Dairy processing is a method to prevent food-borne illness by preserving milk for days, weeks, or even months. Dairy, i.e., milk is vital, nutritious nourishment that needs to be handled carefully due to its short shelf life. Because it is a great environment for the growth of germs, particularly bacterial pathogens, which can degrade food and infect customers, milk is very perishable.
Pasteurization is a heat-treatment procedure that increases the amount of time milk may be consumed while also drastically reducing the quantity of potentially harmful germs.
Milk can undergo additional processing to become high-value, concentrated, and conveniently transportable dairy products with long shelf life, such butter, cheese, and ghee.
Small-scale dairy farmers can make more money from processing dairy products than from selling raw milk, and they have better access to local and metropolitan markets. The seasonal variations in milk supply can also be managed with the aid of milk processing.
Dairy Processing: India’s potential
- India ranks first globally and is the world’s top producer of milk, accounting for 24% of all milk produced worldwide in 2021–2022.
- India’s milk output has increased by 51% over the past eight years, or between the years 2014–15 and 2021–22.
- In 2022, India’s dairy market had a value of INR 14,899.8 billion. Per capita availability of milk in India has reached 322 grams per day, higher than the world average of 293.7 grams per day.
- The top 5 milk-producing states are Andhra Pradesh (6.97%), Gujarat (7.56%), Madhya Pradesh (8.6%), Uttar Pradesh (14.93%), and Rajasthan (15.05%). Together, they produce 53.11% of the nation’s total milk output.
- The last three years have seen a steady increase in the export of dairy products from India. India exported 108,711 MT of dairy products to the world in 2021–2022.
- Bangladesh, the UAE, Bahrain, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar were the main export destinations.
Dairy Processing: Challenges
Scarcity of feed or forage:
- Due to industrial growth, which causes a shortfall in the availability of feeds and forage relative to demand, the grazing space is being drastically reduced every year.
- Additionally, giving dairy cattle poor-quality fodder limits the system for output. Inadequate feeding occurs as a result of the small and marginal farmers’ limited ability to purchase feeds and forage and the agricultural workers’ involvement in dairy growth.
- Many cattle owners fail to provide the necessary protection or shelters for their animals, leaving them susceptible to severe weather.
- The unsanitary conditions in the milking parlours and livestock barns contribute to mastitis.
- Due to unsanitary milk production, milk and other goods lose quality while being kept and degrade over time.
Training and Education:
- The production of safe dairy products might be achieved by intensive education and training programmes on excellent dairy practises.
- However, creating and putting such programmes into action in the dairy industry calls for a strong commitment from the management, which can be a roadblock at times.
Pricing and Marketing:
- Dairy producers do not receive a fair price for their milk supply.
- Due to a lack of marketing resources and extension services, farmers have a negative opinion of the commercial dairy industry as a viable option to other occupations.
- Most Indian cattle breeds experience an issue with late maturation.
- The owners of cattle are unable to notice heat symptoms during the oestrus cycle.
- Animal performance efficiency has decreased when the calving interval has increased.
Dairy Processing: Government initiatives
- The Rashtriya Gokul Mission:
- It seeks to genetically improve the cow population and promote and protect indigenous cattle breeds has been awarded a five-year extension for execution in order to raise milk yield and productivity, which would increase farmers’ income from dairying.
- A number of cutting-edge technologies, including sex-sorted semen, IVF, and genomic selection, are now available to farmers thanks to the mission.
- Implementing the planned project would increase milk output from 198.4 million metric tonnes in 2019–20 to 300 million metric tonnes in 2024–25.
- Eight crore dairy farmers will benefit immediately from an increase in milk output of 1,200 kg per cow per year.
- National Programme for Dairy Development (NPDD):
- It intends to develop or improve the infrastructure for the production of premium milk as well as for the purchase, processing, and marketing of milk and milk products through the State Implementing Agency or State Cooperative Dairy Federation.
- The programme underwent a restructuring/realignment in July 2021. The new NPDD programme will be executed between 2021–2025–26 at a budget of Rs. 1,790 crores (US$ 217.3mn).
- The program’s goals include raising the quality of milk and milk-derived products and expanding the organized market share for purchasing, processing, adding value, and marketing.
- Development of Dairy Entrepreneurship Scheme (DEDS) :
- It is implemented by the Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairying, and Fisheries to promote self-employment prospects in the dairy business.
- It addresses tasks including enhancing milk production, procurement, preservation, transportation, processing, and marketing by providing back-ended capital subsidies for bankable projects.
- Programme implementation is being handled by the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development.
- Advanced Reproductive Technology assisted reproductive methods such in-vitro fertilization (IVF), multiple ovulation embryo transfers (MOET), and sex sorting of semen should be employed to boost the availability of disease-free female cattle.
- Pashu Sanjivni, a programme created by The Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare dedicated to animal welfare. In order to stop the spread of animal diseases and maintain a record of commerce in livestock and its byproducts, it also provides an identity ID for animals in milk and creates a national database.