How did India become the largest milk producer? Looking back at Operation Flood on World Milk Day

By: FPJ Web Desk | June 01, 2023

June 1 was declared as World Milk day by the UN in 2001 to recognize the importance of milk and the dairy industry. Today, as we celebrate the same, let's take look back at 'Operation Flood'

From being a milk-deficient country after independence to a key milk producer, Operation Flood played a huge role in India's white revolution.


Over the years, India has become world's largest milk producer surpassing USA in 1998 with 24% of the global production in 2021-22. The Amul trinity - Verghese Kurien, TK Patel, and HM Dalaya - is the reason behind this successful move.

Wikimedia Commons

Operation Flood or White Revolution was a dairy development program by National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) from 1970 to 1996, to increase milk production to ensure nutrition security and a steady income for dairy farmers.


During the first phase (1970-1980), focus was to increase the producer's share in the market and enhance rural dairy development near cities.

In pic- Rajiv Gandhi with Dr. Kurien: Wikimedia Commons

During the second phase (1981-1985), the number of milk sheds were expanded multi-fold. And a self-sustaining system of village co-operatives were created.


During the last phase (1985-1996), the programme focused on infrastructure, veterinary services, and research and development.

In pic- Jawaharlal Nehru with Dr. Kurien: Twitter

The success of the operation also led to more women participation in the dairy sector. Notably, India has come a long way in fulfilling its domestic milk needs. We now have surplus, which is expected to reach 100 million MT by 2027.


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