Financial Express, August 26, 2020
The dairy sector would alone create 1.2 crore new jobs over the next 10 years.
Amid a major job crisis in India, the dairy sector can give a significant fillip to the employment generation in the country. The dairy sector would alone create 1.2 crore new jobs over the next 10 years, said R S Sodhi, Managing Director, Gujarat Co-operative Milk Marketing Federation Limited (Amul). R S Sodhi added that India produces 21 per cent of the milk in the world and India’s milk market was growing at 5 per cent, compared to the 1.8 per cent growth in the global milk market. He further said that Amul had not invested overseas because the market and the growth, both are in India.
Indicating opportunities for investors in the entire value chain, from animal breeding and feeding to logistics and packaging, the Anul MD highlighted that the organised dairy sector in India was set to grow from $30 billion to $110 bn over the next decade. Speaking at an online dialogue organized by All India Management Association (AIMA), he also said that while India could not be the food provider to the world, it could certainly be dairy products provider to the world.
Is food inflation really a worry?
Unerlining the need to give a good price to farmers, R S Sodhi asked to focus on the Indian market as the industry will lose money exporting to the US and Europe. He also argued that Indian farmers remained poor because the urban lobby painted food prices increase as harmful to the economy. “When we raise milk price by Rs 1-2, it makes headlines and newspapers raise the issue of food inflation and people who spend Rs 400 on a pizza complain about even the minutest increases in raw food prices,” he pointed out.
Meanwhile, India used to be self-sufficient in edible oils before the government permitted duty-free imports, which resulted in 70 per cent reliance on imported edible oils. On the impact of vegan movement on the dairy sector, R S Sodhi said that it was an American phenomenon and the demand for dairy products had fallen 10 per cent in that country, however, in India, if a few lakh people exit the dairy market, millions of new consumers join each year as milk is a part of nutrition in India.
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