Dr Mandeep Singh Azad, Dr Manmeet Motan
World Milk Day is a day established by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations to recognize the importance of milk as a global food. It has been observed on June 1 each year since 2001. The day is intended to provide an opportunity to bring attention to activities that are connected with the dairy sector. Milk is an important part of a healthy balanced diet. World Milk Day provides the perfect opportunity to spread the word and celebrate all aspects of milk and dairy products in many countries around the globe. India ranks first in milk production, accounting for 18.5 % of world production, achieving an annual output of 146.3 million tones during 2014-15 as compared to 137.69 million tonnes during 2013-14 recording a growth of 6.26 %. Whereas, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has reported a 3.1 % increase in world milk production from 765 million tones in 2013 to 789 million tones in 2014.The per capita availability of milk in India has increased from 176 grams per day in 1990-91 to 322 grams per day by 2014-15. It is more than the world average of 294 grams per day during 2013. This represents a sustained growth in availability of milk and milk products for the growing population Dairying has become an important secondary source of income for millions of rural households engaged in agriculture. The success of the dairy industry has resulted from the integrated co-operative system of milk collection, transportation, processing and distribution, conversion of the same to milk powder and products, to minimize seasonal impact on suppliers and buyers, retail distribution of milk and milk products, sharing of profits with the farmer, which are ploughed back to enhance productivity and needs to be emulated by other farm produce/producers.
For the first time there is a record enhancement of milk production as 6.3 per cent whereas on international scenario there is only an increment of 2.2 percent enhancement of milk production.
The agriculture minister of India , however, said that even as India stands first on global milk production scenario, milk productivity per animal is far less than the average in developed dairy nations. There is a need to focus on implementing technologies which result in enhanced milk production per animal.India has vast network of institutions for imparting higher education in various agriculture and allied disciplines. We are required to improve the quality of agricultural education. The projections indicate that by 2020, there would be annual demand of over 40,000 graduates, 10,500 post graduates and 2,800 doctoral degree holders in agricultural and animal sciences. To fill up the gap related to the scarcity of veterinary doctors, he said the Government has increased the number of veterinary colleges from 36 to 40 and seats have also been upped from 914 to 1332 in 17 veterinary colleges.
Dairy farming from being a traditional family run businesses, today has grown hugely to an organized dairy industry with technological specializations in every part of the process. We have seen tremendous growth in dairy farming equipment that help modern dairy farms to manage thousands of dairy cows and buffaloes. This huge boost in the industry has created a lot of farming jobs for the people. But many of the dairy farms still manage and run organic dairy farms mostly in villages and supply the milk to get processed by large companies and finally sell to the retail outlets. The best approach is to create and run a sustainable dairy farm that gives maximum profits to the firm and also takes care of the effects of dairy farms on environments and animals for a longer period. As one of the major source for livelihood in rural areas, animal husbandry derives prime importance. Though a profitable business venture dairy farming in India requires hard work, proper planning and an active and very alert managers and supervisors. We all have heard stories of how simple woman from towns have made big in dairy farming. In today’s technological world there have been many advances in modern dairy farming. Every thing from feed for dairy cowsto milk processing equipment have added tremendous scope to the dairy farming industry
Indian Dairy farmers are in crisis with increased cost of production and non remunerative prices. Return on investment for dairy farmers are very less due to increased costs of feed and medical expenses for animals. Earlier, the cattle used to dependent on grazing, natural resources and crop residue for fodder which are decreasing now. The milk farmers are forcibly depend on the packaged cattle feed to increase the milk production, eventually the cost of production has increased. Feed cost has been increasing up to 30- 50 percent from past four consecutive years, but the milk procurement prices have not increased comparatively. Health care also big burden, vaccination and de-warming costs have been increased.
The productivity of the cattle is based on the caring and managing, farmers are slowly decreasing their non performance animals and switching over to efficient breeds like Jersey and Holstein Friesian. Investment on these exotic cattle is heavy burden for the farmers and these breeds need more feed, water and caring since they are not native animals. Farmers are struggling to get loans for milking animals and also the bank charges are very high up to 12% interest rate and insurance cost is additional. With the increased cost of production including expensive breeds the dairy farming is not remunerative, so the farmers are slowly decreasing their herd size and some of the farmers are giving up the dairy farming
The procurement prices have not increased comparatively with milk market selling prices. In order to protect our dairy farmers, the milk procurement prices should be fixed based on the cost of production. The banks should liberalize the policies in cattle loans for Individual farmers to buy one or two animals and Government should arrange interest free loans to the dairy farmers. Government should invest in co-operative dairies and allot matching grants of subsidies for remunerative milk procurement prices. The government need to take some steps on milk promotion programs by offering small quantity of milk to school going children, lactating women and pregnant women to boost milk consumption. The Indian milk marketing companies including co-operatives all together should run a united advertising campaign which shall create an importance of milk in our daily life.