The White Revolution in India: The end or a new beginning?
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Deka, R., Lindahl, J., Randolph, T. and Grace, D. 2015. The White Revolution in India: The end or a new beginning? Poster prepared for the Agri4D 2015 conference, Uppsala, Sweden, 23-24 September 2015. Nairobi, Kenya: ILRI.
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The milk revolution, popularly known as White Revolution, started in India in 1970 with a governmentsponsored programme - Operation Flood. This brought significant improvement to smallholder dairy systems by promoting cross-breeding, improving access to feed, veterinary services, markets, milk processing and preservation infrastructure. By 2013, India was the world’s largest milk producing country with total production of 132 megatonnes up from 17 in 1951. However, the cooperative system, the main vehicle for dairy development, was not successful everywhere especially, in regions where dairying had less potential to scale-up, leaving traditional milk production, with 80% of the market share, behind. Although cross-breeding became popular, average milk productivity per animal is still far below the global average and the traditional sector lacks awareness, capacity, incentives and resources. Simultaneously, urban and peri-urban dairying is developing rapidly, but accompanied by health and environmental experiments, Overall, we need systematic, location specific, holistic approaches to address the constraints. We present initial findings on promising approaches from research in Assam, Bihar and urban and peri-urban dairying. These suggest a ‘third way’ of dairy development driven by demand and value chain evolution that can complement the approaches implemented by co-operatives and more recently by large private sector investment.