Global warming to hit Indian dairy sector hard, warn experts

Mumbai, Feb 17 (IANS) Global warming portends ill for India’s dairy sector which stands to lose a whopping three million tonnes of milk in the next three years as average temperatures increase, industry experts warned here on Friday.

Addressing the ongoing three-day 45th Dairy Industry Conference, themed ‘Climate Change and Dairying’, several industry leaders and experts discussed how the gradually warming climate is adversely hitting the country’s dairy industry which employs over 16 million farmers, including 4.60 million women.

President of Indian Dairy Association Arun D. Narke said India is self-sufficient in milk and is ranked the world’s largest producer with an annual production of 156 million tonnes (2015-2016).

Citing Ministry of Agriculture figures, he said Indian farmers are adding around 10 million tonnes of milk annually with a compounded annual growth of around 6.5 per cent in this sector, largely from farmers owning an average of one or two milch cows, to make the ‘White Revolution’ a success.

However, this milk production could go down by three million tonnes over the next three years as average temperatures rise, creating problems of water, and availability of green and dry fodder for the cattle, he said.