India ranks first among the world's milk producing nations since 1998 and has the largest bovine population in the World. Dairying has become an important secondary source of income for millions of rural families and has assumed the most important role in providing employment and income generating opportunities particularly for marginal and women farmers.
Most of the milk is produced by animals reared by small, marginal farmers and landless labourers. As dairying occupies very important place in India, the Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries is implementing following schemes to improve the condition of cooperative milk federations and to promote milk production in the country:
National Dairy Plan (Phase-I):
The Scheme is implemented through National Dairy Development Board and the objectives of the National Dairy Plan, Phase I are:
To help increase the productivity of milch animals and thereby increase milk production to meet the rapidly growing demand for milk.
To help provide rural milk producers with greater access to the organized milk-processing sector.
Nation Programme for Bovine Breeding and Dairy Development:
The objective of the scheme is to enhance productivity of milch animals and create dairy infrastructure for improved procurement, processing and marketing of milk. Under this scheme, there is provision for rehabilitation assistance to improve the condition of sick milk cooperatives by providing a central grant up to 50% of the cost of the rehabilitation project with a maximum financial ceiling of Rs. 5 crore.
Dairy Entrepreneurship Development Scheme:
Dairy Entrepreneurship Development Scheme (DEDS) is implemented from September, 2010 through National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) across the country with an aim to generate self employment opportunities in the dairy sector, covering activities such as enhancement of milk production, procurement, preservation, transportation, processing and marketing of milk by providing back ended capital subsidy at the rate of 25% of the project cost to the General Category and at the rate of 33.33% of the project cost to SC and ST category farmers and beneficiaries for bankable projects through NABARD subject to the norms of the scheme.