churned in a cattle-feed mixer. Each cow has a blue tag around the neck, which monitors an astonishing range of parameters round the clock: rumination, digestion, stress, heat stress, panting index, overall health index. Giant fans and sprinklers keep them cool in the dry northern summer. About 1,600 litres of milk in sanitized glass bottles is carted in vans every day to various parts of the National Capital Region (NCR) before dawn. The tag line of the dairy: swach shudh sampurna sehat (clean pure complete health).