Question: India’s dairy sector has the potential to be the biggest livelihood generator but it suffers from certain problems that hamper its effectiveness. Elaborate.
Answer: India is the largest producer of milk and milk products in the world. This is because of the large rural households practicing animal husbandry. The per capita production is very low in comparison to countries such as New Zealand. This has prevented the sector from becoming exporter.
Issues in dairy sector of India
- Less focus on milch varieties
The breeds of cattle used in India are low milch categories. Their milk output is very low and thus farmers are unable to reap advantages of higher milk productivity.
- No commercialisation
Indian society considers cattle as holy and do not indulge in commercial exploitation as in foreign countries. This religious belief has prevented cattle from becoming a commodity.
- Lack of cold storage mechanism
Dairy sector can work only if there is cold storage mechanism available easily. Lack of cold storage has prevented optimal use of milk products.
Measures to improve dairy sector
- Scientific training
Farmers and dairy practioners should be given proper training so that they can handle issues such as increasing milk productivity, treating diseases and expanding their products
- Academic research
More focus should be given on academic research in dairy and animal husbandry. This will enable better development of technology and methodology.
Thus, dairy sector indeed has the ability to give income and employment to large section of rural population. This will also be a way of doubling farmers’ income.