New Delhi: Global warming portends ill for India’s flourishing dairy sector that stands to lose a whopping three million tonnes of milk in the next three years as average temperatures increase, with wide fluctuations in day and night temperatures, industry experts warned on Friday.
In a report related to dairy farming Punjab did not find any mention among top five milk producing and poultry states in India. The list was topped by Madhya Pradesh.
Addressing the ongoing three-day “45th Dairy Industry Conference”, themed “Climate Change and Dairying”, several industry leaders and experts discussed how the gradually warming climate is adversely hitting the country’s dairy industry that employs over 16 million farmers, including 4.60 million women. President of Indian Dairy Association Arun D Narke said that today, India is self-sufficient in milk and is ranked the world’s largest producer with an annual production of 156 million tonne (2015-2016).
However, Punjab did not found any mention among top five milk producing states in India. Citing the Ministry of Agriculture figures, he said Indian farmers are adding around 10 million tonnes of milk annually with a compounded annual growth of around 6.5 per cent in the sector, largely from farmers owning an average of one or two milch cows, to make the “White Revolution” a success.
However, this milk production could go down by three million tonne over the next three years as the average temperatures rise, creating problems of water and availability of green and dry fodder for the cattle, he said. Indian Dairy Association (West Zone) Chairman Arun D Patil said that Maharashtra has already undergone three consecutive years of drought till this year, which is set to affect the entire agriculture sector, including dairy.
National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) Chairman Dilip Rath said that India accounts for 18 per cent of the global milk production, which is growing at around 6.5 per cent annually as compared to 4.7 per cent over the previous 10-year period.
“Milk is India’s single-largest agricultural commodity in value terms and is more than the combined value of paddy and wheat put together. The per capita availability of milk has increased three-folds, from 112 gm per day in 1970-1971 to 337 gm per day in 2016-2016.”
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