Opinion| Making India a major milk exporting nation
Today with an annual production of 187.75 million tonnes (as per 2018-19 data) India accounts for about 22% of the world’s milk production
India’s journey from a milk deficit country to one of surplus has been momentous. Initiated in 1970, Operation Flood was arguably the world’s most ambitious dairy development programme that transformed India into one of the largest milk producers. India’s milk production rate in the past few decades has, in many ways, been symbolic of the upward trajectory of the country’s economy and influence. The per capita availability of milk in 2018-19 was 394 grams per day as against the world average of 302 grams. Between 2016 and 2019, the annual milk production in the country registered a compound annual growth rate of 6.4%. Today with an annual production of 187.75 million tonnes (as per 2018-19 data) India accounts for about 22% of the world’s milk production. However, India is yet to join the ranks of major milk exporting nations, as much of what we produce is directed towards meeting domestic demands. So, to unpack the issues facing our dairy sector, it is pertinent to dive deep and list out the factors that have been hampering the productivity levels of our cows.