40% gap in milk production capability, India vs World

India’s status as the world’s largest producer of milk is well-established, a position it has maintained for several years. However, despite this impressive feat, the average milk yield per cow in India lags behind the global average by a significant margin. According to a working paper published in 2023, while the world average milk yield per cow/milk production stands at 7.2 kilograms, India’s average is substantially lower at 4.87 kilograms.

Several factors contribute to India’s relatively low milk yield per cow, encompassing both intrinsic and extrinsic elements.

Intrinsic Factors:

  1. Low Genetic Potential: One primary intrinsic factor influencing milk yield is the genetic potential of the cattle. Many of the indigenous cattle breeds in India have not been selectively bred for high milk production traits, resulting in lower average yields compared to breeds that have undergone intensive genetic improvement.

Extrinsic Factors:

  1. Poor Nutrition and Feed Management: Adequate nutrition plays a crucial role in maximizing milk production. However, many dairy farmers in India face challenges in providing balanced diets to their cattle due to limitations in access to quality feed and nutritional supplements.
  2. Poor Farm Management Practices: Inefficient farm management practices, including suboptimal housing conditions, inadequate hygiene standards, and lack of proper sanitation facilities, can adversely impact the health and productivity of dairy animals.
  3. Ineffective Veterinary and Extension Services: Access to veterinary care and extension services is vital for disease prevention, reproductive management, and overall herd health. However, deficiencies in the availability and quality of these services hinder optimal dairy management practices in many parts of the country.
  4. Inefficient Implementation of Breed Improvement Programs: While India has initiated various breed improvement programs aimed at enhancing milk production through selective breeding and genetic enhancement, challenges in implementation, including inadequate infrastructure, lack of skilled personnel, and insufficient funding, hamper their effectiveness.

Despite these challenges, India’s milk production has exhibited remarkable growth over the years. From 2013-14 to 2021-22, the country’s milk production surged by over 61%. In the fiscal year 2021-22 alone, India accounted for a significant share, contributing 24.64% of the world’s total milk production.

Addressing the multifaceted challenges ahead requires collaboration from all stakeholders within the broader ecosystem. At Shunya, we are deeply committed to enhancing animal nutrition through our innovative green fodder management processes, ensuring the delivery of high-quality feed and increasing farmer income.