India is the largest producer of milk with its largest population of bovines and the second largest population of cattle and one of the largest populations of goats, camels, and other milch animals.
Potential of Dairy Sector:
- It can act as a secondary source of income for farmers and provide them with social security in case of crop failure.
- Milk is one of the main ingredients in the food processing sector.
- It can help to empower women as this sector is largely driven by women.
- Byproducts of the dairy sector provide inputs for the agriculture sector like organic fertilizer, gobar gas, etc.
- Shortage of fine breeds which have more productivity and are disease resilient.
- Infrastructure bottlenecks – cowsheds, artificial insemination, market linkages.
- Shortage of veterinary services in terms of doctors, clinics, vaccination, etc.
- Underdeveloped cattle market and financial support.
- Minimal focus on high-quality camel/goat milk of export value.
Measures to overcome these challenges:
- Ground-level implementation of National animal disease control programme for foot & mouth diseases.
- The animal husbandry infrastructure development fund should promote infrastructure development at various levels.
- The food processing sector and cooperative culture can also promote value addition to the dairy sector.
The need of the hour is to make the available schemes more accessible and focus on capacity building via technological upgradation.