Much like India’s own dream run towards growth and development since 2014, the country’s dairy sector serves as a unique example of resilience and rise. Due credit belongs to PM Modi’s government which has worked matchlessly to achieve a rare transformation of the sector.

Cattle wealth and dairy business have been integral to our socio-economic life for thousands of years. As the Prime Minister himself has noted, the dairy sector in India has unique characteristics leading to its vibrance and strength.

However, the post-Independence era was one of hardship and impoverishment for the dairy farmers. They struggled to generate any significant incomes due to a supply chain dominated by middlemen. This was set to change post the 1970s with Operation Flood. Designed by Dr. Verghese Kurien, Operation Flood led to the organisation of dairy farmers into village-level cooperatives, responsible for production, procurement, and supply of milk and milk products across India. It effectively created a ‘national milk grid’ linking producers with consumers all across, also ensuring that modern technology and management practices were made available to all members. The White Revolution, as it is called, freed the farmers from the excesses of middlemen, effectively assisting them in directing their own development with control over the resources they created.

Building on this unique movement and taking it ahead with its vision of ‘Sahkar se Samridhi’, the Modi government assists dairy cooperatives and FPOs engaged in dairy activities with soft working capital loans, creating a network of over 1.5 lakh dairy cooperatives. This has made India’s dairy sector a unique business model for the world—a model led mostly by small farmers and women. As the PM has said, “It is not about mass production, but production by masses.”

Achieving newer milestones since 2014, the dairy sector today contributes 5% to India’s GDP, employing over 8 crore farmers directly. In fact, India has become the world’s largest producer of milk, representing 23% of global milk production. Worth mentioning is the tremendous growth experienced in milk production in the last 8 years, from 146.3 million tonnes in 2014-15 to 221.06 million tonnes in 2021-22—a remarkable increase of over 51%. This stands in stark contrast with global growth in milk production moving at 1.2% annually as against India’s rate of 6.4%.

These phenomenal numbers are an outcome of exceptional initiatives of the Modi government in the last nine years. To begin with, the National Programme for Dairy Development was launched in 2014. It aims at strengthening infrastructure for milk production and processing, encouraging value-addition in milk and milk products apart from increasing farmers’ access to organised markets. The central government contributes Rs. 2297.25 crore towards 185 projects in 28 states and 2 UTs within the total cost of Rs. 3015.35 crore under this scheme.

Further, 37 projects worth Rs. 5544.53 crore have been approved under the Dairy Processing & Infrastructure Development Fund initiated in 2017. Via the Fund, we have achieved milk processing capacity of 63.70 lakh liter per day (LLPD), chilling capacity of 3.4 LLPD, milk drying capacity of 265 metric tonner per day, while the manufacturing capacity of value-added products has reached 10.46 LLPD.

Another asset of the dairy sector in India is its livestock population. Growing at a compound annual growth rate of 7.93% during 2014-15 to 2020-21, the livestock sector contributed nearly 6.2% to the total GVA in 2020-21. Its contribution in the agriculture and allied GVA has increased from 24.38% in 2014-15 to 30.87% in 2020-21.

Transforming this asset is the government’s focus on indigenous breeds and overall livestock health. In this direction, the government has launched the Rashtriya Gokul Mission towards development and conservation of indigenous bovine breeds. With a budget of Rs. 2400 crore, the Mission has multiple achievements to its credit like coverage of 5.71 crore animals under artificial insemination, DNA-based genomic selection for indigenous breeds, identification and registration of 53.5 crore animals, establishment of Gokul Grams as integrated indigenous cattle development centers, and successful adoption of e-Gopala app, among others. Its sub-component National Digital Livestock Mission is working towards improving productivity of animals, control diseases and ensure quality livestock for domestic and global markets. The government provides a direct 50% subsidy to individuals, SHGs, and FPOs, among others to establish breed multiplication farms like poultry farms with hatcheries and brooder mother units, piggery farm and feed-fodder units, among others.

The government is also building a large database of dairy animals through Pashu Aadhaar—a unique biometric identity for better animal husbandry practices.

This emphasis on conserving indigenous bovine breeds holds significance for Indian economy since climate comfortable cattle are another unique aspect of the Indian dairy sector. Highlighting the same, PM Modi said, “I would like to give you the example of the Banni breed of buffaloes of Gujarat. Because the climate in the Kutch region is tough and days are very hot, these cattle graze at night. They need less water. They don’t need to be watched, and they find their way back home on their own next morning.” Local breeds like Sahiwal, Rathi, and Tharparker are well known for their adaptability to harsh climatic conditions, and add resilience to the dairy sector.

Disease control is another area where the government is at the forefront with its One Health approach. The Livestock Health and Disease Control Programme focusses on vaccination of animals of economic and zoonotic importance. So far, 2.19 crore animals have received vaccination against Brucellosis and 24.18 crore animals against Foot and Mouth Disease (in the second round). Hence, we are well on the path of vaccinating 100% of the animals against both these diseases by 2025. It is also worth noting that India successfully developed its own indigenous vaccine for lumpy skin disease—a mark of our rising prowess in the field of scientific research and innovation.

The dairy sector has emerged as a crucial source of rural employment, absorbing a significant portion of the country's workforce. Women, in particular, comprise 70% of the dairy workforce. In addition, over one-third of members in milk cooperatives are women. PM Modi has said, “Women are the real leaders of India’s dairy sector. Nari Shakti is the driving force.”

With such motivation in place, PM Modi’s government has revolutionised the wider contours of the dairy sector in India. Such strategic focus has not only bolstered the income of millions of small and marginal farmers but has also played a pivotal role in strengthening the agricultural and allied sectors, contributing to the overall growth of the Indian economy.

In fact, dairy cooperatives model in India is a peerless inspiration for the whole world and can serve as a lucrative business model for poor countries.

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"Building Atmanirbhar Bharat Through Comprehensive Job Creation"
February 24, 2024

One of the most effective pathways of aspirational and practical self-actualization for citizens of a nation is employment generation at scale and expanse. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government has been cognizant of this need and has moved the needle comprehensively so that job creation today is happening across the spectrum: in the formal and informal sectors, through direct and indirect opportunities, in conventional and unconventional fields, and via self-employment and the opening up of multiple avenues for gigs, start-ups and novel entrepreneurship.

Government Initiatives
If on the one hand, Bharat is seeing the exponential growth in the number of start-ups and a conducive environment has made it one that has the largest number of unicorns, on the other hand a record number of Mudra loans sanctioned have fuelled unprecedented women-led growth, and the Agniveer scheme that aims to recruit youth into the Armed services has seen adoption in record numbers. According to a Harvard University research, India is among the top quartile of fastest-growing countries till 2029 and is undergoing a historic transition towards becoming a more formalized and technologically advanced, digitally evolved nation.

In the three years between 2017-18 and 2020-21, total employment increased by 8.4 crore which is a manifestation of several key factors such as demonetisation, rationalisation of taxes, the introduction of the Goods and Services Tax (GST), digital inclusivity and digitisation of financial transactions, inclusion of skill development and vocational training in the National Education Policy, increasing the number of Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs), a fillip to the hitherto marginalized segments such as rural and tribal populace, and effective incentivization for a highly labour dominant unorganized sector. An example is how PM Street Vendor’s Atmanirbhar Nidhi (PM SVANidhi), has benefitted more than 56 lakh rehri or street vendors from June 2020 to November 2023.

Immense positive impact can be seen in the nation’s formal employment sector. India is the 5th largest economy in the world with 1.12 crore net additional employment created between 2015 to 2018. This is a result of the confluence of progressive, pro-industry policy decisions, leveraging of advancements in technology, reforms to ease business investment, and a focus on skilling. An example of how this translates on the ground is that with the PM MUDRA Yojana More than 15 crore people have been employed in the MSME sector out of which 3.4 crore are women.

In the IT Industry alone, around 20 lakh people have been employed between 2013-14 and 2021-22. Indirectly, about 6.24 crore jobs were created between 2014 and 2019 in India’s digital economy. When it comes to a boost in employment generation across sectors, let’s take the example of tourism – a revamped and increasingly attractive tourism and hospitality industry led to 1.9 crore indirect jobs being created in the tourism sector between 2017 and 2020. The overhaul in the hospitality sector has led to the creation of many such jobs directly, and indirectly; India is among the most visited countries in the world and has been experiencing a growing influx of tourists. This has led to business incentivization and a boost to local artisans, transport providers, and hotels and restaurants within the larger hospitality service industry. In Air transport alone, for every Rs. 100/- invested in the sector, 610 indirect jobs are generated.

Infromal Sectors
The winds of change can also be seen in the disruptive as well as informal sectors. Providing security and stability to the unconventional health and wellness, since 2014, about 5.65 lakh practitioners have been provided employment under Ayurveda, Yoga, Naturopathy, Unani, and Homoeopathy (AYUSH). The introduction of several new reforms, an increase in FDI, which have further helped in improving the ‘ease of doing business’ along with low data costs, improvised processes and ready adoption have created a thriving new ecosystem for employment – the gig and platform economy. Gig-economy jobs grew year-on-year by 13% and over 29.20 crore people have registered so far on the E-Shram portal. From 2016 to May 2022, ‘Hunar Haat’ has created employment avenues for over 10.5 lakh artisans and talented Vishwakarmas.

The continuing chain of beneficiaries in the government’s Gati shakti model include processes that act as catalysts for indirect job creation in sectors such as transport, logistics, mobility, food, consumer goods and manufacturing products. Up to 2021-22, 53,696 km of roadways were created which generated 21.8 crore man-days of employment. As mentioned before, round 6 crore people employed in unorganized sector between 2017-18 and 2019-20 have benefited from the SVANidhi Yojana – making PM Modi’s vision of Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwas aur Sabka Prayas a quintessential facet of employment for all.

People-first policies such as the flagship program for equitable housing, the PM Awas has created 2.39 crore indirect jobs up to 2022. Another great example of the ripple effect of employment generation can be seen in the form of Production Linked Incentive (PLI) schemes which enable the expansion of existing industries into larger ones, while promoting the creation of new ones. As an example, 5 lakh incremental jobs have been created in the mobile manufacturing sector due to PLI. As per the Economic Survey 2023, PLI schemes are slated to create 60 lakh jobs. In addition, India’s fintech adoption rate of 87% as against the world average of 64% has enabled the creation of an ecosystem that is touching the lives and livelihoods of all – including the self-employed and small business owners.

To this end, Rozgar Melas that aim to provide 10 lakh jobs in less than two years, and that meld employment opportunities and unique talent have been a boon for the economy. Rozgar Mela is a key step towards the fulfilment of the commitment to accord the highest priority to employment generation in the country. On 12th February, 2024, PM Modi distributed more than 1 lakh appointment letters to newly inducted recruits and also lay the foundation stone of Phase I of the Integrated Complex “Karmayogi Bhavan” to promote collaboration and synergy amongst various pillars of Mission Karmayogi. “Rozgar Melas are playing a crucial role in enhancing the contribution of our Yuva Shakti in nation building”, said PM Modi. Rozgar Mela will be held at 47 locations across the country this year with recruitments taking place across central government departments and state governments/UTs supporting this initiative. These melas ascribe gainful opportunities to the youth, the Amrit Generation, and create pathways for their direct participation in national development. Similarly, under the Prime Ministers Employment Generation Programme (PMEGP), over 43.77 lakh people have got employment and the Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY) has led to the placement of over 24.51 lakh candidates.

As policy making becomes efficient, so do its representative tools; more than 19.9 lakh people have been placed in jobs through employment exchanges between 2017-2022. The government has incessantly been taking many measures to tackle unemployment issues and stem the unemployment rate. The Amrit generation is benefitting from a multi-pronged approach; if on the one hand, Scheme of Fund for Regeneration of Traditional Industries (SFURTI), has benefitted around 2.94 lakh from 2014-15 to December 2022, on the other hand, over 1.80 lakh new job-creators and entrepreneurs are now operating under the Stand-Up India scheme.

New India – Naya Bharat – is one that thrives on a developed mindset with the aim of making the country Atmanirbhar, and a Vishwa Mitra – one the world leans on. As an example of this commitment, in the current financial year, Khadi has achieved a historic milestone by generating over 9.54 lakh new jobs. Be it our push towards renewable energy, creating a decarbonized energy sector which ranks India is 4th globally or the reduction of unemployment rate in rural areas, (decreased from 5.3% in 2017-18 to 2.4% in 2022-23) the commitment of PM Modi’s government to decisively mitigate unemployment stays foremost.

A spurt in the employment index is predicated on employment mobility to higher productivity jobs, rising job rates in secondary and tertiary sectors, promotion of women as economic catalysts and the increased formalisation of the unorganized, informal sector. PM Modi’s government has consistently come good on all the parameters which is the reason why milestone, upon milestone, Bharat’s journey towards becoming Atmanirbhar and the world’s third largest economy, is only a matter of time.