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Assessment of Dairy Sector

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September 23, 2021

What is the issue?

Dairy industry is often blamed for the release of GHG emissions leading to climate change

Why is India’s dairy sector so significant?

  • India is the world’s largest milk producer with 22% of global production.
  • The livestock sector contributed 28 per cent of GVA of agriculture in 2019-20.
  • Landless and poor farmers are actively involved in dairying as an essential means of livelihood.
  • Additionally, dairy development helps in boosting rural economic growth and empowering rural women.
  • More than 70% of extra animal protein would be needed to feed the world by 2050 which widens the scope of the dairy where milk is regarded as “near-complete food”.
  • It plays a vital role in achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for reducing poverty, improving health, gender equality, economic growth, and job creation.

In 1970, Indian government launched Operation Flood, the world's largest dairy development programme that transformed India from a milk deficit to a milk surplus country.

What are the counter arguments against this issue?

  • Milking doesn’t harm the animal and only the surplus is sold to the market after it is given to the calf
  • According to Climate Watch’s data on GHG emissions (2020), energy sector is responsible for 73.2 per cent of GHG while livestock and manure account for only 5.8 per cent of GHG.
  • Besides animal dung is treated to extract methane gas which can be utilised as a fuel. It is now even transformed into CNG, which may replace fossil fuels in the future.
  • The plant-based beverage industry branding their products as “milk” is criticised by the dairy producers in Australia.
  • The dairy industry needs to start sensitising the public about the benefits of dairy through social media.

 

Source: Business Line

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