Dr. RS Sodhi, President of the Indian Dairy Association (IDA) and former Managing Director of Amul, has said that there will be an investment of Rs 1 lakh crore in the dairy sector alone in the next 7-8 years. This will create 72 lakh jobs in this sector. Apart from this, investment will also increase in the fields of fisheries, poultry, and livestock.
These areas are growing rapidly. By the year 2030, the market of food items will increase more than three times to Rs 170 lakh crore. Currently, this market is worth Rs 50 lakh crore. Therefore, farmers should focus on the production of only those whose demand is going to increase in the future, he said.
Addressing the Rural Voice Agriculture Conclave in New Delhi, the former Amul MD said there will be an investment of Rs 1 lakh crore in the dairy sector during the next 7-8 years. With this, milk production in the organized sector will increase to 24 crore liters per day. At present, 12 crore liters of milk are produced daily in the organized sector. As far as jobs are concerned, when one lakh liters of milk is produced in the organized sector, it provides employment to 6,000 people. In such a situation, if milk production increases by 12 crore liters, 72 lakh jobs will be created.
He said that today the production of milk has increased 10 times, that of poultry 23 times, that of fisheries 12 times, and that of fruits and vegetables 5.5 times. 50 years ago, 24 million tonnes of milk was produced in the country, today it has reached 231 million tonnes. It is estimated to reach 628 million tonnes by 2047. Presently the per capita consumption of milk is 460 grams. It is estimated to reach 850 grams in 2047.
He said that the agricultural market is currently worth about Rs 50 lakh crore. The organized sector in this is worth Rs 7 lakh crore. In this too, half of the organized market of about Rs 3.5 lakh crore is for milk. By the year 2030, the market of food items will be worth Rs 170 lakh crore. He said that the milk sector developed because both farmers and consumers were in a profitable position.
Today the branded food market is expanding not only in metros but also in tier 2 and tier 3 cities, especially in smaller packs. It is worth noting here that the consumer pays a 10-20% premium for good quality, but if the premium is more than that, he looks for value in the product.
He said that today the demand among customers for products containing more and more protein, fat and animal sources is increasing. Therefore, farmers should increase the production of that which is in demand in the market. He said that if your product has taste and nutrition and remains within the budget, then the demand for it will always remain. This is an age-old tradition of the market that continues even today and will remain so in the times to come.
Sodhi also told about the challenges faced by farmers and agriculture. He said that cross-breed cows give 8.5 liters of milk, while local breed cows give 3.5 to 4 liters of milk. The farmer has to think about which breed of cow he should keep.
He said that another challenge is that of sustainability. These days there is a lot of talk about sustainability in the agricultural sector. The reality is that climate change is being used by developed countries to stop developing countries. He said that sustainability will be successful only when a person's stomach is full.