Operation Flood- The Dairy Industry Revival Mooooo-ve!

In 1970, India set in motion the ‘White Revolution’ or "Operation Flood"- The world’s biggest dairy development program, led by Dr. Verghese Kurien. It transformed the dairy-deficient nation into the global leader in milk production.

We were lagging behind! India boasted the highest cattle population in the 1960s, yet ranked lowest in milk production. Between 1961 and 1970, total milk production had barely moved from 20.4 million tons to 20.8 million tons.

The Man Social entrepreneurs, political leaders and millions of milk farmers formed Amul. In the centre was a dairy engineering graduate who transformed a dusty little town in Gujarat into the milk capital of India- Mr Verghese Kurien He went on to win- 1966-Padma Bhushan, 1999-Padma Vibhushan

He introduced the principle of cooperative federalism. The idea was simple: To leave out the middleman and bridge the gap between dairy farmers and consumers.

Phase I (1970-1980): 1.5 million farm families supplied milk from 27 sheds in 10 states. Phase II (1981-1985): 4.25 million producers from 43,000 villages joined, with 136 sheds selling to 290 urban markets.

Final phase (until mid-1990s): 10 million farm families emphasized veterinary care and better breeding practices promoting self-sufficiency.

Starting at approximately 20 million tons initially, milk production surpassed 70 million tons. India managed to double its per ca pita milk consumption. The White Revolution in India stands as evidence of growth.