India seen as world's top milk producer

Ulhas Joglekar ulhasj at SPAMbom4.vsnl.net.in
Mon Jan 22 17:52:29 MST 2001


Monday Jan 15 2001 | Updated 0041 hrs IST 1411 EST

India seen as world's top milk producer

WASHINGTON
THE ENVIRONMENT-ORIENTED Worldwatch Institute here has praised India's milk
revolution, which enabled the nation to move ahead of the United States,
becoming the world's top milk producer.

Since '94, milk became India's leading farm product and in '97, the country
overtook the US to become the world's biggest milk producer.

"Remarkably, it did so by using farm by-products and crop residue rather
than grain for feed. India was able to expand the protein supply without
diverting grain from human consumption to cattle," Lester Brown, chairman of
the institute, said.

Uniquely converting crop residue into milk, India successfully has expanded
milk production from 19m tonnes in '66, the first year for which data are
available, to 79m tonnes in '00 supply in a protein-hungry country.

Between '66 and '00, Brown notes, India's milk production increased from 0.7
litres per person per week to 1.5 litres.

This is not high-level of consumption by industrial country standards, yet a
welcome expansion of the animal protein supply in the protein-hungry
country.

Writing a chapter in this year's state of the world, compiled by Worldwatch
researchers, Brown notes, in India, both water buffalo - good at converting
coarse roughage into milk - and cattle, figure prominently in the dairy
industry.

The dairy industry structure in India is unique as milk is produced almost
entirely by small farmers, the institute says. - Agencies


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