On 1st June each year World Milk Day is celebrated to provide an opportunity to bring attention to the activities related with dairy sector and milk production. It was established by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations on 1st June 2001 and after 17 years of its initiation it is still celebrated world wide to recognize the importance of milk as a global food.
Each year several events are held in different countries, the activities include marathon, milking demos, farm visits, concerts, seminars and events which focus on promoting the value of milk and role played by the dairy products and the dairy industry in supporting the national and international economies.
On the 18th year of the World Milk Day Celebration a special campaign will be carried out by the Global Dairy Platform called “Raise a Glass” and a campaign’s hashtag is: #WorldMilkDay.
For centuries it is being said by nutritionist and doctors alike that milk is a complete food and it can be taken by people of any age group. Milk contains several important nutrients which is important for the growth of humans. A glass of milk (200ml) contains calcium, protein, iodine, potassium, phosphorus and vitamins B2 and B12. The health benefits of milk are many, some of them include improved bone strength, smoother skin, a stronger immune system. It also prevents illnesses such as hypertension, dental decay, dehydration, respiratory problems, obesity, osteoporosis and some forms of cancer. With so many benefits out of a single food item its no surprise it is called the ‘wonder liquid’.
Some Important Facts about Indian Milk Industry:
- India is the world’s biggest producer and consumer of milk. India produces a total of 140 million litres of milk in a year and the country is self-sufficient in dairy production and its demand is growing 4.5% every year.
- There are 300 million bovines(latin for cow) in India, and it has a total livestock of 512.1 million, including 200 million livestock cattle. There are over 70 million milk producers in the country.
- India shares 15% of the total global cattle population with 55 % milk from Buffalo and 45 % from cow . East India and North India are dominated by Buffalo whereas West India and South India’s dairy supplies are mostly fulfilled by Cows.
- Buffalo milk products dominate the Indian dairy markets as they are sold at a premium in India. Because of its rich composition and good taste it is preferred over cow milk. Buffalo milk also contains 6% – 7 % of fat which is higher than cow milk and with low cholesterol content, high protein and rich in calcium they are preferred most.
- In India’s dairy sector almost 80 % of milk produced are handled by the unorganized sector which includes the farmers, cattle owners while only 20 % of the milk is produced by organized sector in factories, dairy farms and dairy plants.
- Major milk exports from India includes Skimmed milk powder, Whole milk powder, Casein and Caseinates while dairy imports into the country includes Whey products, Whey powders and Whey protein concentrates.