India is expected to maintain last year’s record of being the world’s largest milk producer, with an estimated 110 million tonnes in 2008-09.

The country achieved the distinction with the production of 104.8 million tonnes in the 2007-08, according to a spokesman of the National Dairy Development Board.

The spokesman said the world’s milk production was expected to be 688 million tonnes in 2008-09, a marginal 1.7 per cent increase over the previous year as against about four per cent increase achieved by India.

Within the country, farmers’ milk cooperatives showed a better performance. They procured about 9.2 million tonnes, an increase of 9.7 per cent over the previous year, handling over 14 per cent of the national marketable surplus. The cooperative sector covered about 21 per cent of the country’s villages and over 18 per cent of the total milk-producing households in rural areas.

The NDDB had prepared a Rs. 173 billion plan for the next 15 years to increase milk production with better productivity, substantially strengthening and expanding the infrastructure for procurement and human resources development. The NDDB had also set up a Centre for Analysis and Learning in Livestock and Food at Anand, in central Gujarat. It would provide reliable and efficient laboratory services for livestock, dairy and food sectors.

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