17th June 2024


Tales of Indian dairy production will be incomplete without the story of Amul and Operation Flood. Operation Flood was launched in 1970 by the National Dairy Development Board. It was the biggest dairy development program of the world. The project revolutionized dairy farming in India, propelling the country from being dairy-deficient to the world’s largest milk producer, in 1998.

The credit of the success of Operation Flood would go to Dr Verghese Kurien, founder of Amul and father of ‘white revolution’ in India. The implementation of ‘Anand pattern’ experiment in Amul popularized the concept of co-operative farming in India. More than 1,30,000 dairy co-operatives exist at the village level today. As a result of this success, dairy farming has become the largest self-sustainable rural employment generator of the country. The basis of Operation Flood was ‘production by the masses’. By establishing a connecting grid between all dairy farmers within the country, it increased production through collective livestock ownership. The system of co-operative farming also helped in cutting out middlemen, thus ensuring maximum profitability for the producers themselves. The members of milk-producers’ co-operatives were introduced to modern technology and management, enabling them to develop as a community. As a result of these developments, milk available per person doubled within a span of 30 years.

As of 2016, India is the leading producer of milk in the world. A significant portion of this milk comes from buffaloes. However, in terms of cows’ milk production, it comes second only to the USA. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, India is responsible for 18 per cent of global milk production. In terms of cow’s milk, India produces 60.6 billion kilograms of milk, thus accounting for 9.5 per cent of the global production.

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