Views differ wildly – will India be an importer or an exporter? Either way, the rules of the game have changed. What got us here, won’t get us there!

During the 5th 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 a well-functioning and stable dairy value chain is required. R.S. Sodhi MD – Amul summarises it: “If you want to develop dairy, provide market access through stable and sustainable market price to farmers”.

Secondly it needs a value creating dairy farming model which relates to the milk price that the consumer is able to pay. Torsten Hemme MD – IFCN said: “Once you have a dairy farming model where the costs are lower than the milk prices, rapid milk production growth is a natural consequence”.

The dairy experts discussed different strategies for more developed and lesser developed regions like in the eastern part of India. In states like Orissa where milk production growth can be generated by focusing on the value chain like in the project operation flood. With low salaries the traditional small scale dairy model like 2 cows and crop residuals as the feed base are creating prosperity for the farmers.

In more developed dairy regions like in Gujarat the workshop concluded that successful dairy development shall focus more on skill development of the dairy farmers. Via that other aspects of dairy development as the future dairy farming model, the fitting services, the development of the value chain or policy can be addressed. The IFCN chairman Anders Fagerberg concluded “Let’s move in dairy development from a top-down to a more bottom-up approach. Via this we can better insure that dairy farming is attractive for the next generation, the younger people.”

IFCN thanks Amul, Elanco and Danone for hosting this year’s IFCN workshop.