India's milk production rose by 19 per cent in the last three years to touch 163.6 million tonnes, leading to a significant increase in dairy farmers' income, Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh said today.
Addressing a function on the National Milk Day, he said the government has launched many programmes in the last three years to raise dairy sector's productivity.
The minister announced that a National Action Plan Vision-2022 would be unveiled that would focus on creation of infrastructure for handling of increased milk production and help achieve the target to double farmers' income by 2022.
"Our milk production has increased to 163.6 million tonnes in 2016-17 from 137.7 million tonnes in 2013-14. This means that output has grown by 18.81 per cent during this period," Singh said on the National Milk Day being celebrated on the birth anniversary of Dr Verghese Kurien, the father of white revolution.
India is the largest milk producer in the world, he said, adding that the country's milk production grew at an annual rate of 6 per cent during 2014-17 as against 4 per cent during the previous three years.
The per capita milk availability has also increased to 351 gram in 2016-17 from 307 gram in 2013-14, he added.
"Income of dairy farmers has increased by 23.77 per cent during 2014-17 compared to 2011-14," Singh said.
Stating that milk demand is rising in the country, the minister emphasised on value addition in the dairy sector to boost farmers' income.
At present, Singh said, only 20 per cent of the total milk production is converted into value-added products and the aim is to take this to 30 per cent. The value-added products help generate 20 per cent higher income.
Singh said the animal husbandry department is preparing a National Action Plan Vision-2022 to create infrastructure for handling of increased milk production. The plan would not only focus on meeting the demand of milk and milk products but also help in achieving the objective of doubling the farmers’ income.
A scheme 'Dairy Processing & Infrastructure Development Fund (DIDF)' with an outlay of Rs 10,881 crore has already been launched for dairy cooperative sector.
This scheme would focus on creation of additional milk processing and chilling infrastructure facilities as well as on providing electronic adulteration testing equipment.
Singh said the government had launched 'Rashtriya Gokul Mission' in December 2014 to conserve and develop indigenous bovine breeds.
The minister said there are about 7 crore rural households engaged in dairying in India with 80 per cent of total cow population but the productivity is very low.
Terming the dairy sector as economic backbone of rural India, he said there is a need to boost livestock productivity for raising farmers' income and conserve indigenous bovine breeds.
Singh also stressed on shifting milk procurement to organised sectors like co-operatives and private companies from the unorganised sector. "Organised sector should handle at least 50 per cent of the total milk production".