The low productivity of Indian cattle has been the central concern of livestock policy throughout the last century. In the First Five Year Plan, the Key Village Scheme (KVS) was launched to improve breeding, feed and fodder availability, disease control, and milk production. To meet urban areas' need for milk, the government promoted state-owned dairy plants to handle milk procurement, processing, and marketing. In 1959, the government Delhi Milk Scheme (DMS) was set up to supply milk to the urban population of Delhi. This scheme adopted the method of departmental milk procurement from the milk-producing areas around Delhi by setting up its own milk collection and chilling centers. Though the collection was started from small milk vendors initially, it ultimately ended up creating big contractors who purchased milk from the small vendors and supplied it in bulk to the milk scheme. The same policies and strategies continued in the Second Five-Year Plan. In 1976, the National Commission on Agriculture concluded that the KVS could not meet its objectives because, due to a shortage of funds, it did not stress feed and fodder development and marketing of milk. The Third Plan emphasized the need to develop dual-purpose animals for milk as well as draft use; crossbreeding of nondescript indigenous cattle was introduced during this plan. The Intensive Cattle Development Programme (ICDP) was launched in areas with high milk potential. The disappointing performance of the dairy sector during the 1950s and 1960s (with annual growth rate of merely 1%) concerned policy makers, and the Government of India undertook a far-reaching policy initiative. Dairy development through producers' cooperatives and milk production based on milk sheds in the rural areas, modeled on the successful experience of dairy cooperatives in Gujarat, became the cornerstone of the new dairy sector policy. This policy initiative turned the Indian dairy sector around and led to all-around growth with several unarticulated spread effects
Operation flood (also known as the White revolution of India) was a rural development programme started by India’s National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) in 1970. One of the largest of its kind, the programme objective was to create a nationwide milk grid. It resulted in making India the largest producer of milk& milk products, and hence is also called the white revolution of India. It also helped reduce malpractices by milk traders and merchants. This revolution followed the Indian green revolution and helped in alleviating poverty and famine levels from dangerous proportions in India during the era. Earlier, Milk was always available in plenty, but the sad truth was that the middleman was in control of marketing and siphoned away the major share of the farmer's profits. During seasons of plenty, the farmers were forced to drastically cut down their prices to sell off their surplus supplies. And during lean periods, milk production fell considerably, resulting in a shortage, unable to meet the market demand. To deal with this problem, 'Operation Flood' was launched in 1969-70 to initiate and organize cooperatives that would be wholly responsible for the procurement, storage and marketing of milk, thereby eliminating the need and role of the middleman completely. These cooperatives would also convert surplus milk into a range of dairy products so farmers were assured a regular income and fair share of profits, around the year.. Varghese Kurien (chairman of NDDB at that time), then 33, gave the professional management skills and necessary thrust to the cooperative, and is considered the architect of India's White Revolution (Operation Flood) also known as the Milk man of India A 'National Milk Grid', links milk producers throughout India with consumers in over 700 towns and cities, reducing seasonal and regional price variations while ensuring that the producer gets a major share of the price...
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