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Amulvs PETA India controversy explained

Amulvs PETA India controversy explained


  • GS 3 || Economy || Agriculture || Animal Husbandry

Why in news?

  • The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), an American animal rights organization, urged Indian dairy cooperative society Amul India to switch over to producing vegan milk instead of dairy milk, as a response to changes happening in the market.

Milk Production in India

  • India is the largest producer of milk.
  • The value of milk is more than that of rice and wheat combined.
  • It is a source of income to small and landless Agri-households.
  • 70 percent of those earning their livelihood from milk are women.

Status of India’s Milk Production

  • India is the world’s largest milk producer, with 22 percent of global production, followed by the United States of America, China, Pakistan, and Brazil.
  • Since the 1970s, most of the expansion in milk production has been in South Asia, which is the main driver of milk production growth in the developing world.
  • Uttar Pradesh is the highest milk-producing state in Indiacontributing around 18% to the total milk production
  • Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, and Punjab contributing 11%, 10%, 8%, and 7%

Dairy Sector in India

  • India’s milk production is growing by 35.61% during the last six years to 198.4 million tonnes in 2019-20 (increased from 146.3 million tonnes in 2014-15 to 198.4 million tonnes in 2019-20).
  • Milk production in India has been growing at over 4% annually and its share in milk production in the world has also been increased.
  • The dairy industry and milk hold equal importance to farmers and consumers.
  • This phenomenal success is attributed to the program ‘Operation Flood’ (1970–1996) and its intense focus on dairy development activities.

White revolution

  • The White Revolution, also known as Operation Flood in India, is a revolution associated with a sharp increase in milk production in the country.
  • From deficit to surplus
    • During the White Revolution, India aimed to become self-sufficient in milk production.
    • Today, India is the world’s largest producer of milk, and VergheseKurienis regarded as the father of India’s White Revolution.
  • The White Revolution resulted in milk production by the masses, rather than mass production at centralized dairy farms.
  • One technological breakthrough succeeded in revolutionizing the country’s organized dairy industry, and that was the making of skim milk powder out of buffalo milk.

Employment by Diary Industry

  • Provides jobs to about 50 million people.
  • Everyday, the company can easily collect 3.3 million litres of milk from 2.12 million farmers from various villages across India. All these farmers are simultaneously paid while delivering the milk, ensuring their proper earning.

Objectives Of White Revolution in India

  • Village milk producer cooperatives laid the foundation of the operation flood. With the optimum use of modern technology and management, they procured milk and provided the services.
  • White Revolution had the objectives as stated below
    • Creating a flood of Milk by Increase production
    • Increase the incomes of the rural population
    • Provide milk to consumers at fair prices

Significance of White revolution

  • Several large corporations took part in and aided the revolution that turned Operation Flood in India into the White Revolution.
  • AMUL
    • The engine that drove the success of the Operation Flood Programme was AMUL – Anand Milk Union Limited, a Gujarat-based collaboration.
  • Aided in Abolition of poverty
    • The White Revolution in India aided in the reduction of trader and merchant malpractice. It also aided in the abolition of poverty and made India the world’s largest producer of milk and milk products.
    • Operation Flood gave dairy farmers control over the resource they created. It aided them in directing their growth.
  • ‘National Milk Grid’
    • A ‘National Milk Grid’ was established to connect milk producers with consumers in over 700 cities and towns across the country.
    • At the same time, the revolution reduced regional and seasonal price variations, ensuring customer satisfaction. It also ensured that the producers received a large portion of the price that customers paid.
  • Increased living standards
    • Improved rural people’s living standards and contributed to the growth of the rural economy.

Challenged faced by Diary sector

  • Low Productivity
    • The productivity of Indian cattle and buffaloes is among the lowest.
  • Investment required
    • Similarly, there is a scarcity of organized dairy farms, and a significant amount of investment is required to bring the dairy industry up to global standards.
  • One of the major challenges is increasing farm animal productivity.
    • Crossbreeding indigenous species with exotic stocks to improve the genetic potential of different species has only been partially successful.
  • Market Pressures
    • The sector will also face significant adjustment pressure as a result of emerging market forces. While globalization will open up new opportunities for increased participation in international trade, strict food safety, and quality standards will be required.
    • Market access is critical for accelerating commercialization. Farmers may be discouraged from adopting improved technologies and quality inputs if they do not have access to markets.
  • The scarcity of fodder resources is likely to be a major constraint in the development of the dairy sector unless adequate measures are undertaken to augment them.
  • Formal/informal credit
    • Lack of access to credit to expand the herd is a critical problem for farmers. There is little access to formal credit through the cooperatives.
  • Lack of scientific livestock feeding practice.
  • Inadequacy and unavailability of livestock healthcare.
  • Improper milk marketing facilities and uncertain price of milk for producers

Recent initiatives by GOI

  • Supporting Dairy Cooperatives and Farmer Producer Organizations engaged in dairy activities (SDCFPO)
  • National Programme for Bovine Breeding
  • Rashtriya Gokul Mission
  • National Bovine Genetic Centre
  • Quality Mark
  • National KamdhenuBredding Centres
  • E-Pashuhaat portal
  • The government is also promoting our indigenous breeds and seeking a huge potential in the A2 milk (it is a variety of cow’s milk that mostly lacks a form of β-casein proteins called A1) market.
  • The government has given export subsidies on milk products and farmers got good earnings from the Skimmed Milk Powder (SMP)
  • Government cooperatives as well as private sectors, both are working on Artificial Insemination which plays an important role in improving cattle productivity by upgrading the genetic potential, to increase the yield of the milk.

Best Practices around the globe

  • Resourceful farmers in India can be motivated and incentivized to learn the best and successful practices being followed in other countries.
    • For example, Super Cows in Israel produce 12,000 litres of milk a year because of superior breeding techniques, balanced nutrition, and management practices including better health care.
  • US,EU, New Zealand
    • Not only the surplus milk production in the EU the US, New Zealand, and Australia have already caused a decrease in milk prices but under the provision of Free Trade Agreement [FTA], these major nations producing surplus milk will exert sufficient pressure to allow them duty-free exports of their products to India.
    • If this happens, it would be unfavorable to the interest of 80 to 90 million families to sustain their livelihoods, leave alone making a decent living.
  • Competition
    • World Trade Organization, on one hand, has opened up opportunities in international trade by increased market access and worldwide reduction in import tariffs.
    • However, in practice, these are being used as potent tools by developed countries to not only obstruct the entry of dairy and other agricultural products from developing countries but also distort the free and fair operation in the international markets.

Way forward

  • The dairy industry must modernize itself with a focus to export our milk and milk products.
  • Incentivize investments in value-added products such as curd, buttermilk, cheese, ice cream, and even chocolates in the organized sector.
  • Reduce production cost
    • Reduce farmers’ production costs while improving milk quality and quantity.
  • Credit Facilities
    • Access to credit to expand the herd is a critical problem for farmers. Business can be expanded through government support.
  • Farmers and consumers interest in mind while framing policies
    • The government’s efforts to double farmers income include dairy within agriculture but it needs to support it differently with more focus and funds for it.
    • While focusing on the dairy industry and farmers, the interest of the consumers should also be kept in mind to ensure a win-win situation for both the producers and consumers.
  • Technology should be incorporated
    • New techniques, training should be provided to workers in the dairy industry so that they can work better and look for innovations.
  • Employment Generation
    • Employment should be generated in villages and already existing opportunities should be strengthened to stop rural outmigration.


  • Dairy product demand in India is expected to rise significantly in the coming years, owing to an increase in consumers, higher incomes, and a greater interest in nutrition. Furthermore, the dairy industry is critical to achieving the goal of doubling farm income. As a result, supply-demand balancing remains a critical issue for the dairy industry.

Mains model question

  • “Milk is a one-of-a-kind crop that farmers harvest on a daily basis.” Discuss the issues with the dairy sector in India in light of the statement.