Milk is a very common part of the Indian diet. Almost every household consumes milk on a daily basis. Not only milk but also dairy products such as butter, cheese, curd, paneer and many more item which are made from milk. India has a treasure of sweets, most of them made from milk.
India is the largest producer as well as the largest consumer of milk in the whole world.
But this was not always the case. The huge success that India today has in the production and supply of milk goes back to the ‘White Revolution’. The revolution that happened and for good.
The revolution associated with a sharp increase in milk production in the country is called the White Revolution in India also known as Operation Flood in 1970. White revolution period intended to make India a self-dependent nation in milk production. Today, India is the world’s largest producer of milk.
It was few years before India was independent Indian milk farmers would sell their milk to company called Polson, Polson was the medium between the milk farmers and the Bombay Milk Scheme. During this process the farmers did not get a fair price for their milk.
They then took this matter to Sardar Vallabai Patel and he suggested that the farmers should get together and form a dairy cooperative which eventually paved the way for AMUL.
By 1946, Amul had arrived into the picture. Polson had been enjoying uninterrupted monopoly with government support, and farmers were unable to sell their milk to other vendors in the market. In 1945, the Bombay Government had started the Bombay Milk Scheme, which involved bringing milk from Kaira, covering a distance of around 400 km, to the city and selling it at subsidized prices. This monopoly had been awarded to Polson. The benefits of the costly price paid by the scheme was not being passed to the producers, and farmers of Kaira essentially were no better off than before.
It was after a lot of effort when the dairy cooperative was successful after it received the support and leadership of Verghese Kurien, who is also known as the Father of the White Revolution.
Shri Lal Bahadur Shastri, Prime Minister of India, visited Anand on 31st October 1964 for inauguration of the Cattle Feed Factory of Amul at Kanjari. As he was keenly interested in knowing the success of this co-operative, spent a whole night with farmers in a village, even had dinner with a farmer discusses his wish to Mr. Verghese Kurien, then the General Manager of Kaira District Co-operative Milk Producers’ Union Ltd (Amul) to replicate this model to other parts of the country for improving the socio-economic conditions of farmers. As a result of this visit, the National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) was established at Anand in 1965 and by 1970 it launches the dairy development programme for India – popularly known as Operation Flood.
Operation Flood-I sought to establish 18 “Anands” linked to the four urban markets – Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata and Chennai. These funds were generated from gifted commodities received from the United Nation’s World Food Programme – 126,000 tonnes of skimmed milk powder and 42,000 tonnes of butter oil over project period. The commodities were recombined as liquid milk and sold in these cities at prevailing market price that went in for building the cooperative dairies under the programme, while capturing the urban market for rurally produced milk.
The Prime Objective of OF-II was to establish a modern and self-sustaining dairy industry, building on the foundation of OF-I to meet the nations’ needs in milk and milk products. For OF-II, donated commodities were received directly from the European Economic Community (EEC) – 186,000 tonnes of skimmed milk powder and 76,000 tonnes of butter oil. Financially supported by money generated by the sale of these commodities as recombined milk, a soft loan of US$150 million from the World Bank and he internal resources of the Indian Dairy Corporation, OF-II covered 150 milksheds. To link these milksheds to the city market and ensure a year-round sustained milk supply, the National Milk Grid with storage and long-distance transport facilities was created.
The Third Phase of Operation Flood focused on consolidating the milk procurement, processing and marketing infrastructure created under OF-I & OF-II. OF-III was funded from the internal resources of NDDB as well as through a World Bank loan/credit of US$365 million and proceeds from the sales of EEC gifted dairy commodities.
Today Amul is a household name in India. Other companies have tried to gain the same target but have not succeed much as Amul has been able to cater to both the Indians as well as foreign countries.
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