The phenomenal increase in the milk produc­tion of the country has been termed as ‘white revo­lution’. The milk production which was almost stag­nant between 1947 and 1970 with an annual growth rate of merely one per cent has since registered a vigorous growth rate of over 4.5 per cent per annum.

The milk production has increased to 90.7 million tons in 2004-05 from only 17 million tons in 1950-51 (increase being 434 per cent). India has become the largest producer of milk in the world. At the existing rate of 3 per cent per annum it is expected to reach 113 million tons by 2010… Since the demand for milk would be 100 million tons by that time there would be a surplus of about 10 million tons between demand and supply.

White revolution started with the launching of Operation Flood I in July 1970. Under this project National Dairy Development Programmes were started in 10 states of the country which included the development of infrastructural facilities for the pro­curement of the milk from rural areas, its processing, marketing, provision of cattle feed, factory, animal health care facilities, artificial insemination and ex­tension services. The important step in the project was setting-up of 4 Mother Dairies at Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai and Kolkata.

The Operation Flood II (1979-85) involved an investment of Rs. 485.5 crores to cover about one crore rural milk producer families. Under this project steps were taken to improve the quality of cattle feed, increase pasture facilities, promote animal health care facilities, improve cattle breed, and pro­vide better facilities to milk producers.


Under this scheme, within 25 contiguous milk shed areas (in 155 districts) a cluster of-Milk Producers.’ Union was established. The research institute at Hyderabad has developed a vaccine (called Raksha) to control cattle diseases. The programme also involved the im­provement in milk marketing in 144 more cities of the country.

The Operation Flood III which was com­pleted in April 1996 helped in the organisation of 73,300 dairy cooperative societies under 170 milk sheds involving over 9.4 million farmer mem­bers. The average milk procurement during July 1997 was 107.3 lakh kg per day. The average milk marketed per day was about 112 lakh liters.

The programme has made a sound impact on rural masses and has encouraged them to take up dairying as a subsidiary occupation. It has also offered a reliable and regular source of income as more than 62 per cent of milk procurement in the Operation Flood areas has come from the marginal, small and landless farmers.

The Operation Flood III involved a total expenditure of Rs. 680 ‘ .ores extending its benefits to 250 districts of the country.


To ensure the success of the Operation Flood programme research centers have been set up at Anand, Mehsana and Palanpur (Banaskantha). Be­sides, three regional centers are functioning at Siliguri, Jalandhar and Erode. Presently there are metro dair­ies in 10 metropolitan cities of the country besides 40 plants with capacity to handle more than 1 lakh liters of milk, 27 plants with 1 lakh liters capacity each and 61 plants with less than 1 lakh liters capacity of milk.

There is regular supply of milk from Anand (Gujarat) and Jalgaon (Maharashtra) to Haora (West Bengal). Milk and milk products are supplied from surplus to the deficit areas through the National Dairy Grid.

White Revolution is as important to dairy development as Green Revolution has been to the food grains production. Its outcome is based on the improvement in cattle breeding and adoption of new technology. The rural co-operative societies have played pivotal role in the success of White Revolu­tion.

The Indian dairy industry has broad pros­pects ahead. It should take advantage of the liberali­sation in the global trade and should capture interna­tional market. The manufacture of casein, mozzafella cheese (made from the buffalo milk), lactose, lactic acid etc will have more export potential and earn higher price than liquid milk.


Many corporate sector firms like Indiana (the first to manufacture casein in India with its plants at Nagpur, Hyderabad and Bangalore), Amrut Industries (Plants at Tajola near Mumbai, Kolhapur and Hyderabad), Dalmia (plant in Rajasthan), Sheel International and Milk Food have already stepped in to take advantage of the situation.

The government too has constituted Tech­nology Mission for dairy development and Amul model co-operatives are being promoted to cover about 60 per cent of the country’s area.

The goat is the poor man’s cow providing milk, meat, skin and hair. It is the main source of meat for the country (about 35%); the annual pro­duction being 2.74 lakh tones. Besides, goats also yield about 30 million skins and 4500 tones.

In 1951 India had 47.15 million goats which increased to 122.7 million in 1997; exhibiting an increase of 160 per cent during the last 46 years. Bihar has the highest number of goats followed by Rajasthan, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh. These six states comprise over two-third of the goats of the country.


About 90 per cent of the goats are deism or non­descript whose maximum concentration is found in the Deccan Plateau region of the country. Other important breeds include (a) the Himalaya or gora also known as the Gaddi or Chamba breed in Himachal Pradesh, Haryana and Jammu and Kashmir.

It provides meat, soft pashmina for high quality fabrics and is also used as a beast of burden, (b) Jamunapari breed is found in the interfluves region between the Yamuna and the Chambal rivers, it is also a multi-purpose breed providing meat, milk and used as a beast of burden.

The total milkyieldis 800-1250 kg per lactation period or 4-5 kg per day (c) the Barbari breed is very popular in the western Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Delhi. It yields 1 to 2 km of milk per day or 200-300 kg per lactation period.

In Rajasthan, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh, the Marwari, Mehsana, Kathiawari and Zalwadi are the principal breeds which are the cross breed from the Jamunapari with the local breed. Similarly the Barari, Surti and Deccani are the important breeds in the Peninsula which yield about 2 kg of milk per day Recently a number of foreign breeds like Alpine, Nubian, Saanen, Toggenberg, and Angora etc. have been used for cross breeding with the indigenous breed so as to improve the quantity of milk and meat production.