India could be milk importer if output not increased:survey

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New Delhi, Feb 25 (PTI) The Economic Survey today warnedthat India, despite being the world largest producer, couldbecome a net importer of milk in next decade if the growth inthe sector is not accelerated to 5.5 per cent annually.

The report said the country has not been able to keep pacewith the domestic demand for milk which is growing at about 6million tonnes.

The incremental milk production over the last 10 years hasbeen about 3.5 million tonnes per year, the survey tabled inParliament by Pranab Mukherjee observed.

"Considering that the requirement of milk in 2021-22is expected to be 180 million tonnes and the current level ofmilk production is 112 million tonnes, the milk productionmust increase to 5.5 per cent per annum in the next 12 years,"

"If the country fails to do so, India may need toresort to imports from the world market," it noted.

This would have adverse impact internationally.

A large milk consumer like India entering the globalmarket (for import) would have the potential to causeinternational prices to spurt," it commented.

Though the country''s milk production has grown more thansix times since Independence, the average annual growth ratein the milk production in recent years has been close to 4 percent.

The survey noted that India''s per capita milkavailability at 263 gram per day in 2009-10 falls short ofworld average of 279.4 grams/day as per FAOSTAT (Food andAgriculture Organisation Statistic Database), 2009

The report also noted that despite appreciable growthin the milk production in the last six decades, theproductivity of animals is still low.

Besides, our marketing systems are also not modernised ordeveloped to a satisfactory level.

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