Role of dairy in enhancing farmers’ income

The dairy industry in India is poised for a threshold leap. The path is very clear. It has to move to the forefront from its present position, where it is perceived as a subsidiary to agriculture. Nearly 70% of agriculture farmers double up as dairy farmers, and keep a large part of the milk they get for their own consumption. The dairy industry has some latent advantages that have worked for it so far, but has now reached a stage where a greater influx of technology and dairy farming processes is imperative.

To discuss the present status of the Indian dairy industry and its preparedness to meet future milk demands, the CII National Committee on Dairy organized a roundtable on the ‘Role of Dairy in Enhancing Farmers’ Income’ on 12 December in New Delhi. The session was chaired by Dr H Rahman, Deputy Director General – Animal Sciences, Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), along with Mr Siva Nagarajan, Chairman, CII National Committee on Dairy, and MD, Mother Dairy Fruits and Vegetables (P) Ltd, and Mr Mayank Jalan, Co-Chairman, CII National Committee on Dairy, and MD, Keventer Agro Ltd.

Highlighting the need for all stakeholders to work together in a very concerted way to make the dairy sector a vehicle for social and economic transformation, the experts pointed out that India’s indigenous breeds are versatile, can produce a good quality of milk, and are not likely to be impacted by climate change. India has a lot of headroom to enhance milk production through better milk productivity, they said, which will mean more milk available for the market, and will help in generating income for the farmers, aligned with the stated policy goal of the Government to double their incomes.

The discussions called for greater engagement of industry and Government with farmers to strengthen strategies related to cattle health, including feed and fodder availability and quality, vaccination regimes and disease forecasting, and develop skilling initiatives to provide technical know-how to reach the grass root level. A strong procurement system which also addresses quality and assures adulteration-free dairy products to the customer is required, it was stressed.

The session was attended by subject matter experts from the National Dairy Development Board, Amul India, Schreiber Dynamix Dairy, Nestle India, Kwality Dairy, Chanakya Dairy, the Agriculture Skill Council of India, Reliance Dairy Foods, Elanco India, Carrier Transicold, dairy start-ups, and farmer representatives from iOrganic and Binsar Farms, as well as dairy farmers.

Source: CII Communique Jan 2017

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