NDDB to invest Rs.17,000 crore to boost milk production

New Delhi, July 28 (IANS) The National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) is planning to invest Rs.17,000 crore as part of a 15-year national plan to usher in a second White Revolution to meet the growing demand for milk, which is expected to reach 180 million tonnes by 2021.

The first phase of the plan, scheduled from April 2011 to March 2017, will involve an expenditure of Rs.1,600 crore, for which a credit line from International Development Agency of the World Bank was being sought, NDDB Chairman Amrita Patel said.

The plan focuses on increasing productivity through scientific breeding and feeding, including production of higher genetic merit bulls and quality semen, and delivery of advisory services at the doorstep of milk producers.

‘Proper feeding can really make a difference. Use of quality seed is one of the major tools for proper feeding, since only 7 percent of the total 10.8 million hectare land utilized for fodder cultivation uses high quality seeds,’ said Patel.

Patel also sought private sector participation, saying ‘the segment has now acquired commercial value and it requires huge investment.’

India became world’s largest milk producer 26 years after it launched Operation Flood, initiated by Verghese Kurien as the ‘billion-litre idea’ in July 1970.

Currently, India’s milk production stands at 102 million tonnes.

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