December 26, 2011


India faces milk supply threat in next five years


India's milk demand is expected to rise by 24% in the next five years, but its milk procurement in 2010-11 inched up just 1% on-year, sparking worries over widespread milk shortages in the years ahead.


The country consumed an estimated 121 million tonnes of milk in 2010-11, accounting for 17% of world's total milk consumption.


During 2011-15, total milk consumption in India is estimated to rise to 150 million tonnes. However, dairy cooperatives collected 9.6 million tonnes of milk during the year, a growth of just 1% over last year.


In response, cooperatives have rolled up their sleeves to increase milk production to fulfil augmented demand in coming years. National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) has introduced National Dairy Plan (NDP) which can help narrow this gap between demand and supply of milk. NDP aims to boost milk production by increasing productivity in existing milch animals through focused and scientific process for breeding and feeding.


The first phase of NDP has been appraised by World Bank and is expected to start by early 2012. Phase I will be for a period of six years with an investment of around INR20 billion (US$379 million). Additional funding for activities that are commercial in nature such as plants for milk processing and manufacture of cattle feed, are being explored with the International Finance Corporation (IFC), NDDB said.


A rapidly growing population is a major contributor to escalating demand for milk in the country, believes NDDB. "Domestic milk production can be enhanced by adopting a scientific approach which will ensure that milch produce milk proportionate to their genetic potential. This is the only way to meet the surge in demand. To achieve this, NDDB has prepared NDP with a 15-year horizon," said Dr Amrita Patel, in a statement issued by the organisation.


When it comes to milk procurement, Gujarat continues to top the states' chart. Karnataka, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Rajasthan round up the top-five. In 2010-11, 3.3 million tonnes of milk per day was acquired in Gujarat, accounting for 35% of country's total milk procurement. According to 2010-11 annual report of NDDB, 9.6 million tonnes of milk was collected in India.


Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Rajasthan, though they feature among the top milk-procuring states, witnessed a fall in collection.


Only few states, including Bihar, Karnataka and Gujarat registered rise. In Bihar, milk procurement grew by 48% from 736,000 per day in 2009-10 to 1.09 million kg per day in 2010-11.

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