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Indian Dairy Sector: Production by Masses


  • The dairy sector in India is distinguished by production by masses rather than mass production, as it employs more than 8 crore families in the country.
  • PM Modi made this statement recently at the International Dairy Federation World Dairy Summit 2022 in Greater Noida.
  • He also stated that the central government is working hard to control the spread of lumpy skin disease in collaboration with various state governments (LSD).


GS Paper – 3: Economics of Animal-Rearing, Agricultural Marketing

Mains Question

The dairy sector in India has emerged as a lifeline for the rural economy over the last few decades. It has, however, become one of the most vulnerable sectors of the rural economy. Discuss. (250 Words)

2022 World Dairy Summit (WDS):

  • The WDS 2022 (an annual event) is organised by the International Dairy Federation (IDF) and hosted by India. The last such Summit was held in India in 1974, nearly half a century ago.
    • The International Dairy Federation (IDF) has been the recognised international authority in the development of science-based dairy standards since 1903.
    • The International Dairy Federation (IDF) (headquartered in Brussels, Belgium) plays an important role in ensuring that the right policies, standards, practises, and regulations are in place to ensure that the world’s dairy products are safe and sustainable.
  • The WDS 2022 is centred on the theme ‘Dairy for Nutrition and Livelihood.’
    • The summit will also expose Indian dairy farmers to global best practises.

Concerning lumpy skin disease (LSD):

  • Lumpy skin disease virus (LSDV), a virus of the capri poxvirus genus in the poxviridae family, causes LSD.
  • The LSDV primarily affects cattle (cows and their offspring) and Asian water buffaloes.
  • The LSDV spreads through blood-sucking vectors such as ticks and mites such as houseflies and mosquitoes. It can also spread through contaminated water, feed, and fodder.
  • LSDV attacks an animal’s circulatory system, causing inflammation of blood vessels and lesions in various organs such as the liver, lungs, spleen, lymph nodes, and so on.
  • As a result, it causes epidermis, which leads to the formation of lumps or nodules on the body of an animal. Fever, increased mucus secretion, loss of appetite, and other symptoms may also occur.
    • The combination of the aforementioned factors may result in organ failure and, eventually, death.
  • When cows’ symptoms worsen, they stop producing milk, and pregnant cows miscarry.
  • Recently, several Indian states, including Gujarat and Rajasthan, have been dealing with an outbreak of LSD.

The Indian dairy industry:

  • India is self-sufficient in milk and the world’s largest producer and consumer of milk.
    • Milk is India’s single most valuable agricultural commodity, worth approximately USD 118 billion.
    • India is home to approximately 19% of the world’s in-milk cattle and 63% of the world’s in-milk buffaloes.
    • It has a very rich reservoir of genetic diversity and some of the best cattle and buffalo breeds in the world.
    • Milk and milk products are essential components of the Indian diet.
  • The Indian dairy industry is unique in that it is based on a cooperative model that empowers small and marginal dairy farmers, particularly women (70% of India’s dairy workforce).
  • More than 70% of dairy farmers own one or two animals, and dairying in India is more of a source of income for about 8 crore rural households than a business.
  • It provides a more stable cash flow than crop cultivation because 60-70% of consumer rupees flow back to producers, which is the highest in the world.
  • The Government of India (Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry, and Dairying) has taken numerous steps to improve the dairy sector, resulting in a 44% increase in milk production over the last eight years.
  • The success story of the Indian dairy industry, which accounts for approximately 23% of global milk production, produces approximately 210 million tonnes annually, and empowers over 8 crore dairy farmers, will be highlighted at the IDF WDS 2022.

Highlights of the Prime Minister’s speech at the WSD 2022 event:

  • He emphasised the importance of Pashu Dhan and milk-related businesses in India’s cultural landscape.
  • Milk is collected twice daily by dairy cooperatives from nearly 2 crore farmers in over 2 lakh villages across the country and delivered to customers. Such a case cannot be found anywhere else in the world.
  • India is focusing equally on indigenous and hybrid breeds because animal husbandry and farming require diversity and monoculture may not be the only solution.
    • This will also reduce the risk of climate change-related damage.
  • India is creating the world’s largest dairy animal database, and every animal associated with the dairy industry is being tagged. This is accomplished through the use of Pashu Aadhar, a biometric identification system for animals.
  • The efficiency of the digital payment system in the dairy sector teaches many lessons to other countries.
  • Whether through animal vaccination or other modern technology, India is always eager to contribute to the dairy industry while learning from its partners.

In reference to LSD, which has killed over 57,000 cattle in India, the PM assured that the central government is doing everything possible to combat it in collaboration with various states.

February 2024