The dairy sector assumes a great deal of significance for India on various accounts. As an industry, it employs more than 80 million people, with the majority being small and marginal farmers as well as the landless. Further, women constitute the major workforce of the dairy sector in the country.
The sector is an important job provider, especially for women, and plays a leading role in women’s empowerment.
India has witnessed remarkable growth in the production and consumption of milk and dairy products in the last nine years. Today, India is the largest producer of milk in the world, contributing 24% of global milk production. The milk production of India has registered over 61 per cent increase from 137.7 million tonnes in 2013-14 to 221.1 million tonnes in 2021-22. Moreover, the per-capita availability of milk has increased from 303 gram/day in 2013-14 to 444 gram/day in 2021-22, nearly 1.5 times increase.
The dairy sector has been a major contributor to the growth of the rural economy in India. The government has facilitated the dairy farming infrastructure through its various initiatives such as the implementation of the Dairy Processing and Infrastructure Development Fund to upgrade the dairy infrastructure, the distribution of Kisan Credit Cards (KCC)for providing adequate and timely credit support to the farmers and launching Rashtriya Gokul Mission to boost productivity and milk output, and thereby making dairying more profitable for farmers.