India ranks first in milk production, accounting for 18.5 per cent of world production, achieving an annual output of 146.3 million tonnes during 2014-15 compared with 137.69 million tonnes during 2013-14 achieving a growth rate of 6.26 per cent, finance minister Arun Jaitley said while presenting the economic Survey 2015-16.
Against this, the United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has reported a 3.1 per cent increase in global milk production from 765 million tonnes in 2013 to 789 million tonnes in 2014.
The per capita availability of milk in India has increased from 176 grams per day in 1990-91 to 322 grams per day by 2014-15. It is more than the world average of 294 grams per day during 2013. This represents a sustained growth in availability of milk and milk products for the growing population. Dairying has become an important secondary source of income for millions of rural households engaged in agriculture.
The success of the dairy industry has resulted from the integrated co-operative system of milk collection, transportation, processing and distribution, conversion of the same to milk powder and products, to minimise seasonal impact on suppliers and buyers, retail distribution of milk and milk products, sharing of profits with the farmer, which are ploughed back to enhance productivity and needs to be emulated by other farm produce/producers, Jaitley pointed out.
In the poultry segment, the government's focus, besides framing suitable policies for enhancing commercial poultry production, is on strengthening the family poultry system, which addresses livelihood issues. Both egg and fish production has also registered an increasing trend over the years. Egg production was around 78.48 billion eggs in 2014-15, while poultry meat production was estimated at 3.04 million tonnes.
Fisheries constitute about 1 per cent of the GDP of the country and 5.08 per cent of agriculture GDP. Total fish production during 2014-15 was 10.16 million tonnes, and production during the last quarters of 2015-16 has also shown an increasing trend and is estimated at 4.79 million tonnes (provisional). There is an increasing significance of poultry and livestock products in the context of diversifying farm and non-farm activities in the agriculture sector to increase livelihood security.
Indian agricultural system continues to be predominantly mixed crop-livestock farming system, with the livestock segment supplementing farm incomes by providing employment, draught animals and manure.