India continues to be the largest milk producing nation in the world with close to 17% of global production in 2010-11, National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) said in Ahmedabad on Tuesday.
"During the year, dairy cooperatives collected 9.6 million tonnes of milk, a growth of around one% over the last year. Liquid milk marketing by cooperatives increased by around 4% over the previous year and was about 8.2 million tonnes in 2010-11," the annual report of NDDB said.
The country's estimated milk production for 2010-11 is 121 million tonnes, close to 17% of the world's milk production, it added.
NDDB Chairman Amrita Patel said higher GDP growth, increased incomes in rural areas through schemes like MGNREGA and a growing population are contributing to a rapidly growing demand for milk.
NDDB also announced that the National Dairy Plan (NDP), which aims at increasing milk production, has been appraised by the World Bank and approval is expected soon.
"NDP-I has been appraised by the World Bank and approval for the project is expected shortly," Patel said.
According to her, NDP aims at contributing to increasing the milk production through a focused and scientific process for breeding and feeding in milch animals.
"Increasing domestic milk production at the pace required through adoption of a scientific approach by improving the genetic potential of milch animals, and feeding them a balanced diet to ensure they produce milk commensurate with their genetic potential is the only way to meet the surge in demand," Patal said.
"It is therefore imperative that a scientifically planned multi-state initiative is launched and NDDB had therefore prepared a National Dairy Plan (NDP) with a fifteen year horizon," she added.
The first phase of the NDP is proposed to be implemented over a period of six years and envisages an investment of around Rs. 2,000 crore for activities ranging from production of high genetic merit bulls, disease-free quality semen, to strengthening village-based milk procurement and making it transparent.
The project is proposed to be carried out by End Implementing Agencies (EIAs), which would include State Cooperative Dairy Federations; District Cooperative Milk Producers' Unions; Producer Companies and State Livestock Development Boards that meet the criteria for each activity.
NDDB further said additional funding for activities that are commercial in nature, such as plants for milk processing and manufacture of cattle feed, are being explored with the International Finance Corporation (IFC), an affiliate of the World Bank.