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At the 49th Dairy Industry Conference and Expo in Gandhinagar, NITI Aayog member Professor Ramesh Chand highlighted that India is on track to account for 25% of the world’s total milk production next year. While the per capita availability of milk in India has crossed 420 grams per day, Chand noted that the growth of demand is not expected to continue at the same pace. This means that the dairy industry must explore new overseas markets to sell milk. Chand also acknowledged that the use of chemicals in the dairy sector is a concern for maintaining the quality of milk and for exports. To regulate the use of chemicals, Chand emphasized the importance of maintaining quality standards.
Meanwhile, Meenesh Shah, chairman of the National Dairy Development Board (NDDB), highlighted that India is also one of the world’s largest and fastest-growing dairy markets. Today, the dairy market is worth Rs 13 lakh crore, and it is expected to more than double to Rs 30 lakh crore by 2047. Shah noted that India’s milk production has tripled since the last time the Dairy Industry Conference was held in Gujarat 27 years ago. He predicted that even by conservative estimates, milk production will reach over 600 million metric tonnes in the next 25 years.
However, Shah also listed some of the challenges facing India’s dairy industry, including uncompetitive prices, the prevalence of diseases, lack of traceability, sanitary and phytosanitary measures, and low visibility of domestic products. Additionally, India accounts for less than 1% of global dairy exports. India is expected to have 100 million metric tonnes of surplus milk by 2027, but the challenges will need to be addressed to facilitate milk exports.
R S Sodhi, president of the Indian Dairy Association, also spoke at the event and identified low productivity, fodder shortages, rising prices, competition from vegan products, and zero-duty imports as the biggest challenges facing the dairy industry. He expressed his satisfaction that the Indian government has not yet allowed the import of milk and milk products at zero duty and expressed hope that the government would continue to follow the same policy.
Overall, the conference highlighted India’s significant growth in milk production and the need for the dairy industry to explore new markets to sell milk. While there are challenges to overcome, such as maintaining quality standards and addressing competition, the industry is poised for continued growth in the coming years.