Indian dairy sector to turn COVID-19 crisis into opportunity
Indian dairy sector is an important source of income for millions of rural families and has the most vital role in providing employment and income-generating opportunities.
The industry is shifting its focus towards value-added products such as cheese, paneer, ghee, yogurt, and other innovative products, keeping in mind the requirements of the consumers.
The government has been implementing various initiatives aimed at developing the dairy sector. Besides focussing on improving cattle productivity, measures are also being taken to strengthen rural milk procurement infrastructure as well as provide superior market linkages to the dairy farmers.
In pursuance of the recently-announced Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan stimulus package for ensuring growth in several sectors, the government has approved setting up of Animal Husbandry Infrastructure Development Fund (AHIDF) worth Rs 15,000 crore.
With a thrust for better productivity, reduced input cost, and better quality milk and milk product, the competitiveness, and profitability in the Indian dairy sector will get enhanced, leading to improved demand for dairy products in the domestic and international market. It's also likely to fetch private investments in the sector to lift the growth in rural income as well as employment. The growing demand for different dairy products is expected to provide an opportunity for industry players to expand a range of value-added products.
Therefore, in the coming time, the outlook for the dairy sector is favourable on the back of government support, increasing population, per capita consumption, and expenditure on value-added products. However, more focus on modern processing techniques, building a modern supply chain, and marketing infrastructure, will be important for meeting international quality requirements. Besides, the dairy sector, which was facing headwinds before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, may turn this crisis into an opportunity as the supply and consumption of milk have risen.