Successful Models in Indian Dairying
Authors: Darshnaben Mahida1*, Vanishree M1 and R Sendhil2
1ICAR- National Dairy Research Institute, Karnal - 132001
2ICAR- Indian Institute of Wheat and Barley Research, Karnal - 132001
*Corresponding author's email:

Scenario of Indian Dairying

India is the largest milk producer in the globe and is complimented as the ‘oyster’ of global dairy industry. The nation has the highest bovine population in the world contributing to surplus milk. Production of liquid milk in India has increased from 17 million tonnes to 155 million tonnes during the period 1950-51 to 2015-16. Similarly, the per capita availability witnessed an increase from 130 grams per day during 1950-51 to 337 grams per day during 2015-16 with 6.27 per cent growth per annum contributing 18.5 per cent to the global milk production (DAHD, 2017). Continuous and consistent increase in the production indicates the sustainable growth in the availability of milk and milk products for the ever-growing population.

Dairy industry in India is regarded as an instrument for social and economic development wherein in facilitates to improve the livelihood of small scale producers by providing employment and income generating opportunities to both urban and rural area. The country’s milk supply comes from millions of small, marginal farmers and landless labourers and it is largely handled by the unorganized sector. Dairy cooperatives play an important role in alleviating the rural poverty by sustainable milk procurement and marketing with strong distribution network.

Dairy production systems are generally located far away from the consumer markets. Milk being a highly perishable product, it entails efficient marketing and processing along the complete value chain, right from input supply to consumption (World Bank, 2010). The success of the dairy industry has resulted from the integrated cooperative system of milk collection, transportation, processing and distribution of different dairy products and sharing profits with farmers. Cooperatives also enhance and support the rural employment opportunities, sustainability and income generation through dairying. With a view to keep up pace with the country’s increasing demand for milk and milk based products, the industry has been growing in rapid manner. Dairy plants in India play a prominent role in procurement and marketing of milk in different regions catering the demand of different sections of people. The present article highlights the popular distribution models in India which ensures nutrition security for million consumers along with their salient features and served products.

  • AMUL (Anand Milk Union Limited): AMUL was formed in 1946 with the initial name of Kaira district cooperative milk producers union and now popularly known as Anand milk union limited. The brand name ‘AMUL’ is being managed by the Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation Limited (GCMMF). AMUL has set dawn of white revolution in India, which has made India the largest producer of milk and milk based products in the world. AMUL is the leader for dairy industry in Asia and stands second in the world. Dr. Verghese Kurien is the founder-chairman of the GCMMF, and the father of white revolution. Table 1 furnishes the salient information for AMUL.
Table 1. Anand Milk Union Limited (AMUL) - An Overview

Year of establishment 1946 by Dr.Verghese Kurien
No. of district cooperative milk union members 18
No. of milk producer members 694271
No. of village dairy cooperative societies 1713
Total milk handling capacity 5 million litres per day
Milk collection (daily average) 2.5 million litres
Milk drying capacity 150 tonnes per day
Cattle feed manufacturing capacity 2500 tonnes per day
Sales turnover (2016-17) INR 57000 million (US $ 900 million)
Milk products Milk, Butter, Ghee, Milk Powder, Chocolate, Paneer, Curd etc

  • Mother Dairy India Limited: Mother dairy is the single largest brand of milk in India as well as in Asia, marketing about 4.45 million litres of milk per day. It is the subsidiary of the National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) and it was an initiative under the Operation Flood programme. Mother dairy India limited is one of the most effluent companies of India for processed milk and milk products under the ‘Mother Dairy’ brand. The main aim of the organisation is to protect the welfare of the solidities by providing quality milk to its consumers at affordable prices. Apart from dairy products, it also has a diversified portfolio with products in edible oils, fruits & vegetables, frozen vegetables, pulses, processed food like fruit juices, jams, etc. to meet the daily requirements of multitude consumers. Table 2. Mother Dairy - An Overview
Year of establishment 1974 by the National Dairy Development Board (NDDB)
Number of manufacturing plants 6 major plants
Head Office Noida, Uttar Pradesh
Quantity of milk handled 46.45 million litres per day
Manufacturing and selling of toned milk 8.5 lakh litres
Main Products Milk, Ice Creams, Dahi, Lassi and Flavored Milk

  • Karnataka Cooperative Milk Federation (KMF): KMF is the apex body for dairy cooperative movement in Karnataka. The milk cooperative has the three tier structure in the state. Dairy cooperative societies at grass root level, district cooperative milk unions at district level and milk federation at state level. It is the third largest amongst the dairy cooperatives functioning in the country. In South India, it stands first in terms of procurement as well as sales. KMF is India’s first World Bank funded dairy development program modelled on the pattern of AMUL. The important function of federation is to market the milk and milk based products under the brand name "Nandini" which is a popular household name in the state for pure and fresh milk and milk products. KMF is one of the few federations among dairy plants in the country which has converted dairying from a subsidiary occupation into an industry.
Table 3. KMF – An Overview

Year of establishment 1974
Head office Bengaluru, Karnataka
No. of district cooperative milk unions 13
No. of milk producers 2.25 million
No. of dairy cooperative societies at village level 12334
Main products The company has over 50 milk products like toned milk, curd, lassi, ghee, milk powder, ice cream, chocolates etc.


Dairying plays a major role in improving the income and welfare of the rural milk producers, nutrition and women empowerment by creating employment opportunities in the country. The dairy industry in India is emerging day by day and is attributed to the increasing demand for milk and milk based products in both rural and urban areas. The development of dairy cooperative societies is important for efficient handling, processing and distribution of milk and milk based products in order to meet the consumer demand year around. Successful cases like AMUL, Mother India and KMF should be replicated across the country for sustaining the dairy industry.


1. Anand Milk Union Limited (AMUL) (2016-17).
2. DAHD (Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairy and Fisheries) (2017).
3. Karnataka Milk Federation (KMF) (2016).
4. Mother Dairy India Limited.
5. World Bank. (2010). Demand-led transformation of livestock sector in India: Achievements, challenges and opportunities. The World Bank, Washington, DC

About Author / Additional Info:
Darshnaben Mahida has completed M.Sc (Agricultural Economics) from the ICAR- National Dairy Research Institute, Karnal in 2017 and pursuing her Ph.D in the same organization.