National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) Chairman Amrita Patel on Thursday said with increased income levels, India’s demand for milk is expected to go up to 200-210 million tonnes by 2020-21 and called for collective efforts and increased productivity to raise milk production to meet it.

While delivering the keynote address at the 41st Dairy Industry Conference, with the theme “Global Dairy Industry and Food Security” in Mumbai, she said the first obligation of dairy industry is to continue to build and expand the domestic market and find creative ways with the central and state governments to ensure that an increasing proportion of children drink milk, according to an NDDB release here.

Dr Patel pointed out that India’s milk production has been growing at over 4 per cent annually compared to the growth in world milk production which is 2.75 per cent. Per capita availability of milk has also increased to 290 grams per day, which is comparable with world per capita availability of 289 grams per day.

Stressing upon a scientific approach, she said a comprehensive web-based National Information Network covering all aspects of productivity enhancement i.e., breeding, feeding and healthcare, has been developed at NDDB and is available to any organization, producer, service provider and policy maker that wishes to link up.

The NDDB is also setting up a national HRD facility to offer need-based technical, managerial and leadership training programmes, deliver distance education and facilitate training of trainers.

Expressing concern, Dr Patel said that a continuous increase in milk price will at some stage erode the ability of families with low incomes to purchase milk leading to a reduction in consumption.

While some may believe that cheaper imports should be favoured for consumers, large imports would create social unrest in our rural areas, as the livelihoods of millions would be in jeopardy. The dairy industry must ensure that prices remained affordable and competitive, she added.

(This article was published on March 14, 2013)
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