National Milk Day 2018: How Verghese Kurien helped India to become world’s largest milk producer

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Updated: Nov 26, 2018 3:30 PM

In 2014, all the dairy majors of the country, along with the Indian Dairy Association, resolved to observe Kurien's birthday, November 26, as National Milk Day.

India now stands as the largest milk producer around the world for the last two decades from being a milk-deficient nation once.

As a country, India today is self-sufficient in production of milk. However, the country didn’t arrive at this with utmost ease. These were painstaking efforts by Verghese Kurien that India became sufficient to meet its dairy needs, earning complete sufficiency in milk. In 2014, all the dairy majors of the country, along with the Indian Dairy Association, resolved to observe Kurien’s birthday, November 26, as National Milk Day.

Milk production

Credited as the ‘Father of India’s White Revolution’ in the country, Verghese Kurien was a social entrepreneur whose ‘billion-litre idea’, Operation Flood is said to be the world’s largest agricultural dairy development programme. It were his efforts which helped in making dairy farming in the country the largest self-sustaining industry and also the largest employment provider in the rural side.

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India now stands as the largest milk producer around the world for the last two decades from being a milk-deficient nation once.

It was in the year 1970, that Operation Flood was launched providing independence to the dairy farmers. More than 700 towns and cities were connected by the National Milk Grid, which not only helped in closing the gap between milk producers and customers but also reduce price variations. It resulted in helping hike production of milk, increase rural incomes and offer fair prices to the consumers. Operation Flood helped in creation of a national milk grid linking producers throughout the country and helped in limiting the role of the middlemen.

He is credited with pioneering successful ‘Anand model’ of Gujarat to replicate it in other parts of the country. Amul cooperative is India’s largest food brand at present, where no milk from a farmer was refused. Roughly, 70–80 percent of the price by customers went as cash to dairy farmers who looked after the overall marketing, the procurement and the processing of milk.

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