National milk day in India is observed on 26th November every year to commemorate the birth anniversary of the Father of White revolution, the Milk man of India, Dr. Verghese Kurien. The idea of observing National milk day was proposed by Indian Dairy Association in 2014 to remember his productive contributions to the dairy sector. He was responsible for transforming India from a milk deficient country to the largest producer in world today.
When he came to know how the distributors exploited the dairy farmers at Anand, he joined with their leader Tribhuvandas Patel and initiated the Kaira District Cooperative Milk Producers Union Ltd which is now known as AMUL. This successful Anand pattern was then practiced all over the country. Celebrating his 97th birth anniversary, a group of 16 young bikers started from Jammu milk plant at Satwari on 17th November and a group of 18 bikers started from bhuj on 21st November. They are completing their journey today by reaching the milk capital, Anand, Gujarat.
The world milk production in the year 2017 was 849 MMT (million metric tonnes) or 232 crore litres per day. India alone accounted for almost 20% of this, with a bulk of 174 MMT, followed by US with 97.7 MMT.
Today it is indeed a moment to relish the dairy sector with some astonishing figures. As per the recently concluded annual session of International Dairy Federation’s World Dairy Summit in South Korea, the world milk production in the year 2017 was 849 MMT (million metric tonnes) or 232 crore litres per day. India alone accounted for almost 20% of this, with a bulk of 174 MMT, followed by US with 97.7 MMT.
In India milk is valued to be around Rs. 6.5 lakh crore which is more than the combined value of paddy and wheat, contributing 26% to total agriculture GDP. As per Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA), India’s export of dairy products was 48039.4MT for the worth of Rs.1196.19 crore / 185.49 USD Millions during the year 2017-18. The sector affords employment both in rural and urban areas. Roughly around 11,000 people are gaining employment in procurement, processing and packaging of every 1 lakh litres of milk.
A much noted fact is that around 6 crore rural household in India depends on dairying for livelihood and income, in which more than 70% are small and marginal farmers and landless families. The per capita availability shoots from 178 g / day in 1991-92 to 355 g/day in 2016-17. Milk is said to be a complete food with the essentials carbs, protein and fat. The science of milk and milk products is always amazing for its natural configuration. A rise in global level in terms of productivity has been accomplished but positivity in terms of quality is much expected.
While a recent survey conducted by Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) says only 10% of the milk sold in Indian markets is unsafe for human consumption. However the World Health Organisation (WHO) had recently issued advisory to the Government of India that there would be serious problems for 87% of Indians by 2025, if adulteration of milk and milk products was not immediately checked. There is also a fact that only 20% of the milk is handled by cooperatives and and private diaries. Approximately only 66% of the milk is sold in the organised market which is almost 90% in developed countries. Prevalence of milk adulteration is found more in north India.
Roughly around 68% of milk and milk products is found to be violating the standards. Even after rigorous penalties for adulteration, there is still addition of urea, starch, glucose, formalin, hydrogen peroxide and list goes incessant. This fact blemishes the dairy market internally. This might be a reason for the deviation towards vegan milk products, which is gaining momentum. With such a greater proportion, the sector is a strong sustenance for most people in the country.
A stressed cow does not give you the best milk. Only a happy cow offers you the finest milk. Similarly a positive and healthy environment will benefit the Indian Dairy sector and its’ beneficiaries and help them prosper. Happy National milk day!!!
Author | V. Abhijitha
Abhijitha is a graduate of B.Tech Food Process Engineering stimulated by the technicality of food and is keenly passionate on sustainable food security ways to feed the world.