Investment opportunity in Dairy India
With an estimated 86.8 million tons of annual milk production from animals managed by nearly 70 million farmers, India is the top-most milk producing country in the world. The average annual growth is about 5.6%. The per capita milk availability is about 214 grams per day as against the recommended requirement of 250 grams. Milk is one of the most important item of common vegetarian diet of Indian people. With rapid industrialization, economic growth and 250 million potential economically strong domestic consumers of milk and milk products, there is a very strong potential for future growth of the industry.
The small rural milk producers have several problems. The major problems faced by the farmers include small herd strengths, small land holdings, shortages of green and dry fodder, low productivity of animals, non availability of timely inputs for breeding, feeding and health care of animals, lack of suitable education/training for skill development for new viable and sustainable technology, inadequate finances, poor rural infrastructure facilities and lack of proper marketing support for their produce.
The major thrust areas in the livestock development :-
· Effective animal health and management, including control and eradication of important animal diseases and "Animal Disease information Service" for farmers
· Providing better quality Artificial Insemination service for breeding of animals
· Support for activities under " Operation flood (milk) programme (OF)", including strengthening of existing viable dairies and rehabilitation of sick dairies.
· Special integrated Dairy Development Projects for hilly and backward districts.
· Improving data-base on production of milk and reproduction capacity per animal to facilitate better planning and forecasting of issues and activities.
· Intensified research on milk products with particular emphasis on " indigenous milk products " and with particular reference to products suitable for the utilization of buffalo milk .
· Encouraging milk production through commercial herds and for providing 'quality' milk for preparation of value-added products.
· Providing adequate credit for dairy sector
· Strengthening activities for fodder production.
Some important issues of the Dairy industry are as under:-
Breeding of animals
· As per 1992 livestock census, India had a very large base of 56.3 million breedable indigenous cows and 42.5 million breedable buffaloes. However majority were nondescript low producing animals. India also had 6.36 million crossbred cows that had a good potential for milk production but the same was not fully exploited due to inadequate feeding and management.
· A new breeding programme - " National Cattle and Buffaloe breeding programme" has been taken by the Government of India with massive financial assistance to the state Livestock Development Boards).
· Since last several years, massive programmes have been taken up for cross-breeding of local non-descript cattle mainly utilizing semen of two exotic breeds namely Holstein Friesian ( for irrigated areas and for farmers with adequate fodder resources) and Jersey ( for dry/hilly areas and farmers having low fodder resources). In case of buffaloes the programme is for upgrading of local buffaloes using semen of better dairy breeds like Murrah, Mehasana etc. It is observed that the overall field results of crossbreeding with artificial insemination (A.I.) are still not very satisfactory. For example data of 17 million inseminations done through a large network of about 43782 A.I. centers showed that the number of calves born were only 15% of A.I. done in the field. Only about 10% of the breedable buffaloes were covered by A.I., the rest being covered by natural insemination service from locally available bulls for whom correct pedigree history was not available. .
· Buffaloe is the major contributor (52.3%) to India's milk production. Therefore more emphasis is required on buffaloe development..
· Feed and fodder development:
· Almost 70% of arable land is dry or rainfed land having an erratic rainfall, and poor productivity of cereal grains resulting into low output of dry fodder.
· The land holdings per farmer -household are getting fragmented and reduced.
· As and when irrigation facilities are available, the farmers tend to take cash crops and value-added crops. The land for fodder cultivation and availability is a last priority.
· The cattle population and therefore the demand for fodder is increasing every year.
· All the above issues have adversely affected the fodder balance for milk production. There is tremendous overall shortage of fodder availability against the nutritional demand for dairy cattle. Pandey (1995) had estimated that by year 2002, the gap (demand minus availability) of fodder in India will be 606.2 million tons for dry fodder, 1018.0 tons of green fodder in Kharif (monsoon) season and 1174.36 tons of green fodder in Rabi (winter) season.
Dairy cattle health:
· The work of diagnosis and treatment is mostly done by the State veterinary departments. They have well qualified technical manpower but lack financial resources.
· Most of the important vaccines and medicines are manufactured in the country . However there is a shortage of diagnostic agents.
· Where farmers have high producing dairy animals, they are willing to pay for the services and private veterinary practice is possible and flourishing. A good networking amongst the veterinary laboratories and teaching institutions.
· Almost every state has a state Agricultural University and a veterinary faculty.
Production and marketing of milk:
· Most of the milk in India is produced in villages. Quantity of milk produced per household is very small.
· About 56% of milk is available as marketable surplus for urban areas. Fairly large quantity of milk is converted to local milk products ( khoa, paneer, butter, ghee etc).
· The share of organized sector is small ( private-11-12% , Government/cooperative sector - 11-12%).There is still a very large portion of milk market in the hands of unorganized sector which has adverse effect on the farm-gate price of the milk..
· In Government/cooperative sector, almost 80% milk is marketed as liquid milk and only 20% as milk products. While it is reverse in the private sector - only 30% is marketed as liquid milk and 70% as milk products with value addition.
· In absence of properly developed infrastructure for preservation of raw milk in local areas many plants in Govt. sector collect fresh raw milk from the far-flung rural areas (each producer having very small quantities) twice a day , send it over a long distance to towns for processing, incurring high cost on transportation. This erodes the profitability. As a result, many plants have become uneconomical, non-functional or they are working much below their potential capacities. Alternative strategies need to be developed to store raw milk in bulk coolers in the rural area and transport it in bigger volumes at a longer intervals. There is also a need to use alternative and cheaper energy sources to store cool milk, and develop rural markets so that much of the milk produced in the rural areas finds consumption avenue in the nearby local markets
· There is a need to set up schemes for diversification and preparation of value added milk products at the production centers instead of sending raw milk over long distances. Depending upon the market demand for a particular product, quantum of raw milk available , and financial position of the milk plant, suitable milk processing and product manufacturing units can be set up.
· The dairy products with high demand potential can be largely grouped under following categories:-
o prepared by reconstitution of liquid milk eg. Flavoured milk with different fat content, flavours etc.
o prepared from culturing methods ( microbial fermentation) eg. Indin milk products Dahi, Mishti Dahi, Lassi, Butter milk ( Chhas), Kadhi , Butter ( Makhhan), Ghee, Chakka, Shrikhand etc.
o prepared by condensation of milk eg. indian milk products Kheer, Kulfi Basundi, Rabdi, Burfi, Pedha, Kalakand, Gulab Jamun etc.
o prepared by acid precipitation eg. Indian milk products Paneer, Channa, Sandesh, Rasgolla, Rasmalai etc.
o products such as lactose, casein etc.
· Suitable technologies and model projects for several dairy products have been developed by institutions like NDDB Anand , NDRI Karnal, NDRI Bangalore, CFTRI Mysore etc .NABARD has prepared and circulated to banks suitable techno-economic model schemes