India’s dairy farmers need market access
At a regional conference, the views differed wildly. Will India be an importer or an exporter? Either way, the rules of the game have changed.
During the fifth IFCN Regional Workshop in Anand, India, 50 experts from various backgrounds along the dairy value chain met. The discussions started from the global dairy crisis and concluded about ideas for future dairy development in India.
The success of dairy development success can be related to two main drivers. First, access to market via well-functioning and stable dairy value chain in required.
As Amul Managing Director R.S. Sodhi summarized it, “If you want to develop dairy, provide market access through stable and sustainable market price to farmers.”
Second, it needs a value-creating dairy farming model which relates to the milk price that consumer is able to pay.
In the words of IFCN Managing Director Torsten Hemme, “Once you have a dairy farming model where the costs are lower than the milk prices, rapid milk production growth is a natural consequence.” (IFCN is the International Farm Comparison Network.)
The dairy experts discussed different strategies for more developed and lesser developed regions, like in the eastern part India. In states like Orissa, milk production growth can be generated by focusing on the value chain. With low salaries, the traditional small-scale dairy model (for example, two cows and crop residuals as the feed base) is creating prosperity for the farmers.
In more developed dairy regions (Gujarat, for example), the workshop concluded that successful dairy development shall focus more on skill development of the dairy farmers.
IFCN chairman Anders Fagerberg concluded, “Let’s move in dairy development from a top-down to a more bottom-up approach. Via this approach, we can better insure that dairy farming is attractive for the next generation, the younger people.”
Amul, Elanco and Danone hosted this year’s IFCN workshop.
Submitted by IFCN, the International Farm Comparison Network.