Published on: November 28, 2022

National Milk Day

National Milk Day

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parochially  National Milk Day is observed annually on 26 November in honour of Dr. Verghese Kurien, the father of the Indian white revolution. This year it will be the 101st anniversary of the revolutionary personality.

Highlights:

  • National Milk Day has been observed in India since 2014 under the initiative taken by the Indian Dairy Association (IDA).

What is the Significance of the day?

  • According to the Economic Survey of India 2021-2022, India is ranked first in milk production and contributes about 23 per cent of global milk production.
  • Dairy is the single largest agricultural commodity that contributes 5 per cent to the national economy, employing more than 8 crore farmers directly.

Who was Dr. Verghese Kurien?

  • He was a social entrepreneur
  • His idea of “billion-litre idea”, Operation Flood, made dairy farming India’s largest self-sustaining industry and the largest rural employment sector providing a third of all rural income.
  • This  idea made India the world’s largest milk producer, doubled the milk available for each person, and increased milk output four-fold in 30 years.
  • He pioneered the Anand model of dairy cooperatives and replicated it nationwide, based on various “top-down” and “bottom-up” approaches
  • An invention at Amul was the production of milk powder from buffalo milk instead of from cow milk, which was in short supply in India
  • Also made India self-sufficient in edible oils and fought against the “oil kings”, who used underhanded and violent methods to enforce their dominance over the oilseed industry
  • He founded the Institute of Rural Management Anand (IRMA) to groom managers for the cooperatives.

Awards:

  • World Food Prize (1989)
  • Order of Agricultural Merit (1997)
  • Padma Vibhushan (1999)
  • Padma Bhushan (1966)
  • Padma Shri (1965)
  • Ramon Magsaysay Award (1964)

What is ‘Operation Flood’?

  • Operation Flood, which was started in 1970, has assisted dairy farmers in managing their own development and taking ownership of the resources they produce.
  • A National Milk Grid connects customers in more than 700 towns and cities with milk farmers across India
  • It aims at minimising seasonal and regional price differences while ensuring that the producer consistently receives fair market rates in a transparent manner.
  • Village milk producers’ cooperatives, that purchase milk, offer inputs and services, and give members access to contemporary management and technology, have formed the foundation of Operation Flood.
  • The goals of Operation Flood included:
  1. Increase milk production (‘a flood of milk’)
  2. Augment rural incomes
  3. Reasonable prices for consumers