Agriculture - the Indian scenario
India is developing country. The backbone of its economy is mostly based on agriculture. Hence the planning commission gave due priority to agriculture sector in independent India. In first five year plan launched in 1951 , 17.4% was given to agriculture excluding the irrigation. The third five year plan launched in 1961 was centered on agriculture. But the war with China didn't made it fruitful. In 1969 when Indira Gandhi was the prime minister, in fourth five year plan there came the green revolution to improve agriculture.
Most of the farmers of India belong to rural community. They rear cattle at home for multi purposes. Farmers mainly use them for ploughing the field. But a large number of farmers rear cattle for milk. Hence Animal Husbandry and dairy development play a prominent role in the Indian rural economy. It supplements the income of rural people particularly the village farmers. It is the main occupation of rural people of India while a subsidiary occupation to many others.
India is the country with second highest population in the world. Most of them being farmers , India has the largest livestock population in the world. The world buffalo population’s 57% is accounted by India. India also accounts 20% of goat population and 15 % of the cattle population in the world.
Being a country with high cattle population organizations under co-operative sector has to be started for the effective utilisation of the manpower as well as the product of these cattle strength. The sectors formed so far had added momentum to dairy development activities here. As an Indian I am proud to share the details of operation flood started in my country. Operation flood is a dairy development programme that helped India to become the leading producer of milk in the world.
What is White Revolution or Operation flood?
The milk production in India during 1950s was only 17 million tones . After 50 years in 2000 it had crossed 78 million tones . Thus India became the leading producer of milk in the world pushing the world giant USA to second place. This White Revolution was the result of the project implemented named operation flood.
One of the main objective of operation flood was to create a nationwide milk grid. The national milk grid links all milk producers through out India. Hence the movement of milk from one place to another place made very easy and simplified. Also the farmers got high reputation as well as well payment for their products and effort.Now in every nook and corner of India every one can see a milk co-operative society to support such farmers.
Phases of Operation Flood
Operation flood was carried out in three phases.
Operation flood 1 (1970 – 1981) :- First phase required a greater period for launching the project and making it successful. The duration of this phase was 12 years. It was financed by the sale of skimmed milk powder and butter oil which was supplied by the European Union (EU). The supply was through the World Food Programme.
Operation flood 2 (1981-1985) :- The second phase was of short duration. The success of first phase really reflected in second phase where the main objective was creating a network of farmers. During this phase there observed tremendous increase in the milk sheds and village co-operative groups. Domestic milk powder production also increased during this period.
Operation flood 3 (1985-1996):- The third phase also was a long term phase. Improvement of the health conditions of the cattle were the main objective of this phase.First-aid health care services to animals, feed and artificial insemination services for cooperative members were extended during these phase.
Dr.Varghese Kurian - The Milk Man
White revolution is regarded as the biggest agricultural development programme in the world.The father of white revolution in India is Dr.Varghese Kurian. He was born in Kozhikode of Kerala. He is also known as the milk man of India.
Dr. Varghese Kurien founded more than 25 high performing institutions all over India. The diary co-operative society at Anand in Gujarat names Amul (Anand Milk Union Limited), IRMA (Institute of Rural Management Anand), NDDB (National Dairy Development Board) , GCMMF ( Gujarat Co-operative Milk Marketing Federation Limited) etc are important among them. Most of them are owned by farmers , managed by farmers but run by professionals.
Milk powder was processed in all milk producing countries from cow milk. But under Dr.Varghese Kurien AMUL invented milk powder processed from buffalo milk ! Such major achievements of Dr. Kurien led him to the founder chairman position of National Dairy Development Board in 1965.
With the introduction of co-operative societies in areas like this a unity came among the farmers which ultimately lead to poverty eradication in millions of Indians. Thus Dr.Kurien also became the greatest proponents of the cooperative movement in the world.