India tops global milk production, but animal productivity and per capita consumption still poor

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India’s milk production has touched a new record making it the world’s biggest producer, but animal productivity and per capital consumption is still among the lowest.

“India stands first on global milk product scenario. Milk product has been increased from 137.68 million tonne in 2013-14 to 146.31 million tonne in 2014-15,” Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh said, pointing out that the 6.3 percent growth was much higher than a 2.2 percent global increase.

Singh, however said, despite an increase in milk production productivity per animal was far less than the average in developed daily nations. “Therefore, there is a need to focus on implementing technologies which result in enhanced milk production per animal,” he said, according to a government statement.

The dairy industry contributes 3.9 percent to the national gross domestic product and is a substantial source of livelihood.

The minister said a combination of structural changes in production, processing and consumption pushed by changing socio-economic conditions in the country has allowed the provision of an average of 302 gm of milk per person/day.

In the past decades, the consumption of milk and milk products has increased in both rural and urban areas by 29 and 26 percent respectively. “The consumer preferences in India are diversifying towards high value added dairy products such as dairy beverages, fermented milk products, western dairy products, functional dairy products, and packaged traditional dairy products,” Singh said, adding that market growth rate for some of these products was in the range of 15-20 percent.

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