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White Revolution and Its Impacts on Indian Economy

India is a vast South Asian country with diverse terrain and a huge population. It is suggested by the experts that the population is growing faster than other populous nations. As per the experts, the population boom could pose certain challenges and have a major impact on India's economy. Milk production is one of the major challenges that India had faced before Project Flood.

In India, milk is obtained from animals such as cows, buffaloes, goats and from camels (in Rajasthan). The Indian Dairy Industry has gained substantial expansion from the Eighth Plan onwards. It is believed that India’s milk output has placed the industry first in the world. Additionally, India’s milk output has represented continued growth in the availability of milk and milk products.

As per the Economic data, dairy sector is now the largest contributor in the agricultural sector to the nation’s GDP. India’s dairy industry achieved this success after the occurrence of Project Flood known as White Revolution.

In 1965, the National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) was placed to support, plan and organize dairy development through cooperatives. These cooperatives were envisioned as democratic institutions, owned and managed by rural producers. The project was divided into 3 different phases that helped the National Dairy Development Board to achieve the set targets.

It may sound surprising but it is a fact that India is the largest milk producing country in the world.  As per the latest data, the country produced more than 150 million tons of milk in 2017-18 which accounts for around about 17 per cent of total milk production in the world. Milk producing capacity of Indian cows and she-buffaloes is less but their sheer number puts India right there on the top. Andhra Pradesh, Haryana, Rajasthan and Punjab are major milk producing states of India. India has become the leading producer of milk in the world. The milk production that was about 17 million tons in 1950-51 increased upto 105 million tons in 2007-08. The production of milk has gone up by more than six times when compared with that of the Pre-Independence situation. And this has supported the Indian economy. 

Intensive Cattle Development Program (ICDP) was introduced during the 1964-65 for promotion of White Revolution. Later on another program ‘Operation Flood’ was introduced by National Dairy Development Board to provide further impetus to White revolution.

Dr. Verghese Kurien is called the father of white revolution in India. The founder-chairman of the National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) and the Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation ushered India’s White Revolution and was the driving force behind India’s dramatic transformation to world's largest milk producer from a milk-deficient nation. The resounding success of Operation Flood doubled milk available per person and increased milk output four-fold within three decades. Operation Flood made dairy farming India's largest self-sustaining industry and the largest rural employment provider. It contributed mightily to India’s economic as well as social growth as the small farmers accounted for about 70 per cent of milk production, and 22.5 per cent of the rural households' income came from milk. Verghese Kurien was known as the "Father of the White Revolution" for his Operation Flood; it was his idea and thought which transformed India with a milk-deficient nation to the world's largest milk producer. In 1998 India left United States and increased its production. Due to Kurien efforts dairy farming became India's largest self-sustaining industry. It was him who founded around 30 institutions (like AMUL, GCMMF, IRMA, NDDB) which are owned, managed by farmers and run by professionals providing them earning wages. Moreover he is the founder chairman of the Gujarat Co-operative Milk Marketing Federation (GCMMF). He was responsible for the creation and success of the Amul brand of dairy products. Which mad India world’s biggest producer and consumer of dairy ondate.

The small and poor farmers and the landless labourers are benefitted from the White Revolution as they are getting employed and helping to raise and feeding their family. The White Revolution made a positive impact on rural areas and encouraged them to take dairying as an occupation.
Moreover for the improvement in the quality of livestock, extensive cross breeding has been launched. And for a good and positive response of the white revolution , research centres are set up at Anand, Mehsana, and Palanpur (Banaskantha). Moreover, there are three regional centres who are running in Siliguri, Jalandhar, and Erode. currently there are metro dairies in 10 metropolitan cities of the country, beside 40 plants which are handling more than one lakh litres of milk.


By: Priyanka Negi

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