Indian dairy industry - problem within plenty?
India is the top producer of milk in the world. From 17 million tonnes of milk in 1950 all the way to 110 million tonnes now the Indian diary industry sure has come a long way. Today India is the second largest cow milk producer(42 mill tonnes) behind the US (84 mill tonnes in 2007) and the largest producer of buffalo milk (52 mill tonnes in 2007) followed by Pakistan (21 mill tonnes).
However, Indian milk productivity is way low compared to international levels (this is true for most agricultural products). A 2003 study by the International Farm Comparison Network states "One NewZealand dairy cow produces as much milk as five Indian dairy animals while one dairy cow in the USA produces as much as ten Indian dairl animals. One of the key reasons for this is that as much as 70 -75 % of Indian cattle come from local breeds and with poor milk yields.
At these production levels the per capita availability of milk is approx 245 grams. And demand is going up. So India already imports milk products.
Question: How do we convert the 70+ % of low milk yielding varieties of cattle to better yielding varieties? We do not necessarily need cows that yield ten times as much. Even cows that yield twice the current levels will make a huge difference.