Articles
Science and Society: An Indian Perspective
by J. K. Bajaj and M. D. Srinivas


Impact of Modernisation on Milk and Oilseeds Economy

Cereals, pulses, milk products and oils form almost the whole of the Indian diet. These along with sugarcane and cotton also account for most of the production potential of Indian agriculture. Traditional Indian agricultural practices seem to have maintained a balance in the relative production of these products and their spread over the geographical extent of India, which perhaps corresponded to the dietary needs in various areas and perceived priorities of the Indian farmers.


During the mid-60’s a serious attempt was made to introduce new agricultural practices in India, especially in those areas which were traditionally rich in agricultural production, and had the resources to support modern techniques and practices. We have earlier analysed the impact of this exercise on the production of cereals and pulses in India.[1] In this article, we attempt a similar analysis of the effect of modernisation on the milk and oilseeds sector of Indian agriculture.


Modernisation of cereal production consisted in the introduction of new technologies that made it possible to obtain substantially high productivity per unit area, at least in a few areas, at the cost of substantial input of resources. No such new technology has been introduced in either pulses or oilseeds. Therefore, whatever changes are seen in the production pattern of these crops are a consequence of the change in agricultural practices that was necessitated by the introduction of new cereal production technologies, and the resulting changes in the market. In the case of milk production, the technology of rearing exotic crossbreeds corresponds quite closely to the high yielding cereal technology, but not much success has yet been achieved in introducing these exotic animals in India in a big way. Modernisation of the milk sector, as we shall see, has essentially consisted in the introduction of modern processing and marketing techniques during the 70’s. A survey of the milk and oilseeds sector is therefore likely to provide insight into a different facet of modernisation. It shall allow us to see how modernisation may be effected without any change in the technology and efficiency of production.


Incidentally, milk and oilseeds are very closely linked. Important milk products like ghee and butter are substitutable with oils in Indian diet. Also oilseeds and oil-cakes form an important component of the bovine diet, a component that largely determines the quality and quantity of milk-output of the milch cattle, and strength of the draught animal.


We begin by studying the changes in the bovine stock of India since Independence. Next we study the impact of these changes in the bovine stock and of the efforts at modernisation of the milk sector on the production and distribution of milk. In the last section we look at the changes occurring in the agriculture and economy of oilseeds as a consequence of the changes in the cereals and milk economy.


I. Bovine Population 1951-1980


Rate of Growth

The size and composition of the bovine population in India has been changing significantly since the 1950’s. Detailed data on bovine population as recorded in the livestock censuses held between 1951 and 1977 are given in Appendix 1. Projections for the years 1985 and 2000 reported by the National Commission of Agriculture have also been included there. Table 1 below is a summary of the data in Appendix 1.

Table 1: Function-wise Break up of Bovine Population 1951-2000 (in million heads)


1951

1956

1961

1966

1972

1977

1985

2000*

Work-animals

67.38

70.69

80.45

81.40

82.61

83.23

84.55

80.14

Breeding Females

67.38

68.95

75.24

77.28

82.03

85.85

88.47

81.84

Those in Milk

29.18

31.92

33.13

33.89

37.11

40.21

(Not available)

Young Stock

58.33

59.90

67.33

66.64

67.60

69.09

67.64

61.56

Total Bovine

198.64

203.62

226.77

229.52

235.77

241.96

243.71

224.60


Note
: Figures for 1985 and 2000 are projections. For these years figures of breeding females in milk are not separately given. For other years, figures for those in milk are also included in the total breeding females. Total Bovine population is more than the sum of the three categories of work animals, breeding females and young stock because some minor categories are not listed in this Table. See, Appendix for details. Source: As in Appendix 1.

A striking feature of the data above is the substantial spurt in bovine population that took place between 1951 and 1961, and distinct slackening in the rate of growth after that period. In the ten years between 1951 and 1961, bovine population grew by 14.2% adding 28.13 million heads to the stock. However, in a period of more than one and a half decades between 1961 and 1977, total accretion to the bovine stock was 15.19 million heads, an increase of 6.7% in sixteen years. This trend of declining growth in bovine population is expected to continue and become more pronounced. Projections beyond the seventies indicate an absolute decline in bovine stock.


To understand this trend, it may be remarked that 1950-51 to 1964-65 was an exceptionally good period for Indian agriculture. This was the period when traditional Indian agricultural practices came into their own, and total agricultural production, total area under crops, and yields per unit area grew at a sharp pace. (See, Appendix 2). It is true that towards the end of this period, during the third plan (1961-62 to 1964-65), rate of growth of total area under crops had become rather low, but this was compensated by a rise in the rate of growth of yield per hectare. The latter rate had reached 2.7% per annum during the third plan; this significant increase in yield was achieved without the introduction of any new technologies in agriculture. This initial period of 1950-51 to 1964-65 was followed by a couple of exceptionally bad years. Then around 1967 the new ‘Green Revolution’ technology was introduced, and the era of modern agriculture in some selected areas of India dawned. It is therefore instructive to take the period between 1950 to 1960, or thereabouts, as the pre-modernisation phase, and the period following 1966 as the post-modernisation phase, and to treat the two periods as separate distinct phases of Indian agriculture. Their distinctness, as a mater of fact, emerges strongly from all data on agriculture. The decline in the rate of growth of bovine stock noticed in Table 1 above then could be seen as a reflection of the modernisation of Indian agricultural practices, which was formally instituted in mid-sixties.



Composition of Bovine Stock 1951-61: Pre-modernisation phase

Table 1 reveals further interesting information as we look at the variation in the composition of bovine population over the years. During the period of 1951-61, the number of work-animals rose at a rate much faster than that of the breeding females. The period begins with the number of work-animals and breeding females being exactly equal, at 67.38 million. In 1961 there are almost 5 million more work-animals as compared to breeding females. In this decade, while the total bovine population rose by 14.2%, the population of work-animals grew by 19.4% and that of breeding females by 11.7%. Out of the breeding females those in milk fared slightly better with their number rising by 13.5%, still much lower than that of work-animals.


This trend is understandable. Milk is an expensive product, and in a situation lacking plenty, production of milk can have only a low priority. During the period 1951-61, gross sown area was increasing sharply, and the first priority of the cultivator was naturally to meet the increasing requirements of animal power for the new area being brought under plough. Indian farmers, notwithstanding their traditional ideas and practices, were able to readjust the composition of bovine stock quite rationally and quickly to meet the new needs. Gross sown area rose from 127.9 million hectares in 1951 to 145.7 in 1956, and 155.2 million hectares in 1961. Number of work-animals per hectare was 0.526 in 1951, it fell to 0.485 in 1956, but by 1961 it was up to 0.518, only marginally lower than the per capita number of animals in 1951. Amount of mechanical power available per hectare also rose slightly during this period, though its contribution to the total power available remained negligible. (See, Table 2).


Table 2: Work-animals and Mechanical Power, 1951-1961


1951

1956

1961

Number of work-animals (millions)

67.38

70.69

80.45

Gross sown area (million hectares)

127.90

145.70

155.20

Work-animals per hectare

0.526

0.485

0.518

Mechanical power (hp/ha)

0.006

0.008

0.016


Note
: Data on the number of work-animals is taken from Table 1. Gross sown area given above refers to triennial averages obtained from the annual data in various issues of Estimates of Area and Production of Principal Crops, published by Directorate of Economic Statistics, Ministry of Planning, Govt. of India, New Delhi. Mechanical power per hectare is estimated by using the data on number of agricultural implements given in various issues of Agriculture in Brief, published annually by the Ministry of Agriculture, Government of India. Mechanical power is calculated assuming average power of a tractor to be 15 hp and of all other implements to be 5 hp each as in A. Vaidyanathan, Aspects of India’s Bovine Economy, Indian Journal of Agricultural Economics, 33, 1 (Jan‑Mar 1978), p.1-29.


It should be noted that though the population of milch-animals grew at a rate slower than that of work-animals in this period, yet per capita availability of milk declined only slightly, from 48.2 kg per capita per annum in 1951 to 46.4 gm in 1961 (See, Table 3 below). Total production of milk rose by 17%, from 17.4 million tons in 1951 to 20.4 in 1961. This increase in milk production can largely be explained in terms of the increase in the number of milk animals (13.5%), combined with the fact that increase in the number of buffaloes in milk at 21.9%, which have higher milk yields, was considerably larger than that of cows in milk at merely 9%. (See, Appendix 1).


Table 3: Production of Milk in India 1940-1961

Milk Source

Cow

Buffalo

Goat

Total

Availability

940

7517

9090

502

17109

149/54.38

1945

7698

9778

498

17974

148/54.02

1951

7743

9184

479

17406

132/48.20

1956

8180

10976

561

19717

135/49.27

1961

8753

11087

535

20375

127/46.39


Note
: Production in thousand metric tons per year; availability in grams per person per day and kg per year. Source: Various editions of Agriculture in Brief, cited earlier.


We shall see in a later section that during the period 1951-65 production of major oilseeds kept rising in proportion to the overall increase in the production and productivity of other major crops in the country. Production of major oilseeds rose from 5.16 million tons in 1951 to 7.53 million tons at the end of third plan (1965). Per capita availability of major oils rose from 3.2 kg/year in 1955 to 3.9 kg/year in 1965. Availability of oil-cakes for the animals increased correspondingly.


Thus it seems that in the first phase of about 15 years following Independence, our agriculture was doing remarkably well on all fronts. The marked and rationally balanced increase in bovine stock that took place between 1951 and 1961 only underscores the general health of Indian agriculture during this period. This needs to be emphasised in view of the general impression, which is often sought to be created, of acute scarcities and stagnating yields persisting in Indian agriculture until the introduction of new Green Revolution technologies in the post-1965 phase.


Composition of Bovine Stock 1961-1977: Modernisation Phase

In the second phase of Indian agriculture the picture of balanced growth in milk, oilseeds and animal-power depicted above starts to change. To understand the situation in terms of bovine population let us once again look at Table 1. We have already noticed that the rate of growth in bovine stock shows a sharp decline after 1961; and beyond the seventies, the projected growth rates become negative. More importantly, while in the earlier period the population of work-animals rose at a rate faster than that of milch-animals, the trend is reversed in the post-1961 period. Between 1961 and 1977, the number of work-animals grew by only 2.78 million heads, from 80.45 million to 83.23 million, a percentage rise of 3.45% in sixteen years. The population of breeding females during the same period rose by 10.61 million heads. Number of breeding females in 1977 stood at 85.85 million, outstripping the number of work-animals at 83.23 million. Rise in the stock of breeding females between 1961 and 1977 was 14.10%, which was more than double the rise of 6.69% in the total bovine population and more than four times the percentage rise in work-animals during the period. Number of females in milk during this period rose even more sharply from 33.12 million in 1961 to 40.21 million in 1977, implying a cumulative growth of 21.37%. For the sake of comparison with the earlier phase, we have displayed in Table 4 below, the percentage increase in different components of bovine stock that took place during the ten year period between 1951‑61 and the sixteen years between 1961 and 1977. This trend of decreasing rate of growth of total bovine stock along with a decrease in the number of work-animals relative to that of milch-animals is projected to continue and become stronger in the future. (See, Table 1).


Table 4: Percentage Rise in Different Components of Bovine Stock


1951-61

1961-77

Total Bovine Stock

14.16

6.69

Work-Animals

19.39

3.45

Breeding Females

11.66

14.10

Females in Milk

13.54

21.37


Note
: Percentage rise listed is the total for the period indicated. Source: Based on Table 1.


This decrease in the rate of growth of work-animals is not merely a reflection of the decrease in rate of growth of area under crops, which becomes rather noticeable after 1961 (see Appendix 2). The decline in the rate of growth of work-animals is sharper than that in the sown-area, and after 1966, availability of work-animals per hectare of gross sown area starts declining substantially, as we discuss in greater detail in the following section.


Thus the onset of the modern phase of Indian agriculture is reflected in a declining tendency, or perhaps capacity, to support bovine stock. On the other hand, we see a shift in emphasis from raising work-animals for providing essential power on the fields, to milch-animals for production of milk, probably for the market. That milk production was becoming more commercialised is indicated by the rising proportion of breeding buffaloes amongst the breeding cattle (Table 5). Buffalo, unlike the indigenous cow, is essentially a producer of milk for the market.


Table 5: Ratio of Breeding Cattle to Breeding Buffaloes


1951

1956

1961

1966

1972

1977

1985

2000

Cattle/ Buffaloes

2.21

2.18

2.10

2.03

1.87

1.74

1.67

1.67


Note
: Data for 1985 and 2000 are projected figures. Source: See, Appendix 1.


Changes in bovine stock noticed above start occurring around 1961, before the introduction of new Green Revolution technology. But the period 1961-66 seems to be generally bad for bovine population, and the trends we are noticing get firmly established only after 1966. Bovine economy in India was perhaps coming under modernising and commercialising pressures even earlier. Introduction of new technology in agriculture around 1966 accelerated the pace of change.


Impact of Changes in Bovine Stock

a) Reduced Availability of Power for Agricultural Operations

At first glance it may seem that the trend of decreasing availability of animal power is merely a reflection of increasing availability of mechanical power in India. As can be seen from Table 6 below, availability of mechanical power per hectare of the gross sown area indeed starts becoming non-negligible after 1966, and this could have substituted for the decreasing animal power.


Table 6: Availability of Work-animals and Mechanical Power 1961-1984


1961

1966

1972

1977

1984

Number of Work-animals (millions)

80.45

81.40

82.61

83.23

84.55

Gross Sown Area (million hectares)

155.2

158.0

164.0

170.2

174.0

Work-animals /ha

0.518

0.515

0.503

0.488

0.486

Mechanical Power (hp/ha)

0.016

0.035

0.113

0.168

0.323


Sources: As in Table 1 and 2, above. Data on Agricultural Implements for 1977 and 1984 are taken from Basic Statistic Relating to Indian Economy, Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy, August 1985, Vol. 1, Table 12.9; for oil-engines in 1977, data for 1974 is used.


However, an analysis of the data disaggregated up to the state level shows that the phenomenon of declining aggregate availability of animal power did not constitute a simple substitution of the traditional animal power with modern mechanical power. Data from five selected states in which there was a rapid and sustained rise in mechanical power per hectare between 1956 and 1972 indicate that in only three of those there was a decrease in the number of animals per hectare, while two recorded a net increase.[2] (See, Appendix 3).


(b) Effect on Milk Production

Though during 1961-77 the number of breeding females rose at a rate significantly greater than that of work-animals, yet their rate of growth was not any larger than the growth recorded in the earlier period of 1951-61. Referring to Table 4, we find that the number of breeding females during 1961-77 rose by 14.10%, representing a simple rate of growth of 8.8% per decade which is less than the rise of 11.66% that occurred in the earlier decade. The rise of 21.37% in the number of females in milk during the sixteen-year period implies about the same annual growth as the increase of 13.54% that took place during 1951-61.


It is not that the number of milch-animals during the post modernisation phase has shown a sharp rise; it is only that the female stock in milk has not suffered the sharp decline in rate of growth that overtook all other categories of bovine stock. Therefore, we should not expect any spectacular increase in production of milk or per capita availability of milk occurring in the modern phase. The data on production and availability of milk, in Table 7 below, seem to bear this out, at least up to 1972. Between 1961 and 1966, the production of milk actually declines by about one million tons, reflecting the stagnation in bovine stock that occurred during this period (see, Table 1 and Appendix 1). By 1972 milk production however picks up and between 1961 and 1972 there is a rise in milk production of 10.43%, roughly equal to the rise of 12.01% in the stock of females in milk. As we have seen earlier, during 1951-61 also rise in production of milk was comparable to the rise in milch stock.


After 1972, however, the data show sharp increases in milk production not related to increases in the number of females in milk. Thus between 1972 and 1978, milk production rises from 22.5 million tons to 27.5 million tons, an increase of about 22%, and keeps on increasing at even a faster pace after that. This seems odd. Between 1972 and 1977, the number of animals in milk rose only by 8.35% and even the number of buffaloes in milk rose by only 12.80%. Rise in milk productions at a rate faster, in fact almost double, than the rise of buffaloes in milk seems unlikely. Especially, when the rate of growth of oilseeds and consequently of oil-cakes, an essential component of the milch animal diet, started declining in the period following 1966, as we shall below. The data on milk production after the seventies refer to a period when an ambitious programme to modernise the milk economy had been launched; since this programme has often been under attack, the data on milk production referring to this period are perhaps not very reliable.


Table 7: Production of Milk in India 1961-1980

Milk Source

Cow

Buffalo

Goat

Total

Availability

1951

7,743

9,184

479

17,406

132/48.18

1961

8,753

11,087

535

20,375

127/46.39

1966

6,918

11,879

571

19,368

108/39.42

1972

9,450

12,375

675

22,500

112/40.88

1974

9,744

12,760

696

23,200

110/40.15

1978

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

27,500

119/43.44

1979

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

29,108

124/45.26

1980

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

30,204

126/45.99


Note: Milk production in thousand metric tons per year; availability in grams per person per day and kg per person per annum. Source: Various editions of Agriculture in Brief, cited earlier.


Looking at the period 1961-72, data for which are more reliable, we find that the rate of growth of milk production is lower than the rate achieved in the earlier decade. Per capita availability of milk in 1976 declines to 40.1 kg/year in 1972 compared to 46.4 kg/year in 1961 and 48.2 kg/year in 1951. Impact of modernisation of bovine stock therefore is reflected in both a decline in the availability of animal power per unit sown area, and a decline in the per capita availability of milk. Commercialisation of bovine stock indicated by the increased number of milch-animals compared to that of work-animals, and increased number of buffaloes compared to the cows, may have resulted in greater availability of milk in the market, but there was lesser milk available per capita on the average.


II. Operation Flood

Changes in the size and composition of bovine stock, and therefore in the milk economy of India that we have discussed above were perhaps an indirect consequence of the increasing commercialisation and selective modernisation of Indian agriculture that started occurring around the mid-sixties. In the early seventies a more direct intervention in the Indian milk economy was planned through a national dairy development programme funded by the European Economic Community. Some attempts to modernise the dairy sector had been going on at the level of the individual states even before this national project, called Operation Flood, came into existence. This project, initially modest in terms of funds and coverage of area, soon became the model for all dairy development activity in the county, and later, much of this activity was in fact brought under the Operation Flood umbrella. Therefore to understand the changes that occurred in the milk sector of Indian agriculture after 1970, it is instructive to look at the working of this project in detail.



History and basic strategy


Period of Operation

Operation Flood (OF) was launched in 1970, initially for a period of five years. It was continued up to 1981. Meanwhile another project, called Operation Flood II (OF-II), with the same objectives and strategy as the original project, but with a much larger area of operation and appreciably larger funds was started in 1978. OF-II was supposed to end in 1985. It seems to have been extended up to at least 1990.


Strategy

The Operation Flood strategy, as enunciated by its proponents, was to organise milk farmers in some of the important milk-sheds of the country into co-operatives; to provide them with inputs and services necessary for improving milk-production; and to link these milk co-operatives with the milk markets of the country, especially with the vast markets offered by the four metro cities of Delhi, Bombay, Calcutta and Madras. It was hoped that this strategy would enhance milk production in the country and provide remunerative prices to the milk farmers, freeing them from the clutches of middlemen, on the one hand; and on the other hand, the project was expected to ensure abundant supply of liquid milk at a reasonable price for the urban consumers, especially benefiting, according to the project authorities, the vulnerable groups, comprising of pre-school children, and nursing and expectant mothers, etc.


The Operation Flood approach, even though based on village level co-operatives, was to be a high technology capital-intensive approach. The inputs envisaged to be provided to the co-operatives for enhancing milk production were artificial insemination, veterinary health care, and feed concentrates, etc. These would require the acquisition and installation of liquid nitrogen plants, liquid nitrogen containers, mobile veterinary care vans, vaccine production plants, feed-mixing plants and so on.


However, the village level milk co-operatives and provision of high technology inputs to them were not the only focus of the project. The project had another, and for the project authorities much more significant, focus centred on developing the urban markets, and making provisions for taking milk from the rural areas to these markets. According to the project proposal, the aim of the project was to develop the dairy industry in Bombay, Calcutta, Delhi and Madras and in the rural areas that supply milk to those cities. (See, Appendix 4).


Linking of the scattered village co-operatives with the markets of the metropolises required the establishment of a network of chilling plants, feeder dairies, and balancing dairies; the last mentioned converted milk to skimmed milk powder (SMP) and other products, and recombined them back into liquid milk. It required major increases in dairy processing facilities in the big cities. It also needed the development of transportation facilities to make possible the movement of large quantities of milk over long distances. The procurement, processing and marketing activities were even more expensive and required more sophisticated technology than the various components of the production-enhancement programme.


Management

The Operation Flood approach of using the institutional framework of village co-operatives, along with high technology, high investments and highly professional management, to organise procurement, processing and sale of milk in far flung markets was first tried successfully by Amul, a private co-operative venture based in Anand, Gujarat. The execution of Operation Flood was entrusted to the Indian Dairy Corporation (IDC) established in 1970 with its headquarters in Baroda, near Anand. The professional competence in organising this type of activity developed by Amul at Anand was made available to IDC through the National Dairy Development Board (NDDB), a registered society based in Anand. The NDDB was appointed to act as technical consultant to the IDC. Sri Verghese Kurien, a senior manager of Amul, was designated the honorary Chairman of both the NDDB and IDC.


Funding

The managerial expertise for the project thus came from Amul. And, money for all the capital-intensive activity to be undertaken under the project was to come from the sale of skimmed milk powder (SMP) and butter or butter-oil (BO) to be gifted by the European Economic Community (EEC) under the World Food Programme (WFP). Initially these gifted commodities were also to provide the milk supply necessary for the urban dairies to get into business and capture a major share of the milk market. It was hoped that as the project proceeded, the production and procurement of milk would pick up and dependence of the dairy programme on imported SMP and BO would keep coming down. From the way the project has been extended from 1975 to 1981 to 1985, and now to 1990, it seems that hope has not materialised.



Relative Importance of Production-Enhancement and Marketing

We have noticed that Operation Flood as envisaged had two distinct components. On the one hand, production of milk in the country, at least in the major milk-sheds of the country, was to be improved through the organisation of farmers’ milk co-operatives, and provision of critical technical inputs. On the other hand, the procurement, processing and marketing of milk were to be organised through the establishment of the necessary storage, transportation and processing infrastructure. While making allocations for the OF project some balance was maintained in these two components.


In money terms the first OF project was not big. Sale of the gifted commodities during the five years of the project was expected to generate revenue of 95.4 crore rupees. Out of this revenue 40.06 crore was to be spent on expansion of dairy plants and ancillary facilities, and 34.30 crore on cattle development and improving milk production. Of the remaining revenues, 5.64 crore was to be spent upon resettlement of city-based cattle-keepers in rural areas, which was a core objective of the first OF project. The project generated an actual revenue of 116 crore. Irrespective of the allocations, most of this money was spent on generating processing capacities, and marketing infrastructure. The programme of shifting city-based cattle keepers to villages was formally shelved and the money earmarked for this purpose was reallocated towards increasing infra-structural facilities, especially in the four metropolitan cities.


The fascination of OF with procurement, processing and marketing activities, at the cost of activities designed to enhance milk-output and improve organisation of production, became even more marked during OF-II. The OF-II is a much bigger project than the first OF project, involving a total allocation of 485.5 crore. In Table 8 below, we show the item-wise allocation of funds in OF-II and the money spent an various items up to March 1984.


Table 8: Action Item-wise Allocation and Disbursement of Funds in OF-II


Description

Allocation

Disbursement

1.

Processing Capacity

150.055

84.26

2.

Technical Inputs for Milk Production

108.456

23.47

3.

Milk Marketing System

53.912

16.79

4.

Support for Village Co-operative Organisation

65.149

8.85

5.

Planning, Information System, Training and Research (NDDB’s expenditure)

17.919

9.61

6.

Project Implementation (IDC’s direct expenditure)

25.710

3.84

7.

National Milk Grid and Stabilisation (IDC’s direct expenditure)

34.511

13.12

8.

Infrastructural support for disease control and milk production enhancement

25.800

18.09

9.

Supplementary Feeding Programme (IDC’s direct expenditure)

3.000

0.29

10.

Dairy Equipment Pool

-

24.21


Grand Total

485.512

202.53


Note
: All figures are in crore rupees. Last column gives disbursements made up to March 1984. Item 10 represents purchase of dairy equipment for supply to dairies under construction. Source: Indian Dairy Corporation. Reproduced from the Jha Committee Report, Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation, Government of India, New Delhi 1984. See, Appendix 3.2.


Total expenditure in OF-II, by March 1984, was 202.53 crore, about 42% of the total allocation of 485.5 crore. Out of the expenditure of 202.53 crore, 108.47 crore had been spent on building processing capacities and buying equipment for the dairies under construction. This amounted to 72% of the total allocation of 150.06 crore under this head. On the other hand, of the allocation of 108.46 crore for providing, technical inputs for milk production, only 23.47 crore, barely 22% of the allocation had been spent. Similarly, of the 65.15 crore allocated for providing support to village co-operative organisations, a sum of 8.85 crore forming 13.6% of the allocation had been spent. The expenditure of 18.09 crore that appears under the head of support for disease control and milk production enhancement (item 8 in Table 8) was all spent on setting up a vaccine manufacture plant in Hyderabad. The products of this facility are lying largely unused in the plant. The special fascination of the OF project with processing and marketing activities, and the acquisition of hardware clearly stands out in these expenditure figures.


Production Enhancement Activities: Jha Committee’s Appraisal

This lopsided emphasis on acquiring sophisticated hardware and expanding procurement, processing and marketing activities without doing anything much for improving milk-production, became such a scandal by the early 80’s that the government had to appoint a committee in February 1984 to evaluate the functioning of the OF project. It was chaired by senior government economist, L. K. Jha, and came to be known as the Jha Committee. The committee in its report submitted in December 1984 generally approved of the objectives and achievements of the project. After all, modernisation and commercialisation of all sectors of Indian economy, irrespective of the consequences, is and has been the official policy of the Government of India for a long time. However, the Jha Committee in its detailed evaluation of the OF project did notice the failure of IDC/NDDB to implement the milk production enhancement component of the project while doing rather well on the procurement, processing and marketing front. It is instructive to look at the evaluation presented by the Jha Committee of the progress made under OF in various activities related to the milk production enhancement component of the project.


Milk Producers’ Co-operatives

One of the major activities envisaged in the OF project was to organise milk producers’ co-operatives in the rural areas so as to encourage and help the rural people, especially small cultivators and landless agricultural workers, to take to milk production.


According to the Jha Committee report, a total of 28,614 co-operative societies had been organised under OF-II by March 1984, as against the project target of 70,356. The Committee suspected that not all the co-operatives were newly formed under the project. In many cases, already existing co-operatives were brought under the OF and counted as achievements of the project. According to the Committee report (para 12.1 and 12.2):


In states where village and Union (district) level co-operative structure already existed, it was only a matter of superimposing a federation at the state level… In this connection, it is worth mentioning that it seemed to us that in some instances… the Anand pattern was accepted without any genuine commitment to it, largely because of the availability of additional funds from the IDC and the apprehension that adequate funds for dairy development might not be otherwise available…


The Jha Committee goes further to point out that the OF project was not even equipped to undertake the type of grass-root level activity that is necessary for the development of milk potential in an area, and distribution of this potential amongst the poorer producers. To quote the Committee again (para 12.4):


The Anand pattern is based on the assumption that those who are already producing milk will join the co-operative. This was a reasonable assumption in an area in which milk supply had been adequately developed even before the co-operatives came into the picture. However, when bringing in new areas under OF-II the assumption is not necessarily valid. While the richer farmer may well be owning a herd of cattle, the objective of enabling the marginal farmers or land-less labourers to derive a supplementary income from the production of milk necessitates appropriate arrangements being made to enable them to own cows or buffaloes. Operation Flood II itself has no provision to assist in this…


Thus even at its best OF could only organise the milk producing farmers for profitably marketing their milk. It could not help anyone, definitely not the poorer and landless cultivators, in acquiring new resources for production of milk. And, hence it could make no direct contribution to the enhancement of milk-production.


Technical Inputs for Milk Production Enhancement

The second element in milk production enhancement part of the OF project was the provision of a number of technical inputs for improving milk production. We have already noticed that OF expenditure on this item has been rather small. The Jha Committee reported that the inputs programme lacked not only in fiscal but also physical terms. Let us look at the efforts made in providing various technical inputs envisaged under the OF project.


i. Animal Breeding

One of the major technical inputs for enhancement of milk production was to be the induction of superior dairy breeds, largely through crossbreeding of cattle with exotic breeds and of buffaloes with selected indigenous breeds. Breeding of exotic and improved stock was to be done through the provision of artificial insemination facilities in the OF areas. The OF-II objective was to build the so-called National Milch Herd of 10.24 million (15 million, according to the Jha Committee) heads of superior cattle and buffaloes by 1985. This method of enhancing milk-production, and the wisdom of the exotic breeding policies being followed in the country, is indeed suspect. However, under the OF project this was the only programme that could have contributed substantially to the enhancement of milk yield per animal, and hence to the total milk production in the country. Yet this component of the project, like all other components of the inputs programme, was not taken seriously.


The Jha Committee found that during 1981-82, 1982-83 and 1983-84, the number of artificial inseminations done, both for cows and buffaloes, was 8.03, 7.75 and 9.93 lakhs, and the number of improved female calves born during these years was 0.88, 1.10 and 1.21 lakhs, respectively. Though the IDC could not provide information on the total number of crossbred milch-animals in OF-II areas, yet the rates of insemination and successful conception during 1981-84 do not indicate that the target of 10.24 million upgraded cows and buffaloes was approached with any seriousness. The Jha Committee in this context also quotes a survey of selected milk sheds in OF‑II areas carried out by the Indian Institute of Public Opinion; according to this survey, cross-breeds accounted for about 4% of the milch-animals in the households surveyed (pare 4.46). Since the project was expected to cover some 15 million milch-animals, the above percentage of cross-breeds in the project area means that in 1984 the proposed National Milch Herd had acquired a strength of perhaps half a million. Faced with such data, the Jha Committee was constrained to comment (para 4.46):


With this slow pace of progress it would be very difficult to achieve the task of building a National Milch Herd of 15 million cattle and buffaloes during the project period… Vigorous steps are necessary to step up the activities in this [cross-breeding] field, if the incremental milk production envisaged in the project is to be reached, if not in the project period, at least soon thereafter.


ii. Animal Feed and Fodder

Increasing the availability of balanced feed and fodder has to be a necessary component of any programme to raise milk-production. Even the best-bred exotic animals cannot presumably deliver large quantities of milk without commensurate feeding. As a matter of fact, fodder and feed requirements of the crossbred exotic animals are, as we shall see later, many times more than those of the local breeds.


The OF project did include ambitious plans to enhance the availability of balanced feeds and fodder in the
milk-shed areas. OF-II set a target of bringing 2 million hectares of irrigated area in the OF milk-sheds under fodder cultivation. This was to be achieved by encouraging farmers in the project areas to take to fodder cultivation, through demonstration farms, and supply of good quality fodder seeds and mini-kits.


This was obviously a difficult task, considering the fact that total area under fodder crops in the country has remained below 7 million hectares for the last 30 years. It seems that like the figure of 10.24 million heads for the National Milch Herd of improved milch stock, this figure of 2 million hectares under fodder cultivation, was also not to be taken very seriously. The Jha Committee reports that in the five years between 1979 and 1984, a total of a little less than a thousand tons of fodder seeds were distributed through the farmers’ societies (para 4.32). That does not suggest that the target of 2 million hectares under fodder by 1985 was seriously pursued.


The project has fared better in generating manufacturing capacity for production of cattle-feed. According to the Jha Committee report, by the end of March 1984, feed-mixing capacity of 2500 tons/day, or about 75 lakh tons a year, had been created. However, capacity utilisation of these plants during 1983-84 was only 40%.


Feed-mixing plants, of course, do not generate any feed. These plants only help in moving critical elements of animal feed into the industrial stream, and then making these available in those areas which are advanced in terms of commercial dairy farming and are therefore relatively surplus in milk. Movement of critical animal feeds from milk deficit areas to milk surplus areas has long been noticed. Thus a study of the impact of modernisation on dairy industry in Kaira district of Gujarat in 1967 found that farmers of that district produced 6,000 tons of cotton-seed cake, while they fed 30,000 tons of it to their animals.[3] Operation Flood seems to have encouraged this tendency. Of the total feed-mixing capacity of 2500 tons/day, created up to March 1984, fully half was established in the milk-surplus state of Gujarat. Of the total balanced feed production of 24,562 tons in March 1984, 18,994 tons was produced in Gujarat. And, of the total sale of 30,311 tons of all manufactured cattle feed in this month, 21,226 tons was sold in Gujarat. (See, Jha Committee Report, para 6.12 and Appendix 6.3). It is indeed a mere corollary of this phenomenon of movement of scarce cattle-feeds from milk-deficit to milk-surplus areas within the country that oil-seed cakes and even compound feeds have often been exported from the country, while we have continued to import large quantities of milk products.


iii. Animal Health

For any milk production enhancement programme to be successful, it is necessary to provide facilities to take care of the health needs of the animals. This is especially so when the enhancement programme is largely based on the introduction of newer and exotic breeds of animals which are not adapted to the environment, and whose needs and diseases are not amenable to the traditionally available animal husbandry knowledge and practices.


According to the Jha Committee, some health cover has been provided in 17,402 of the 28,614 societies under the project. However, the Committee found that the service was largely limited to only 3 or 4 states and even there the health cover provided in a majority of the societies was not adequate (para 4.22 and Appendix 3.1).


It seems that provision of adequate basic health cover for the animals in the OF area was not the top priority of the project. Of rupees 25.80 crore allocated towards ‘infra-structural support for disease control and milk production enhancement’ in OF-II, a sum of Rs.18.09 crore had been spent by March 1984 (Table 8); all of it was invested in establishing a Foot and Mouth Disease Vaccine Plant at Hyderabad. The plant has the capacity to produce 25 million quadrivalent doses of the vaccine annually. On the working of this plant, the Jha Committee reported (para 4.30):


Some members of the Committee visited the plant in November 1984 and were greatly impressed by its working. However they found that it had an unsold stock of 2.7 million doses. It was explained that the vaccine produced was not being lifted by the states in view of doubts about the relevance of the strain incorporated in it, namely ‘A-22’, as against ‘A-5’ incorporated in the vaccine produced by other Indian manufacturers. The decision to incorporate ‘A-22’ was stated to be based on the tests carried out by Animal Virus Research Institute, Pirbright, UK and the IDC’s collaborator, Welcome Foundation UK…


It is obvious from the above that the Milk Production Enhancement component of the project was dealt with in a lackadaisical fashion. Milk co-operatives were essential for organising procurement of milk from the rural areas, and those were to some extent organised, or taken over from previous efforts. But no effort seems to have been made to help the co-operatives enhance milk-production, or to help marginal cultivators and landless agricultural workers to develop into producers of milk. On the technical inputs side, it seems that the objective of building a National Milch Herd of 10.24 million heads of improved stock was quickly forgotten. And with it, other elements of the inputs programme, like enhanced production of feeds and fodder and provision of basic health cover, which were meant for the improved herd, became redundant, and were, therefore, pursued in a cursory fashion. Wherever the inputs programme offered an opportunity for large-scale capital investment, such investments were made, as in the case of industrial feed-mixing plants or the Foot and Mouth Vaccine plant at Hyderabad. However, there was perhaps not much motivation to assure that the plants produced feed up to their installed capacity or that the vaccines produced were usefully utilised. Milk Production Enhancement programme of the OF project is thus not likely to have added much to the production of milk in the country.


Procurement Processing And Marketing Activities

Besides the activities related to enhancing milk-production discussed above, the OF project envisaged several activities designed to procure milk in the rural producing areas, and to process and transport it over long distances, before marketing it in the urban milk-consuming centres. This perhaps was the more important component of the OF project. Notwithstanding the various social and economic objectives appended to the OF project proposals, the project seems to have been conceived essentially as a programme to assure plentiful supply of liquid milk in the major urban areas, especially in the four metropolitan cities of Delhi, Bombay, Madras and Calcutta. (See, excerpt from the OF project summary, Appendix 4). A major objective of the project therefore was to capture the liquid milk markets in the urban areas in favour of the modern dairies to be established under OF, displacing the traditional small scale suppliers of milk. End of project target under OF-II was to control 80% of the liquid milk market in the four metropolitan cities, 70% of the market in other cities with populations of a lakh and more, and 60% in smaller towns in and around the milk-shed areas.[4] Thus the OF dairies were to become a monopoly enterprise commanding bulk of the liquid milk markets in the country.


To achieve its objective of capturing a large part of the liquid milk markets of the country, the project planned to exploit industrial milk-processing and long-distance transportation techniques to the full. It was planned to intensively cover the rural milk-shed areas with feeder dairies, which were to process and pasteurise milk collected from the neighbouring areas before onward transmission to the urban markets. Processing capacity of these dairies was to reach 140 llpd (lakh litres per day) by the end of the project.


To transport liquid-milk emanating from the feeder dairies, a long distance transportation capacity of 44.5 llpd was to be generated. In addition, balancing dairies with a capacity to handle about 60 llpd of liquid milk were to be established in the rural areas, in order to collect excess milk in flush seasons and convert it into milk powder and other products. Milk handling capacity of 60 llpd implies powder-manufacturing capacity of about 600 tpd (tons per day). Much of this powder and other products were also to be used up in the metro dairies for recombination into liquid milk during lean seasons. Capacity of the metro dairies which were to receive, reprocess and market all this milk and milk-products was to be raised many-fold.


These targets for milk processing and marketing capacity should be read in the perspective of total national milk production that according to OF plans should have reached 1,030 llpd by 1985, and which in reality was perhaps much less than that figure. The OF plan was to generate processing, transportation and marketing capacities to handle about 20% of the milk likely to be produced in the country, which must indeed be a very large fraction of the marketable surplus of milk.


The emphasis in the OF project on generating large scale processing, transport and marketing facilities was, as we have noticed earlier (Table 8), fully reflected in the OF budgets and expenditure. Of the total OF-I budget of 95.4 crore rupees, 40 crore were allocated to expansion and establishment of processing and transportation capacities. Later another 15.4 crore rupees, originally allocated to resettlement of city-kept cattle and buffaloes, was reallocated towards generation of processing capacity.[5] In the OF‑II budget of 485.5 crore rupees, 238 crore rupees was allocated towards processing and marketing facilities, and of the sum of 202.5 crore rupees spent in the OF-II project up to March 1984 a total of 138.4 crore rupees has been spent on these heads. (See Table 8, items 1, 3, 8 and the Dairy Equipment Pool).


The data provided to the Jha Committee makes it clear that though the implementation of the milk production enhancement programmes under OF has been rather tardy, yet the programme to enhance milk handling and marketing capacities has been vigorously pursued. In Table 9 below we display the achievements of the project in creating various types of processing and transport capacities along with the relevant end-of-project targets.


Thus, by March 1984 rural feeder dairies with milk processing capacity aggregating to 81 llpd had been established. In addition feeder dairies with a capacity of 41.5 llpd were under construction, and another 18.5 llpd of feeder capacity was at the planning stage. Thus the target of 140 llpd of feeder dairy capacity was well within reach of the project. Similarly balancing dairies with milk drying capacity of 494.5 tpd had been established and dairies with drying capacity of 98 tpd were under construction, easily meeting the target of 60 llpd, of milk to be handled in these dairies, which amounts to about 600 tpd of dry milk capacity.


Table 9: Processing and Transport Capacities: Targets and Achievements


Type of Capacity

End-of-Project Target

Created by March 1984

Feeder Dairies

140 llpd

81+41.5 *+18.5 ** llpd

Balancing Dairies

60 llpd (600 tpd)

494.5+98* tpd

Metro Dairies

58 llpd

35 llpd

Long Distance Transport

44.5 llpd

92.87+33.70*lakh litre tanker capacity

 

 

 

 


Notes
: *Under construction or on order. ** Being planned. llpd: lakh litres per day; tpd: tons per day of powder. Source: End-of-project targets from OF-II documents reproduced in Claude Alvares, cited earlier, pp.264-265. “Capacity Created by March 1984” figures from Jha Committee Report, paras 5.5, 6.5 and 6.6.


Under the OF-II programme it was envisaged that by the end of the project, metropolitan dairies should be supplying 49 lakh litres of liquid milk and 9 lakh litres of liquid milk equivalent of milk products daily in the four cities of Bombay, Calcutta, Delhi and Madras. As we shall see below, procurement of milk did not rise to the expected level, seriously jeopardising the ambitious plans of the metro dairies. Yet the capacities of the metro dairies by March 1984 had been raised to 35 llpd from a mere 9 llpd in 1970-71. It was perhaps the lack of sufficient procurement in the milk-shed areas of the metropolitan dairies that made the need for long distance transportation of milk rather acute. Under the project, road and rail tankers with an aggregate capacity of 92.87 lakh litres had been acquired by March 1984 and tankers with capacity of 33.70 lakh litres were on order. This tanker capacity was more than sufficient to fulfil the end-of-project target of ensuring long-distance transport of 44.5 lakh litres of milk daily. According to Jha Committee Report, milk produced as far as Guntur (Andhra Pradesh), Nagpur (Maharashtra) and Anand (Gujarat) was being transported to Calcutta; and Delhi was receiving milk from Anand in Gujarat.


In spite of the capacity created under OF to collect milk from the rural areas and deliver it to the cities, actual procurements did not rise at the rapid rates envisaged. Since, as we have seen, the production enhancement programme under the project was lagging so badly, there perhaps was not much milk in the rural areas to be fed into the high technology marketing system being put into place under OF.


In Table 10 below we compare the procurement targets and actual procurements under OF. The figures are not entirely reliable; procurement figures for different years refer to different months of the year, and milk production and procurement vary considerably over the year. Yet the data is certainly indicative of the trends.


The data show that total milk procurement in 1984 during the relatively flush month of March averaged 57 llpd. This figure is indeed large compared to the average procurement of 22 llpd at the end of OF‑I (1980-81), yet it is nowhere near the target of 183 llpd which was to be reached at the end of the OF project in 1985.


Table 10: Procurement of Milk under OF


Final Target

Actual Procurement

Throughput

Feeder/Balancing Dairies

183

57 (March 1984)
36 (1983-84)
22 (1980-81)


Metropolitan Dairies

58

17.6 (1983-84)
14.2 (1980-81)
6.5 (1970-71)

28 (1983-84)
21.7 (1980-81)
9.1 (1970-71)


Note
: All figures are in llpd. Source: Jha Committee Report, 1984, paras 2.20 to 2.22 and 5.6 to 5.7.


Because of the failure of milk procurement to increase to the expected levels, much of the processing capacity created under OF remains idle, especially in the rural feeder dairies and the powder manufacturing plants. Average utilisation of rural milk processing dairies during 1983-84 was 62%. Utilisation of milk powder plants was worse, with only 32% of the installed capacity being utilised on the average, and even the peak month utilisation being no more than 56%. These overall figures hide the actual situation, which seems to be much worse in many of the states. According to the Jha Committee, average annual utilisation of rural processing dairies in West Bengal, Haryana, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh was around or less than 30%, and there were powder manufacturing plants, such as in Varanasi, Darjeeling and Jaipur, that had been seldom utilised. (Jha Committee Report, para 6.10 and Appendix 6.1, 6.2).


Capacity utilisation of the metropolitan dairies was however fairly high. In 1983‑84, throughput of the four metro dairies averaged 28 llpd as against their capacity of 35 llpd. Of this throughput of 28 llpd, only 17.6 llpd on the average constituted fresh liquid milk procured by the metro dairies. The rest of the throughput (37%) was made up of milk recombined from imported and indigenous milk solids. The average recombination ratio (percentage of recombined milk to total throughput) was as high as 74% in Calcutta and 55% in Delhi; it must have been much higher in the lean seasons. (See, Jha Committee Report, Appendix 5.2, and Table 10 above).


The metro dairies were able to maintain their high level of utilisation and throughput because much of the milk procured in the country found its way into these four dairies. Of the total milk procured in 1983, only 29% was marketed in the milk-shed areas, 49% was taken to the metro dairies, and 22% was converted into products such as milk powder, butter, and ghee. A large part of these products also found their way into the metro cities either as direct consumer products or for recombination in the metropolitan dairies. (See, Jha Committee Report, para 5.7). In addition, the metro dairies had access to the milk powder and butter-oil imported under the project.


Looking at the working of the processing and marketing component of the OF project, the picture that emerges is of brisk activity to set up gleaming new ‘feeder’ plants all over the country, with rail and road tankers waiting at the back, designed to collect all the available milk from the rural areas and rush it to the far-off cities, to be sold there as liquid milk, or to be converted into milk products like powder and butter, or even into a sophisticated range of chocolates and cheeses. These OF ‘feeder’ plants have not been able to collect and feed into cities as much milk as was hoped for. But the capacities, and the technology, are now there to siphon off every additional drop of ‘surplus’ milk that may become available in the future. And, the mechanisms of the milk-sellers’ co-operatives and the price incentives that a monopoly enterprise is always in a position to offer can now be utilised to induce the milk producers to sell for the city what may not be actually surplus in the family or in the neighbourhood.



Impact of Operation Flood


Impact on Production of Milk

The OF project proposed to enhance the production of milk in the country by introducing 10.24 million (15 million according to the data provided to the Jha Committee) crossbred cows and upgraded buffaloes in the project areas. However, as we have seen above, this part of the project was not seriously pursued. The project executing agencies, the IDC and the NDDB, did not even have information about the total number of genetically improved animals in the project areas. The only information these agencies could provide to the Jha Committee was about the total number of improved female calves born in the project area up to March 1984, which was stated to be a mere 4.7 lakhs (para 3.21 of Jha Committee Report). Other components of the milk production enhancement programme under the project were also equally poorly pursued. Therefore, it is unrealistic to expect the project to have contributed significantly towards increasing the production of milk in the country.


Because of the improved market for milk, created through the OF project, some commercial milk farmers in the milk-shed areas may have been encouraged to raise milk-yields by feeding larger amounts of concentrates to their milch animals. But mere improvements in the marketing facilities could not have led to any increase in the total production of milk in the country, unless these were also accompanied by substantial changes in the genetic stock of milch-animals and substantial improvement in the availability of feeds and fodder. Both the latter conditions were not fulfilled. And, therefore, there is little basis for expecting the milk production during the project period to rise at a rate higher than that of the female stock in milk.


The figures on milk production reported by the Ministry of Agriculture (Tables 3 and 7) however give a different picture. According to these, rate of increase in milk production starts outstripping the rate of growth in milch stock around 1972, and from 1978 onwards, production starts increasing at a pace unrelated to the rise in milch stock. If one is to go by the available figures on milk production in the country, production of milk seems to have been increasing by around 1 million tonne or more every year since 1978, and by 1984 it is supposed to have reached the level of 36.33 million tons. Thus the OF target of 103.17 million litres per day, or 37.65 million tons per annum, to be achieved by 1985 seems to have been met even without the OF milk production enhancement programme taking off the ground.


These data on production of milk in the country over the years are widely suspected to be unreliable. The Jha Committee itself admits of their unreliability, stressing the fact that the data for different periods have been collected by different authorities, who have used different techniques for estimating the volume of milk production in the country (para 4.6). The Committee also recommends that arrangements should be made to collect reliable milk production data on a continuous basis and, in particular, bench-mark surveys in the OF areas should be conducted so that the progress of the project can be properly assessed (para 4.8).[6]


Impact on Distribution of Milk

Though the OF project was not very successful in enhancing production of milk in the country or in the milk-shed areas, yet it created the capacity to move large amounts of milk over long distances. Much of the capacity generated under OF to move milk from the rural areas to the cities remains idle. Even with this low utilisation of the established ‘feeder’ capacity, milk procurement in the OF milk-shed areas has gone up substantially during the project period, from much less than 10 llpd in the pre-project period to 22 llpd at the end of OF-I in 1980-81, and to 36 llpd in 1983-84 (Table 10). A large part of the milk thus procured is taken out of the production neighbourhood to the metropolitan dairies, either in the form of liquid milk (49% of milk procured in 1983), or in the form of milk products (22% of milk procured in 1983).


No serious effort has been made under the OF project to enhance production of milk in the milk-shed areas, and yet the procurement and movement of milk out of these areas has increased manifold during the project period. This is borne out by the data provided by the NDDB/IDC and authenticated by the Jha Committee. This situation can only mean that milk that was normally consumed in the production neighbourhood is now being taken to the far-off metropolitan cities through the modern milk marketing technology introduced under the project.


There have been persistent reports that the OF activities have led to almost complete drainage of milk from the milk-shed areas and even the children of the poorer milk-producing farmers have been deprived of their essential milk intake. The project executing authorities, the IDC and the NDDB, as also the Jha Committee, do not admit to this natural consequence of the OF operations. Their argument is that small milk farmers in the traditional milk-shed areas have always been producing mainly for the market, and not for home consumption. They were earlier selling this milk through the traditional middlemen, the halwais and dudhiyas. The Operation Flood now offers them the opportunity of selling it through their own co-operatives, and getting a better price for it. (Jha Committee Report, para 7.5 to 7.8).


Let us grant for the sake of argument that the wider market for milk offered by OF and the inherent dynamics of commercialisation of milk economy did not compel or tempt the small farmers to sell their last drop of milk, and that the milk procured under OF was the milk that otherwise would have been sold to halwais and dudhiyas at a lesser price. Yet the fact remains that the latter, the traditional middlemen, were in no position to take the milk bought by them out of the immediate neighbourhood of the production area, while a large proportion of the milk that reached the OF procurement agencies found its way to the far-off metropolitan cities. There thus seems to be no doubt that the OF operation deprived, if not the children of small milk farmers individually, then at least the milk-shed neighbourhoods collectively, of their normal supplies of milk. The effect of this operation can be seen in the smaller towns in the OF milk-sheds, where milk often cannot be obtained at any price.


Given the acute inequities that have arisen in the Indian countryside over the last two centuries, it must be true that traditional middlemen in the rural neighbourhoods were to some extent exploiting the smaller milk producers prior to OF. The OF project seems to have utilised this iniquitous situation, and the popular educated sentiment against it, to drain milk from the rural areas to feed the metropolitan cities. The honoured instrument of producers’ co-operatives, in conjunction with professional scientific management and sophisticated imported technology, has been used to generate this new inequity between the city and the village. As a consequence, milk producers in the villages perhaps have a little more cash in their hands. The better-off amongst them can use the cash to buy TV sets from the city to get better acquainted with the cultural advances being made there. The poorer ones can spend the money to buy a little more of manufactured feeds for their cattle to retain their precarious foothold in the business of modern commercial dairy farming. But both the poor and the rich certainly have less milk to consume.


When faced with the criticism that OF has drained the rural areas of essential milk supplies, OF protagonists also offer the argument that by giving the milk producer good cash for his milk, they have left him with wider options to meet his basic nutritional needs. (See, Jha Committee Report para 7.11 (iii)). What is implied in this argument is the suggestion that poorer milk farmers should preferably derive their nutrition from sources other than milk that they produce. It has been argued that milk is an expensive product and it makes better sense for a poor producer to sell his milk and buy cheaper nutrition in the form of vegetable fats and vegetable proteins.[7] The secretary of the NDDB is reported to have gone to the extent of suggesting that ‘drinking milk for the poor is like eating cake’.


It is of course true that milk is an essentially expensive product. As can be expected, only a small fraction of the protein and calorie intake of the milch animal gets converted into milk calories and proteins. Perhaps that is why cattle in India, except for a few specialised milch breeds, have been basically bred to provide good draught. Ordinarily, Indian cows produce small amounts of milk on a diet of agricultural residues, unlike the modern industrial breeds that consume large amounts of specially manufactured concentrate feeds in addition to quantities of green fodder. However, the fact that milk is an expensive product does not make it inessential. To suggest, as has been done by the OF protagonists, that children can be fed equally well and more economically on vegetables and pulses, instead of milk, is to insult the wisdom of generations. In any case, if milk proteins and fats are so easily replaceable by alternative sources, then what was the need for carrying out the massive exercise of “Operation Flood” to bring milk to the cities? It would have been much simpler to produce or import some soya meal and soya oil and supply it in the cities.


It seems that the main concern of the OF project was to assure regular supply of milk to the metropolitan cities. Accordingly, a procurement, transport and marketing network has been evolved under OF to move milk from the rural areas to the cities. Various arguments being invented now to justify this draining of the rural areas are mere afterthoughts; these are perhaps not seriously meant.


Organised dairying in this country was begun in the nineteenth century for the purpose of supplying milk to the armed forces and their families. History of the Anand operations, which later became the model for OF, can be traced back to the Polsons Dairy, which during World War II was engaged to manufacture cheese for the troops from milk procured in Kaira District of Gujarat. (See, Jha Committee Report, para 2.1 to 2.3). With such beginnings, dairy operations in India seem to have stuck to their original objective of supplying milk and milk products to the “Company Towns”. Modern technology has come in handy for expanding these operations and converting larger areas of the country into backyards of the metropolitan cities.


Impact on the Cost of Distributed Milk

Looking at the price at which milk is being sold by the metropolitan dairies, especially in Delhi and Calcutta, it seems that by draining the rural areas of their essential milk supply the project succeeded in its objective of supplying cheap milk for the deprived sections of urban consumers.


However, if the metro dairies have been able to sell milk at a low price, it is not because of any inherent economy in the OF technology of milk distribution compared to that of the traditional dudhiya. It seems irrational to imagine that the modern dairies, managed by high executives at the top, and an army of well-paid technicians, scientists and managers down the line, whose idea of economic dairying is to transport liquid milk from Anand in Gujarat for consumption in Delhi, and to pasteurise it before supplying it to a population that invariably boils milk before consuming it, could compete in economic terms with the dudhiya, who travels, mainly on a bicycle, many kilometres every morning to collect milk from the neighbourhood and distribute it in the city, generally before sunrise, and repeats the performance in the evening. Overheads of the dudhiya are nothing but his sustenance, and that of his family and his bicycle. And his cost of living is often lower than that of a menial attendant in the modern dairy organisations.


Procurement, processing and bottling costs of the modern diaries are high. According to a study of the costs of production in a milk plant during 1976-77, it was found that milk procured at Rs.1.35 per kg cost Rs.2.07 per kg at the plant after processing and bottling. Procurement, processing and bottling costs thus amounted to more than 50% of the price paid to the producer.[8] This seems to be supported by data provided to the Jha Committee, according to which producer price as a component of consumer price varied between 65% and 75% in most states (Appendix 5.1) ???.


The metro dairies were able to keep their prices low in spite of their high costs, mainly because of their access to cheap gifted milk products that could be used for lowering the raw material costs in the metro diaries. According to the Jha Committee Report, the amount of cheap milk powder used for recombination during 1983-84 in the dairies of Delhi and Calcutta alone adds up to a hidden subsidy of Rs.14 to Rs.15 crore to these two metropolitan diaries.


When sources of such hidden subsidies begin drying up – as they are bound to after the modern systems have fully established themselves and fully destroyed the traditional systems – then prices of milk in metropolitan areas will have to rise to the level of the true costs of the modern dairy processes. Already in Delhi, prices of the cheap Mother Dairy milk have been brought at par with the more expensive milk supplied by the Delhi Milk Scheme.


Impact on Freshness and Wholesomeness of Milk

Milk coming out of automatic vending machines, or better still, lying at the grocers in colourful conical Tetrapaks, evoking images of sophisticated Swedish technology and Swedish preferences, has a way of looking inherently clean, hygienic and wholesome to the eyes of an educated Indian. Milk supplied by the dudhiya from his traditional, generally well scrubbed, buckets on the other hand seems to have got permanently associated with adulteration and contamination (see, for example, Jha Committee Report, para 5.14).


Yet the traditional milk vendor supplies milk at the consumer’s door fresh, within hours of its being milked, while modern dairies in the metropolitan cities seem to specialise in distributing stale and recombined milk in modern packaging. As we have seen, of the 28 llpd of milk supplied by the metro dairies in 1983-84, as much as 11 llpd on the average was recombined milk, prepared from skimmed milk powder and butter-oil, both indigenous and imported, the latter of which must have been manufactured many months before recombination. Of the 17 llpd of fresh liquid milk supplied by the metro dairies, perhaps only about half is procured from the vicinity of the distribution area; the remaining half comes from long distances taking much more than twelve hours before reaching the consumer. Such stale and recombined milk, without its aura of modernity, and without the compulsions of city-living, could hardly have been acceptable to the discerning Indian consumer, who used to be often able to guess the composition of the diet fed to the animal and its lactation history from the taste of milk.


The traditional Indian milk vendor adulterates his milk with water to increase the volume, and sometimes with wheat starch to make the diluted milk thicker. These adulterants are well known to the consumer, and in the face-to-face situation in which the dudhiya and the consumer operate, it is hardly possible for the former to vary the quality of milk beyond limits tacitly agreed upon between him and his customer. In any case, the dudhiya perhaps never dilutes milk to the level of dilution of the toned milk supplied as a standard practice by the metropolitan dairies.


The modern dairies perhaps do not wilfully adulterate milk. But they have access to a whole range of modern chemical preservatives, additives and flavouring agents. Indian metropolitan dairies hopefully do not use any of these. However, in case these dairies decide to use or experiment with such agents, the consumers would not know, and even if they happen to learn about the additives, they would not know whether and where to complain. Many city consumers during the lean seasons must have had the experience of getting milk that stinks, probably of stale butter-oil. If their dudhiya had supplied such milk, they would have thrown it in his face. When they get it from the faceless metropolitan dairies, they don’t even grumble.


These fears about the modern dairies being tempted to use modern chemical preservatives and additives are not entirely hypothetical. There had been reports that hydrogen peroxide was being used as a preservative during long distance transportation of milk. The Jha Committee has now been told that it was only an experiment carried out by the NDDB, and the milk so treated was used for the manufacture of industrial casein (Jha Committee Report, para 5.19). There is perhaps no reason to doubt the veracity of the assurance given by NDDB on this issue. However, even if the NDDB had made the use of hydrogen peroxide a standard practice and had supplied such milk to the consumers, nobody would have probably known about it for a long time. Last year, the Indian Parliament was told that almost all major public sector dairies had been using imported rennet derived from bovine intestines for preparing cheese. And the fact was not even mentioned on the labels, in a country where for a large percentage of people the cow remains a sacred animal.


The main impact of the modernisation of dairy industry in India carried out through the OF project has thus been to skew the distribution of milk in favour of the metropolitan cities, without contributing much towards the production of milk in the country. The modern distribution system has introduced substantial procurement, transportation, processing and marketing costs. And the city consumers have ended up getting, instead of the freshly milked supply from the traditional channels, milk that is in large parts recombined from indigenous and foreign products, or is transported over long distances. In any case, the generality of consumers have lost almost all knowledge of and control on the quality of milk that they receive.


An Alternative

It can be argued that the foregoing criticism of OF is merely churlish: The expanding metropolitan cities had to be provided milk, and their needs could not have been met by traditional channels that could tap only the local supplies of milk. The OF distribution system, therefore, with all its inequity, expense and hazards of contamination with modern preservatives and additives, was inevitable.


It seems however that simpler and perhaps less iniquitous ways of meeting the requirements of the city could have been found if they had been seriously searched for. One possibility, for example, could be to supplement the traditional channels of supply of milk to the cities with milk powder sold directly to the consumers through, perhaps, the public distribution shops.


To study the feasibility of this alternative let us have another look at the milk economy of the four metropolitan cities. During 1983-84 approximately 58 llpd of milk was consumed in these cities. Of this consumption, only about 28 llpd was met by the metropolitan dairies, and the remaining 30 llpd even in 1983-84 came from the traditional channels. The 28 llpd throughput of metro diaries consisted of 17 llpd of fresh liquid milk, about half of which was probably procured from the vicinity of the cities in which it was supplied. In the absence of the metro dairy systems, the traditional channels would have picked up this half, or about 8 llpd. Thus the supplementary supply coming from the modern dairies consisted of about 20 llpd.


The problem then is to supply milk powder equivalent of about 20 llpd of liquid milk in the four cities. Do we have this amount of milk powder available? According to the Ministry of Agriculture estimates, milk powder production in the country during 1983-84 was around 100,000 tons a year. This included production in both the private and the public sector dairies. About 25-30% of this milk powder, along with some imported supplies, was used for the purpose of recombination to produce the 11 llpd of additional supply that emanated from the metro dairies. The remaining 70-75,000 tons of milk powder produced in the country was used for making various products like infant milk food, malted milk foods, ice-creams, confectionery and so on (Jha Committee Report, para 8.5). It must be rather simple, in a milk deficit country, to restrict the urge for these luxury products, and divert another 25 to 30% of the milk powder to meet the liquid milk deficit of about 8 llpd in the cities.


Thus the present level of effective availability of milk can be maintained in the cities by leaving the liquid milk market entirely in the hands of traditional suppliers and distributing about 60-70,000 tons of milk powder annually. Such an alternative has many obvious advantages. First of all, it shall eliminate the need for long distance transport of liquid milk, and therefore the temptation to drain distant rural areas of milk for supply to the cities. Milk drying plants, carefully located in the country, perhaps can be organised to collect only the flush season surplus of milk. Secondly, it shall greatly reduce the procurement, transportation, processing and packaging costs involved in the handling of fresh or recombined liquid milk. This alternative shall remove the illusion amongst the city dwellers that they are getting fresh liquid milk from the metropolitan dairies, and put in their hands, at a much lower cost, a product that more accurately represents what they have been getting from the dairy systems. There are perhaps no great advantages in recombining milk in sophisticated plants as compared to recombining it at home, except for the illusion of getting fresh liquid milk.


Thirdly, since the powder milk supply shall not compete with the liquid milk market, it shall be possible to sell powder milk at a subsidised rate to the deprived sections of the city populations without running the risk of depressing the prices of liquid milk and affecting its production adversely. It may even be possible to import some milk powder without injuring indigenous production of milk. Once the metropolitan dairies stop interfering in the liquid milk market by their long distance transport of milk and recombination of indigenous and imported products, liquid milk prices in all probability will rise to give an impetus to enhanced production. In any case, the producers shall be assured of a good price and the poorer consumers shall be protected. With more milk powder in the market, however, it shall be necessary to ban all commercial recombination of milk.


This alternative thus can achieve all the proclaimed objectives of the OF project without causing any of its inequities. However, this scheme of providing powder milk to meet the requirements of the city consumers has none of the glamour of high technology, high profile OF operations.


Possible Consequences of the Success
of Milk Enhancement Programme Under OF

We have seen that only the procurement, processing and marketing components of the OF project were seriously pursued, while the milk production enhancement part of the project was largely neglected. Success of the procurement and marketing component of the project led to a skewing of the distribution of milk grossly in favour of the metropolitan areas. What would have been the consequences, if milk production enhancement programme under OF had also succeeded?


The OF strategy to enhance milk-production was based on replacing about 10 million of the milch-animals in the country with an equal number of crossbred or otherwise genetically improved cows and buffaloes. These 10 million elite animals, constituting about 12% of the total milch animal population of the country, which was projected to be about 82 million in 1985, were to form the National Milch Herd. It was expected that this special herd would produce about 24% of the total milk production in the country. Most of this production was to be handled by the modern dairy sector.[9]


What would have been the feed-stuff requirements of this elite herd? The National Commission on Agriculture (1976) in its report on livestock feeding has given a detailed schedule of the daily average intake of feed-stuffs for different categories of animals. In Appendix 5, we reproduce the schedule; Table 11 below presents extracts from it, showing average rates of feeding for different categories of milch cattle.


Table 11: Average Rates of Feeding of Different Categories of Milch Cattle


Category

Rates of feeding per day in kg.



Concentrates

Green Fodder

Dry Fodder

1.

Crossbred Milch Cows

2.75

20.00

6.00

2.

Improved Milch Cows

1.20

10.00

6.00

3.

Other Milch Cows and
Not calved even once

0.125

3.50

3.16

4.

Crossbred Young Stock

1.50

10.00

2.00


Source
: Extracted from Appendix V.


From the Table we find that a crossbred milch cow consumes on the average more than twenty times the concentrates, about six times the green fodder and about twice the dry fodder ordinarily fed to an average adult cow. Even the young crossbred calves receive about twelve times the concentrates and three times the green fodder that falls to the share of an average Indian milch cow. The diet of the crossbred young calves happens to be superior to even that of the improved breeds of Indian milch cattle, who are supposed to be fed considerably better than the average milch stock.


Induction of improved or crossbred stock cannot on its own improve the availability of feed-stuffs in the country. The enhanced feeding requirements of this stock therefore have to be met by diverting rations from other less favoured animals. Arrival of a crossbred cow in a locality thus implies that about twenty of the local cows must forego their generally meagre quota of concentrates, and suffer a substantial cut in their limited supply of green fodder.


The National Commission on Agriculture seems to have anticipated this movement of feed-stuffs in favour of the improved and crossbred stock while arriving at its diet estimates reproduced in Table 11, and in greater detail in Appendix 5. The Commission thus takes the feed concentrate requirements of ordinary indigenous stock to be much less than the amounts calculated on the basis of actual feeding patterns of animals in various regions of the country, determined through sample surveys.[10] For estimating feed-concentrate requirements, the National Commission puts lactating and dry indigenous cows in the same category, and even for the valuable work-animals, suggests diets far below the ones that actually prevailed according to the sample surveys mentioned above.


Is this movement of feed stuffs in favour of the exotic and improved stock beneficial in terms of overall milk production? We attempt to answer this question by making an estimate of the relative feeding requirement of an upgraded milch herd of 10 million heads in a total milch animal population of 82 million, as envisaged in the OF project. The report of the National Commission on Agriculture that we have quoted above for the feeding schedules of various categories of livestock makes an estimate of the total feeding requirements in the country for a stock that includes 10 million upgraded cows and buffaloes. These estimates provide useful indications as to how the available feed-stocks in the country are distributed among various categories of livestock including, in addition to the bovine stock, poultry, sheep, goats, pigs, horses and ponies. In Appendix 6, therefore, we reproduce these estimates in full.


For the purpose of answering our question about the relative efficiency of an elite milch herd, we use the population profile of the upgraded herd assumed in the above report. The National Commission envisaged a modest herd consisting of only 1 million crossbred cows, 5.50 million heads of improved cows and 3.50 million improved buffaloes. We assume that these cows and buffaloes replace equal numbers of milch cows and buffaloes in the milch stock of 1972 which happens to consist of just 82 million heads (Appendix 1). We next use the feeding schedule of Appendix 5 to calculate the feed-stuff requirements of this assumed herd of 82 million heads including 10 million upgraded cows and buffaloes. In Table 12 below we display the calculated feed-stuff requirements for different components of this herd separately.


Table 12: Estimated Requirements of Feeding Stuffs for Crossbred and Improved Milch Stock compared to those for the Total Milch Stock

Category

Requirements of Feeding Stuffs


Population

Concentrates

Green Fodder

Dry Fodder

Crossbred Cows

1.00

1.004

7.300

2.190

Improved Milch Cows

5.50

2.410

20.075

12.045

Improved Milch Buffaloes

3.50

1.916

12.775

7.665

Total Crossbred and Improved Milch Stock

10.00

5.330

40.150

21.900

Other Milch Cows

46.92

2.140

59.940

54.117

Other Milch Buffaloes

25.11

3.757

52.424

46.558

Total Milch Stock

82.03

11.227

152.514

122.575

Crossbred and Improved
Stock as percentage of Total

12.19%

47.47%

26.32%

17.87%


Notes
: Population in million heads, feeding stuff requirements in million tons. Based on Total Milch Stock Population of 1972 (Appendix 1) with the assumption that 10 million heads in that stock are replaced by crossbred and improved milch-animals according to the population profiles assumed by the National Commission on Agriculture (Appendix 6). Feeding-stuff requirements have been calculated according to the schedule provided in Appendix 5.


From the table we find that if in the 1972 population of bovine milch stock consisting of 82.03 million heads, 10 million milch-animals had been replaced by an elite upgraded herd, then that elite herd consisting of about 12% of the total stock would have consumed some 47% of the concentrates, 26% of the green fodder, and 18% of the dry fodder consumed by the whole stock. And if one trusts the OF plans, such a herd at best would have provided 24% of the total production of milk. The population profiles and feeding schedules assumed under OF are perhaps not the same as the ones assumed here, but the OF herd could not be more modest in terms of the crossbred component, and the feed requirements relative to the whole stock. An elite herd, consuming 47% of the total concentrates, 26% of green fodder and 18% of dry fodder to produce 24% of the total milk production, clearly cannot be claimed to be more efficient compared to the ordinary stock. Such a herd would of course produce much more milk than an ordinary herd of equal strength; but it is not certain that replacement of a part of the ordinary stock by an elite herd would add to the total production of milk, unless the total availability of feed-stuffs for milch stock goes up.


It is not easy to increase the availability of feed-stuffs in the country. It is perhaps even more difficult to shift feed-stuffs from non-milch stock to milch stock. As can be seen from Appendix 6, there are many claimants on the available feed-stuffs for livestock, and they cannot be easily deprived in favour of milch-animals. Of the feed-stuffs which are available for bovine stock a certain irreducible minimum has to go towards meeting the requirements of working animals; who remain the predominant source of agricultural power, and are likely to remain so for some time. Under the circumstances, it seems highly unlikely that the total amount of feed-stuffs available for the milch stock will increase substantially. But even a small upgraded herd of 10 million heads in a population of 82 million would require substantial enhancement in the availability of feed-stuffs, especially of the concentrates, if the ordinary animals are to continue to receive their normal rations.


In Table 13 below, we compare the feed-stuff requirements of the 1972 milch herd, with the requirement when 10 million cows and buffaloes out of this stock are upgraded. With this change in the composition of the herd, the total requirement of concentrates for the milch stock goes up by 67% and of green fodder by 20%. Such increases in the availability of feed-stuffs for the milch stock are not likely to take place. The most likely consequence of the upgradation of a part of the livestock will be to deprive the ordinary stock of its usual rations. That will depress the output of the ordinary stock, offsetting any increases in production occurring from the upgraded stock.


Table 13: Additional feed-stuff requirements for 10 million heads of upgraded milch stock in a total milch stock of 82 million


Population Profile

Feed-stuff Requirement (Million Tons)


Concentrates

Green Fodder

Dry Fodder

1. 82.03 million ordinary milch cattle
and buffaloes as per 1972 population profile

6.718

127.975

114.661

2. Same population as above but with
10 million milch-animals replaced
with upgraded stock (as in Table 12)

11.227

152.514

122.575

Additional Requirements (row 2-row1)

4.509

24.539

7.914

Additional Requirement as %age
of original requirement (row3/row1) x 100

67.12%

19.17%

6.90%


Notes
: Requirements in row 1 are calculated by applying the feedstuff schedule of Appendix 5 to the milch herd of 1972 as given in Appendix 1. Figures in row 2 are as in Table 12 above.


Thus even if the animal breeding programme under OF had been successful, it is unlikely that it would have led to more efficient use of available feed-stuffs, and therefore, to enhanced production of milk. However, it would have certainly concentrated the production potential in fewer animals. And since those who own crossbred and improved stock have larger surplus of milk for which they need assured outlets, they would have gladly contributed their production to the OF channels that lead to the metropolitan cities. A successful animal-breeding programme thus would have displayed all the characteristics of the successful high yielding varieties programme in Indian agriculture that is now known as the Green Revolution.


However, it seems that the OF project was able to bring milk to the metropolitan markets by merely controlling the marketing channels; it was therefore not necessary to control the productive resources. That is perhaps the reason why the milk production enhancement component of the OF programme was pursued so indifferently. In modernising any sector of economy, trade always seems to precede production. And till a sector can be controlled through trade, interference in production processes is generally uneconomical.


In conclusion, it needs to be repeated that milk production is not enhanced by modern processing and marketing or by exotic breeding. There is only one way to enhance it and that is to increase the production of feed-stuffs for the livestock. But, as we shall see in the next section, modernisation in another sector of Indian economy, the cereals-agriculture, was making it even more difficult to improve the availability of feed-stuffs, especially, of the most important of them, the oil-cakes.


III. Agriculture and Economy of Oilseeds

Milk and bovine-stock economy in India is closely linked with the production of oilseeds. Oilseeds, on the one hand, provide feed-concentrates, which happen to be the critical element in the health and productivity of bovine stock. On the other hand, edible oils, which along with cereals and pulses constitute an indispensable component of the predominantly vegetarian Indian diet, offer a widely accepted substitute for ghee, traditionally the most important of milk products.


Indian agriculture evolved, and till recently maintained, a balance between the production of various cereals, pulses and oilseeds. There was, it seems, a systematic attempt to match agricultural production with the desirable balance of various elements in the Indian diet as well as the essential requirements of bovine stock. However, the introduction of modern agricultural practices in the mid-sixties disrupted the traditional practice of matching production with the varied requirements of men and their animals. As is well known, the new trends emphasised production of only cereals, and amongst them, of mainly wheat. We have seen earlier that this skewed emphasis directly led to stagnation and decline in the production of pulses, and severely depleted average Indian diet of its protein constituents; this depletion could hardly have been made up by the modern attempts at popularising poultry and the like.[11] The introduction of modern practices in agriculture also had an adverse impact on the production of oilseeds, thus reducing the availability of fats in Indian diets, and limiting the possibilities of enhancing production of milk in the country, as we discuss in some detail below.


Decline in the Production of Oilseeds

To comprehend the impact of introduction of modern agricultural practices on the production of oilseeds, we begin by looking at the rates of growth of oilseeds and some other major crops for periods preceding and following these changes in agriculture. In Table 14 below, we display compound rates of growth in production, area and yield of oilseeds relative to foodgrains and some other crops for the periods 1949-50 to 1964-65 and 1967-68 to 1980-81. The strategy to introduce modern agricultural techniques in India in a big way was inaugurated in 1966-67. The period 1967-68 to 1980-81, therefore, refers to the modern phase of Indian agriculture and the period 1949-50 to 1964-65 to the pre-modern phase. The two intervening years, 1965-66 and 1966-67, were year of especially bad drought; these two years are usually excluded while comparing the two phases of Indian agriculture.


Table 14: Compound Rates of Growth of Oilseeds relative to Foodgrains and Other Crops, in percent per annum

Growth in

Production

Area

Yield

Period

1949-50 1964-65

1967-68 1980-81

1949-50 1964-65

1967-68 1980-81

1949-50 1964-65

1967-68 1980-81

All crops

3.19

2.37

1.55

0.52

1.60

1.45

Foodgrains

2.98

2.39

1.34

0.35

1.61

1.74

Oilseeds

3.20

1.04

2.55

0.27

0.64

0.76

Pulses

1.62

-0.28

1.87

0.44

-0.24

-0.56


Source
: 1949-50 to 1964-65 growth rates from Indian Agriculture in Brief, cited earlier, 9th edition (1968); 1967-68 to 1980-81 growth rates from Indian Agriculture in Brief, 19th edition (1982).


As shown in Table 14, during the pre-modernisation period of 1949-50 to 1964-65, the production of oilseeds rose at a rate of 3.2 percent per annum, which was slightly better than the rate of growth of foodgrains, and equal to the rate of growth of total agricultural production in the country. In the modern period of 1967-68 to 1980-81, growth in production of all crops seems to slacken. However, oilseeds suffer a decline that is much sharper than the decline in the growth of foodgrains or in the total agricultural production. Thus, while in the pre-modern period, production of oilseeds grew at a rate faster than that of foodgrains, in the modern phase the rate of growth of the former at 1.04 percent per annum, is not even half the rate of the latter at 2.39 percent per annum. Amongst the foodgrains too, it is only the cereals that avoid a sharp decline in growth; pulses suffer a fate worse than that of even the oilseeds with the growth rate becoming negative and production dropping below that in the sixties.


Thus it seems that though the introduction of modern techniques offered no help in increasing the growth potential of Indian agriculture as a whole, yet it disrupted the traditional patterns of production. Share of oilseeds and pulses, as also of many of the less favoured cereals, in the total agricultural production of the country went down. Pulses suffered an absolute decline in production, while the rate of growth of oilseeds became significantly lower, dropping below one-third of the rate during the earlier period of 1949-65.


It is not easy to discern such trends in the year to year production data of various crops because of the wide fluctuations that often take place in production. In Table 15 below, we display triennial averages for the production of oilseeds, foodgrains and pulses for every fifth year between 1950-51 and 1980-81. In a later table (Table 17) we display data for the production of oilseeds over the same period with a different averaging procedure.


Table 15: Production of Major Oilseeds relative to Foodgrains and Pulses, 1950-85

Year

Oilseeds
(lakh tons)

All Foodgrains
(million tons)

Pulses
(lakh tons)

1950-51

51.4

52.58

83.3

1955-56

61.6

68.23

108.8

1960-61

69.5

80.47

120.9

1963-64

76.7

83.38

113.4

1970-71

85.8

104.36

115.3

1975-76

87.5

110.77

114.7

1980-81

93.7

129.59

106.3

1984-85

129.5

145.54

119.6


Notes
: All figures are triennial averages with the year indicated as the mid year. The year 1963-64 has been chosen instead of 1965-66 to avoid including the two abnormal years 1965-66 and 1966-67 in the average. Source: Various issues of Estimates of Area and Production of Principal Crops in India, Directorate of Economic Statistics, Govt. of India, New Delhi.


Table 15 makes it clear that up to 1963-64, relative production of total foodgrains, oilseeds, and pulses remains almost unchanged, though the production of pulses already seems to be coming under stress by then. In the following years, production of pulses becomes stagnant, while growth in oilseeds begins falling behind foodgrains, except in 1984-1985, when the production of oilseeds shows some improvement.


Looking again at Table 14, we find that in pre-modern period of 1949-65, a significant proportion of the growth in production of foodgrains arises from improvements in yield per hectare. Overall increase in agricultural production during this period can be attributed almost equally to increases in area under crops and increases in productivity per unit area. But growth in production of oilseeds takes place predominantly as a result of growth in area under oilseeds. Growth in productivity of oilseeds remains low, much less than 1 percent per annum in pre-modern as well as the modern phase. The high rate of growth in production of oilseeds in the pre-modern phase then arises from the rapid growth of area under oilseeds; rate of growth of area under oilseeds in this period was almost twice as high as that of area under foodgrains. Incidentally, during this period area under pulses also rose at a rate faster than that of the foodgrains as a whole; though yield per hectare of pulses declined slightly even during this period.


Low rate of growth in productivity of land under oilseeds seems to be related to the slow rise in irrigated area under oilseeds over the years (Table 16 below). Irrigation is one of the main resources that enhance productivity of land. As shown in Table 16, increase in irrigated area brought under foodgrains form a substantial fraction of the increase in total area under foodgrains. The data seem to suggest that almost all of the additional area brought under foodgrains, at least after 1955-56, was irrigated. Irrigated area under oilseeds on the other hand rises rather slowly; much of the additional area brought under oilseeds, like the area already under oilseeds, was dry. The percentage of irrigated area compared to total area under oilseeds begins to rise only after the mid-seventies.


Table 16: Irrigated Area under Oilseeds and Foodgrains, 1950-51 to 1980-81


1950-51

1955-56

1960-61

1965-66

1970-71

1975-76

1980-81

Foodgrains








Total Area
Irrigated Area
Percentage Irrigated

101.19 18.32
18.1%

111.32
20.62
18.5%

115.56
22.06
19.1%

114.89
24.03
20.9%

124.91
30.12
24.1%

128.28
34.09
26.6%

126.67
37.61
29.7%

Oilseeds








Total Area
Irrigated Area
Percentage Irrigated

10.97
n.a.
n.a.

11.93
0.29
2.4%

12.78
0.42
3.3%

14.19
0.53
3.7%

14.72
1.09
7.4%

15.02
1.20
8.0%

15.62
2.28
14.6%


Note
: Area in million hectares. Source: Various issues of Indian Agriculture in Brief, cited earlier. Data for 1975-76 and 1980-81 is taken from Economic Survey, 1985-86, Ministry of Finance, Govt. of India. Area for these years includes, in addition to the area under the five major oilseeds, that under the minor oilseed crops of soybean, safflower, sunflower and niger also. Since the latter area is small, it does not substantially affect comparison with data from earlier years.


From the slow increase in irrigated area under oilseeds and rather low rate of growth in productivity of oilseeds during 1949-65, it appears that relatively better lands and important productive resources like irrigation were even then preferentially assigned to cereal crops. Total production of oilseeds and pulses, however, was kept up by bringing proportionately larger, though less productive, areas under these crops. The balance in the relative production of cereals, pulses, and oilseeds that persisted throughout the pre-modern phase was thus the result of delicate adjustments in the allocation of different types of land and other productive resources to different crops.


After the mid-sixties, there was perhaps not much more land available that could be brought under plough without extraordinary effort. Looking at the performance of Indian agriculture in the first fifteen years after Independence, however, there is little doubt that even after additional cultivable land became scarce, the traditionally valued productive resources like labour, animal power, animal manure, and water would have been appropriately raised and allocated not only to maintain the rising trend in overall agricultural production, but also to maintain a balance in the production of different crops. After all, even in spite of no modernising innovations taking place in the first fifteen-year period, the yield of land per unit area in India did keep rising at a rate of 1.60 percent per annum.


During the mid-sixties, however, the new technology for cereal production was introduced in India. This required new kinds of resources and new agricultural practices. Traditional resources as well as traditional knowledge of soil, seasons and crops thus got de-emphasised. The new resources and knowledge naturally got concentrated in the limited areas and crops that responded to the new technology. Production and productivity of these few crops in their limited areas increased substantially. But growth in overall production and productivity of land in India started slowing down (see, Table 14 above).[12] One of the major crops that thus suffered a decline in growth was that of oilseeds. Area under oilseeds almost stopped growing after the Third Plan (1961-66), and growth in their production began to slacken (see, Table 17 below).


Table 17: Total Area and Production of Major Oilseeds: Plan Averages


1950-51

I Plan 1951-56

II Plan 1956-61

III Plan 1961-66

1966-69

IV Plan 1969-74

V Plan 1980-81

Area (million hectares)

10.73

11.69

13.19

15.08

15.04

15.29

15.39

Production (lakh tons)

51.58

54.53

67.10

73.53

71.91

82.90

89.25


Notes
: Major oilseeds include groundnut, rapeseed-mustard, sesame, linseed and castor. Source: Agricultural Situation in India, Government of India, New Delhi, August 1984, p.321.


This of course meant less fat in the average Indian diet. In addition, it also meant decreased capability to
maintain bovine stock which constituted one of the most important productive resources in traditional agriculture. As we have noticed earlier (Table 1), growth in bovine stock also slackened noticeably after the mid-sixties. Incidentally, oilseeds registered the highest growth during the Second Plan (1956-61); that is also the period during which bovine population grew most rapidly.


Modern Strategies for Enhancing Availability of Vegetable Oils

Decreasing growth in the production of oilseeds and vegetable oils has become a matter of major concern for the development planners in the recent past. Various strategies are being evolved for quickly and dramatically increasing the availability of vegetable oils in the country. Attempts made so far have been mainly in three directions: One, to popularise cultivation of exotic non-conventional oilseed crops; two, to encourage the extraction of residual oils in conventionally expressed oil-cakes through industrial solvent-extraction processes, and also to use these processes for obtaining oil from certain agricultural residues like rice-bran, and some forest products like sal-seed and mahua; and three, to import cheap vegetable oils, like palm oil and soybean oil etc. from the international market at a large scale. Future strategies are also likely to explore possibilities in the same directions. Efforts along these lines have indeed increased the availability of edible oils in the country. However, as we shall see below, these strategies have contributed little to the nutrition of animals in India. Below, we consider developments along each of these three directions in some detail.


i. Cultivation of Non-Conventional Oilseeds

Oilseed crops conventionally grown in India are mainly five: Groundnut, Rapeseed-Mustard, Sesame, Linseed and Castor. Of these the first three, along with Coconut, a plantation crop, form the major source of edible oils in the country. Linseed oil is also edible, though it finds many industrial uses, especially in the paints and varnish industry. Castor oil has been traditionally considered important medicinal oil and an excellent feed-stock for soap making. It is also becoming an important industrial material, particularly as a lubricant. Perhaps that is the reason why castor-seed production, though not large compared to the total production of major oilseeds, has started showing a sudden upward trend during the last few years. Between 1980-81 and 1983-84, castor production has jumped from 2.04 lakh tons to 4.07 lakh tons, and area under castor during this period has gone up from 4.97 lakh hectares in 1980-81 to 6.37 in 1983-84. In Table 18 below, we display figures for average production of different oilseeds during the five-year plan periods.


Table 18: Crop-wise Break-up of Production of Major Oilseeds: Plan Averages


1950-51

I Plan 1951-56

II Plan 1956-61

III Plan 1961-66

1966-69

IV Plan 1969-74

V Plan 1974-79

1979-84

Groundnut

34.81 (67.5)

35.35
(64.8)

47.26
(70.4)

51.25
(69.7)

49.24
(68.5)

54.89
(66.2)

58.85
(65.9)

61.14
(65.0)

Rapeseed-Mustard

7.62
(14.8)

9.14
(16.8)

10.86
(16.2)

12.68
(17.2)

13.81
(19.2)

16.97
(20.5)

18.50
(20.7)

20.81
(22.1)

Sesame

4.45
(8.6)

5.11
(9.4)

4.00
(6.0)

4.42
(6.0)

4.28
(5.9)

4.66
(5.6)

4.65
(5.2)

5.11
(5.4)

Linseed

3.67
(7.1)

3.80
(7.0)

3.89
(5.8)

4.19
(5.7)

3.42
(4.8)

4.81
(5.8)

5.29
(5.9)

3.98
(4.2)

Castor

1.03
(2.0)

1.13
(2.1)

1.09
(1.3)

0.99
(1.3)

1.16
(1.6)

1.57
(1.9)

1.96
(2.2)

2.99
(3.2)

Total

51.58
(100)

54.53
(100)

67.10
(100)

73.53
(100)

71.91
(100)

82.90
(100)

89.95 (100)

94.02 (100)

Coconuts

3282

3976

4608

4851

5333

5981

5753



Note:
Figures in parentheses indicate percentage of the total production of five major oil seeds. Coconut figures are in millions of nuts. Source: Agricultural situation in India, Aug. 1984, p. 321; the 1979-84 data are from the Economic Survey of India 1985-86, cited earlier.


It may be seen from Table 18 that the relative share of different oilseed crops in the total production of five major oilseeds has not changed significantly since the 1950’s. Groundnut remains the most significant oilseed crop; it accounts for more than 65% of the total production of the five major oilseeds in 1980’s, as it did in the 1950’s. Rapeseed-mustard, the second most important oilseed crop, has improved its share slightly, from about 15% in the fifties to around 20% in the sixties. This increase in the relative production of rapeseed-mustard seems to have been at the cost of sesame, whose share in the total production of the five oilseeds has declined from about 9% to about 5%. Decrease in the relative production of sesame is perhaps because of its relatively low productivity, though sesame productivity has increased from about 200 kg/ha in the fifties to about 300 kg/ha in the eighties. This decrease in the share of sesame is unfortunate, because sesame oil is by conventional wisdom considered the most nutritious and health promoting of all edible oils. In the canonical texts of Ayurveda sesame oil is said to be the best of all oils. The Sanskrit word for oil, taila, is derived from the Sanskrit name for sesame, tila. Sesame oil therefore is the oil, taila, and other oils get the same generic name because of the similarity of their properties to those of the sesame oil.[13] Similarly, in Tamil, sesame oil is nalla ennai, the good oil. The generic Tamil word for oil ennai is also derived from sesame; ennai is ellu nei, sesame ghee.


One of the major components of modern strategies for enhancing availability of oils in the country is to introduce newer oilseed crops, often of foreign origin, in the agriculture of India. The crops currently being popularised are: safflower, sunflower and soybean, mainly the last. In Table 19 below, we show the area brought under these crops since 1980-81, and their production. In the four years between 1980-81 and 1983-84, area under these crops has increased almost twofold and their production has risen even more sharply, from 5.90 lakh tons in 1980-81 to 13.24 in 1983-84. Area and production of these crops in 1983-84 already form a significant proportion, about 15%, of the area and production of the five major conventional oilseed crops.


Table 19: Area and Production of Non-Conventional Edible Oilseed Crops


Area in lakh hectares

Production in lakh tons


1980-81

1981-82

1982-83

1983-84

1980-81

1981-82

1982-83

1983-84

Safflower

7.20

7.61

7.82

8.00

3.35

4.24

3.96

4.69

Sunflower

1.19

2.27

4.62

6.67

0.66

1.31

2.30

2.72

Soybean

3.92

4.77

7.70

8.14

1.89

3.52

4.91

5.83

Total

12.31

14.65

20.14

22.81

5.90

9.07

11.17

13.24


Source:
For 1982-83 and 1983-84, S. Gangadharan, ‘Hopeful Signs in Oilseeds’, The Economics Times, Bombay, Feb.13, 1985; for 1980-81 and 1981-82, Indian Agriculture in Brief, cited earlier.


From the performance of non-conventional oilseed crops during these four years, it does not seem that these crops, as of now, have any advantage in yield per hectare over the conventional oilseeds. As shown in Table 20, between 1980-81 and 1983-84, yield of groundnut has been consistently higher than that of soybean; and safflower and sunflower have consistently yielded lower yields than rapeseed-mustard.


Table 20: Relative Yields of some Conventional and Non-Conventional
Edible Oilseeds Crops


1980-81

1981-82

1982-83

1983-84

Soybean

482

738

638

716

Groundnut

735

1006

732

953

Safflower

465

557

506

586

Sunflower

554

577

498

408

Rapeseed-Mustard



577

659


Note:
Yield in kilograms per hectare. Source: As in Table 19 above.

The oil content of the non-conventional oil-seeds also does not seem to be any better than that of the conventional seeds. In Table 21 below, we have collected percentage oil content, weight by weight, of some of the important conventional and non-conventional oil bearing vegetable materials.


Table 21: Oil Content of Some Important Oilseeds

Oilseed

Percentage of Oil (w/w)

Oilseed

Percentage of Oil (w/w)

Groundnut (Kernel)

40-44

Soybean

18.7-21

Rapeseed-Mustard

31-33

Safflower

25-30

Sesame Seed

41-43

Sunflower

37-40

Linseed

31-33

Niger Seed

35

Castor seed

40-42

Copra

62-68


Source:
Agricultural Situation in India, Aug 1984, p. 322.

While the oil content of safflower and sunflower is roughly the same as that of other oil-bearing seeds like rapeseed-mustard or sesame, oil content of soybean is rather low. This latter is supposed to have high protein content, but even in this aspect it is not much better than groundnut, which is rich in both oils and proteins.


The non-conventional oilseeds thus do not seem to have any special advantage over the conventional oilseeds in terms of their yield or oil content. However there is one important difference. The technology and uses of conventional oils are well known; and it seems that much of the conventional oils produced get consumed without any industrial processing, and the rich oil-cakes obtained from small scale ghanis and expellers find their way into the feed of the local livestock. The technology of the non-conventional oilseeds, especially of soybean, the most vigorously promoted of the non-conventional oilseeds, though not very complicated, is unfamiliar. Also the non-conventional oils, soybean oil in particular, are not accepted in the Indian market without multiple refining. Because of these constraints, the non-conventional oilseeds, unlike the conventional ones, largely enter the industrial system and from there, the urban market.


This gives rise to a major disadvantage for the health and productivity of the average milch or draught animal. Once an oil-bearing crop enters the centralised industrial system, it becomes uneconomical to return its by-product, the oil-cake, to the field for livestock consumption. Economically, it becomes much more desirable to ‘add value’ by processing oil-cake into compound feeds. These compound feeds are, however, too expensive to be consumed by the average animal in the field, and have to be either exported or fed to exotic elite herds. From the economic viewpoint, it is even better if the oil-cake can be entirely diverted from livestock consumption and converted into sophisticated ‘protein-rich’ products for metropolitan human consumers. The cycle can then be completed by feeding good whole grains to specially bred animals in industrial feedlots, as is being done in many parts of the world.


ii. Solvent Extraction of Oil-cakes and Some Other Agricultural and Forest Products

Oil is generally obtained by pressing oilseeds and other oil‑bearing matter in traditional ghanis or the more modern though fairly small-scale expellers. In this process, some oil is left in the cake; the expeller cake contains up to 10 percent, weight by weight, of oil. In the normal course this is not a waste, as the cake is fed to the livestock and provides probably the only source of fat in the animal diets.


It is possible to extract the residual oil from oil-cake by dissolving it in some organic solvent, usually hexane is used for the purpose, and then removing the solvent from the oil by distillation. If all the oil-cake produced in the country could be processed in this fashion, the amount of oil recovered may form a significant proportion of the total vegetable oils available. But every kilogram of oil thus extracted is a kilogram of oil taken out of the livestock feeds, which are in any case not very rich. Also, this type of processing necessarily involves concentrating the cake in industrial locations. As we have argued earlier, once oil-cake reaches the industrial system, it is unlikely to become available for the average animal, even after the oil content has been removed from it.


The solvent extraction process can also be used for extracting oil from some agricultural wastes that have small quantities of vegetable oils in them. One such agricultural by-product is rice-bran. In India, with rice production nearing 60 million tons, there is probably 12 million tons of rice-bran available annually. Oil content of rice-bran is generally around 15%, and thus the available bran bears about 18 lakh tons of oil, which is, of course, a significant amount. Normally the bran along with its oil content is fed to the animals. Solvent extraction of rice bran is now becoming popular, and we can expect the Indian livestock to loose both the bran and the oil.


Some oil bearing forest products, like mahua and sal-seeds, which are normally collected by the forest dwelling adivasis, largely for their own use, are also now moving into the solvent extraction industry for commercial production of oil.


Before we look at the amount of different types of oils produced in the solvent extraction industry during the last few years, it is instructive to keep in mind the total production of oils from different oilseeds in the country. In Table 22 below, we display production figures over a period of about twenty years. From the Table it seems that total production of oil from the five major oilseeds and coconut has been in the range of 20 to 30 lakhs tons since the seventies. About 10% of this amount has consisted of non-edible linseed and castor seed oils.


Table 22: Production of Major Vegetable Oils (in thousand tons)


1960-61

1970-71

1975-76

1980-81

Groundnut

1094

1413

1516

1139

Rapeseed-Mustard

417

627

616

687

Sesame

151

175

136

n.a.

Linseed

149

141

180

n.a.

Castor

38

47

50

n.a.

Coconut

179

190

181

174

Total

2028

2593

2679

--

Cotton Seed

neg.

100

175

269

Rice-bran

neg.

21

36

139


Source:
Agricultural situation in India, Aug. 1984, p. 323; Directorate of Economics and Statistics, Govt. of India, New Delhi, mimeographed no.5-327 Dte. E&S (ND)/82, p.47 and 49; Indian Agriculture in Brief, cited earlier, 19th edition (December 1982).


In addition to the oils from the five major oilseeds, cottonseed oil and rice-bran oil have become significant contributors to the pool of vegetable oils since the beginning of the seventies and their share seems to be rapidly rising. Incidentally, cottonseed, when it is not expressed for its oil, is fed whole to agricultural livestock; and the oil extracted is not edible without hydrogenation. The contribution of non-conventional oils, like sunflower, safflower and soybean etc., remains insignificant individually. However, together they add up to about 2 lakh tons, and perhaps a quarter of that amount comes from soybean oil.


Now let us look at the contribution made by solvent extracted oils to the oil-pool. In Table 23 below, we list the amount of solvent extracted oils produced from different sources in the recent past. Production of solvent extracted oils at around 3 lakh tons in 1981 forms a significant proportion, about 10%, of the indigenous vegetable oil-pool. A large part of the total production of solvent extracted oils comes from rice-bran; it contributes some 40% of the total solvent extracted oils. Cottonseed oil is another major contributor to the total of solvent extracted oils. Rice-bran and cottonseed together account for more than half of the total oils produced in this process. Normally both rice-bran and cottonseed form part of livestock feeds.


Table 23: Production of Solvent Extracted Oils in India (in Tons)


1977

1978

1979

1980

1981

Rice-bran

72,754

92,528

1,06,252

1,02,295

1,19,475

Cottonseed

14,085

15,347

17,343

17,176

24,298

Soybean

2,419

7,992

16,167

29,551

27,470

Sunflower

2,689

1,320

1,402

2,526

3,858

Safflower

3,051

2,152

2,779

1,330

3,095

Niger-seed

338

168

415

67

254

Groundnut

61,872

58,541

60,716

47,302

49,181

Rapeseed

-

-

-

-

9,932

Sesame

1,576

257

1,001

857

1,543

Linseed

4,611

3,807

7,770

837

732

Castor

1,156

843

1,351

1,896

1,985

Coconut

1,432

3,323

3,984

3,051

2,050

Sal-seed

9,954

11,153

15,247

9,654

15,769

Neem

4,970

5,865

4,123

7,503

6,428

Mahua

2,524

4,310

5,100

5,270

6,967

Mango-kernel

320

1,182

178

505

2,520

Miscellaneous

2,143

4,823

3,043

4,196

4,015

Total

1,85,894

2,13,611

2,46,871

2,34,016

2,79,572


Source:
Directorate of Economics and Statistics, Government of India, New Delhi, mimeo no. 5-327 Dte E&S(ND)/ 82, p. 48.


Amongst the edible oilseeds, soybean enters the solvent extraction system in a big way. Its contribution of about 30 thousand tons in 1981 constitutes only 10% of the total solvent extracted oils. However, considering that the total production of soybean oils is only about half a lakh ton, and the production of soybean seeds is not much beyond 5 lakh tons even in 1983-84, thirty thousand tons of solvent extracted soybean oil seems a big figure. What it implies is that almost all of soybean cake enters the industrial system for solvent extraction, and further processing.


Solvent extraction of oil from the oil-cake of the five major oilseed crops forms about a quarter of the total production of solvent extracted oils. In terms of the total production of these oilseeds, and consequently their oil-cake, the amount of oil extracted does not seem large. Solvent extracted oil for each of these constitutes a small fraction of the conventional production of the respective oil. And, so far not more than 10% of the oil-cake produced from these seeds is entering the solvent extraction system. Nevertheless, even this 10% means that much less of oil and feed concentrates for animal consumption.


Of the forest produce, sal-seed is the major source of solvent extracted oils. Besides sal-seed, mahua, neem and mango-kernel are the other main products that are being subjected to solvent extraction. Total oil produced from these sources adds up to about thirty thousand tons, contributing about 10% of the total solvent extracted oils.


If we assume that oil recovery is about 10% of the oil-cake or rice-bran subjected to solvent extraction, then the industry takes away about 10% of the oil-cake of the major oilseeds, almost all the soybean cake, about 2 lakh tons cottonseed cake, and about a million tons of rice-bran, out of the available livestock feeds. With these feeds and some forest produce, the industry produces about three lakh tons of vegetable oils of doubtful edible quality. Their edibility is suspect not only because of the nature of oils contained in the wide variety of oil-bearing materials used for solvent extraction, but also because of the nature of the organic chemicals used as solvents in the process. Solvent-extracted oils were officially classified as non-edible until recently. Now, some of the solvent extracted oils are finding their way into vanaspati ghee, a popular cooking medium made by hydrogenating vegetable oils. The label on a recently packed tin of a popular brand of vanaspati ghee reads: “Made from any or all of the following permissible vegetable oils: Cottonseed, Kardi, Mahua, Maize (Corn), Palm, Palmolein, Imported Rapeseed, Rice-bran, Sal-seed, Sesame, Sunflower, Water-melon seed, Solvent and Exp(eller) Mustard Oil.”[14]


Edible oils other than the major conventional oils have been long known in India. In the category of oils in the chapters on the properties of materials in Susruta Samhita, there is an exhaustive list of oils, including oils of mahua and mango-kernel.[15] However, from the properties of various oils listed there, it is obvious that most of these oils are medicinal in nature; not many of these are supposed to be appropriate for long term routine use. Introduction of new oils in Indian diets, without understanding their long term effects, seems rash in a country that has a tradition of being extremely careful about dietary habits, and where impact on human health of all substances used as food or medicine is extremely carefully observed and recorded, as is done, for example, in Susruta Samhita in its section on vegetable oils.


c. Import of Edible Oils

Large-scale import of vegetable oils constitutes another component of the current strategy for quickly enhancing the availability of oils. In Table 24 below, we list the quantities of edible oils imported during the last few years and the value of these imports in rupees. From the Table it seems that the import of vegetable edible oils rose suddenly in the mid-seventies to more than a million tons; since then, excepting a few exceptions, annual imports have always been above this level; in 1983-84, 1.5 million tons of edible oils were imported at a cost of Rs.1,200 crore.


Table 24: Quantity and Cost of Edible Oil Imports, 1972-84

Year

Quantity (Tons)

Value (Rs. Crore)

1972-73

66,727

17.02

1973-74

184,948

57.78

1974-75

30,091

12.21

1975-76

27,523

15.42

1976-77

179,297

101.04

1977-78

1,282,625

703.32

1978-79

1,075,648

541.72

1979-80

726,754

433.07

1980-81

1,666,361

629.69

1981-82

1,000,000

625.30

1982-83

1,100,000

1000.00

1983-84

1,500,000

1200.00


Source:
K. K. G. Menon, ‘Vegetable Oil Output’, The Economic Times, Bombay, Feb.13, 1985.

The massive imports being made do not seem to be related to the actual downfall in the growth of edible oils. It is true that the rate of growth in production of oilseeds in the post-1965 fell considerably below the rate achieved in the 1949-65 period. However, even during the 1967-80 period production of oilseeds has kept rising at a compound rate of slightly above 1 percent per annum (see, Table 14 above). Production of edible vegetable oils has grown at a somewhat higher rate than this because of the contributions arising from non-conventions sources of edible oils, especially cottonseed oil (see, Table 22 above).


Therefore, even though availability of indigenous oils did not increase after the mid-sixties, it did not decline to any significant extent. As seen in Table 25 below, availability of edible oils and vanaspati remained steady at around 4 kg/year per capita over a period of about one and a half decades between the early sixties and mid-seventies, during which not much edible oils were imported. Large-scale imports since then have increased the availability to 6.7 kg per capita per year in 1983-84.


Table 25: Availability of Edible Oils and Vanaspati

Year

Edible Oils

Vanaspati

Total

Year

Edible Oils

Vanaspati

Total

1955-56

2.5

0.7

3.2

1978-79

3.8

1.0

4.7

1961-62

3.2

0.8

3.9

1980-81

3.8

1.2

5.0

1965-66

3.0

0.8

3.9

1981-82

4.9

1.3

6.2

1970-71

3.2

1.0

4.2

1982-83

4.4

1.2

5.6

1975-76

3.3

0.8

4.1

1983-84

5.5

1.2

6.7


Notes:
Availability in kg per capita per year. From 1961-62 to 1978-79, the figures given are triennial averages around the year indicated as mid-year. Totals in these averaged rows may not agree because of rounding up of figures. For 1980-81 to 1983-84, the figures are provisional. Source: Economic Survey of India, 1985-86, Ministry of Finance, Govt. of India, New Delhi.


Imported oils are comprised mainly of oils that are not normally used as edible oils in India. As seen in Table 26 below, about 40% of the import is of soybean oil; palm and palmolein account for another 35% of the imported oils. The remaining imports are largely of rapeseed oil.


Table 26: Break-up of Imports of Vegetable Oils in India, 1975-79


1975

1976

1977

1978

1979

Percentage

Soybean

4

151

441

513

535

42.8

Palm

62

26

330

486

396

33.1

Rapeseed

16

37

298

273

138

19.6

Sunflower

-

-

17

28

17

1.5

Groundnut

1

16

38

4

-

1.5

Coconut

-

2

19

23

16

1.5

Total

83

232

1133

1327

1122

100


Note:
Import figures in thousand tons. Last column gives percentage of the relevant oil in the total imports for five years. Total import figures here do not agree with those in Table 24, because different sources refer to different financial years. Source: Agricultural Situation in India, Aug. 1984, p.323.


An overwhelming proportion of the imported oils is being utilised in the vanaspati industry. Output of the industry has grown by more than 50% in five years, from about 5 lakh tons in 1975-76 to 8 lakh tons in 1980‑81 (Table 27 below). In 1975-76, 88% of the raw oils used in the industry consisted of indigenous oils, both conventional and non-conventional; in 1980-81 about 87% of the raw oils used for manufacturing vanaspati ghee are imported non-conventional oils.


Table 27: Utilisation of Raw Oils in the Manufacture of Vanaspati

Source

1975-76

1976-77

1977-78

1978-79

1979-80

1980-81

Imported

60.0

250.2

481.1

495.6

487.8

690.2

Indigenous traditional

235.8

169.6

37.3

37.1

33.8

40.7

Indigenous Non-traditional

225.8

152.4

84.7

184.1

128.9

65.1

Total

521.6

572.3

603.2

716.8

650.5

796.1


Note:
Quantities in thousand tons. Source: Indian Agriculture in Brief, 19th edition (Dec. 1982).

More than half the quantity of imported oils is ending up in the vanaspati ghee industry. After hydrogenation and conversion into vanaspati ghee, the taste and flavour of imported oil, which may otherwise be unacceptable to the Indian consumer, cannot be recognised. The consumer of vanaspati ghee and of the highly refined blended oils has no way to find out what has gone into the making of his cooking medium, especially if he cannot or does not read the label.


Looking at the growth of vanaspati ghee and blended refined oil industry on the basis of cheap imported oils, it seems that the strategy of large scale import of edible oils is designed to achieve the same results as were achieved through the import of gifted milk products in the case of Operation Flood. Large scale import of cheap oils is indirectly financing and inducing the growth of oil processing, packaging and marketing industry; and also providing the initial supplies of edible oils necessary to help the industry capture a ‘commanding’ share of the urban cooking medium market. The fact that the National Dairy Development Board (NDDB), the agency mainly responsible for planning the OF project, has also been active in the field of edible oils is perhaps not merely accidental. This strategy of meeting our edible oil requirements through imports is certain to depress growth in the indigenous production of oilseeds. By importing oils instead of raising production of oilseeds, we also lose valuable feed-concentrates in the form of oil-cake, which could have helped in enhancing milk-production and in improving the health of the draught animals.


Impact of Modern Strategies on the Oilseeds Economy

The total impact of the modernisation programmes on the oilseeds economy of the country has been the following: First during the mid-sixties, the introduction of modern agricultural techniques designed mainly for a few cereals crops led to a decline in the rate of growth of oilseeds. Later, from the mid-seventies onwards direct modernising intervention in the oilseeds economy has been made through strategies aimed at popularising the cultivation of non-conventional oilseeds, encouraging solvent extraction of residual oils from oil-cakes and other agricultural wastes meant for livestock feeding, and inundating the market with imported cheap oils.


These strategies militate against enhancing the availability of livestock nutrients through conventional oilseeds agriculture. These also introduce several new edible oils, which are normally unacceptable to the Indian consumers. An overwhelming proportion of the indigenously produced and imported non-conventional oils therefore finds its way into the oil processing and marketing industry. There these oils are processed into vegetable ghee and sold to unsuspecting consumers, or are highly refined, attractively packaged and aggressively advertised as the sophisticated cooking media preferred by consumers of the developed countries. The remaining quantity of these non-conventional oils is either sold to the indigent consumers through fair price shops, or is dumped in the market as cheap oils which are then picked up by the inexpensive eating establishments. It is a consequence of the availability of this large variety of unfamiliar edible oils of indifferent quality in the Indian market that eating out at an average Indian establishment has become an unpleasant exercise, and often a health hazard.


Modernisation of the oilseeds economy thus seems to have led to a decline in the quality and quantity of essential nutrients available for both men and animals. As a result of these modern strategies, urban markets may have been kept well supplied with a variety of processed edible oils. These strategies may have also ensured plentiful supply of oil-cake in the industrial system for conversion into compound-feeds for the elite herds, or for export. However, these strategies certainly have not contributed towards improving, or even maintaining, the health and productivity of an average Indian, or the average animal in India.


Conclusion

What can we learn about the phenomenon of modernisation from our experience of modernising milk and oilseeds sectors of Indian economy?


Looking at the experience, the first aspect that becomes compellingly noticeable is the failure of modern techniques to maintain the necessary balance in the production of various essential commodities, a balance that seems to be naturally present in the traditional patterns of production. Thus when modern techniques are sought to be used to enhance production of cereals, production of pulses and oilseeds starts declining; when availability of oils is sought to be improved, the availability of animal feed concentrates does not simultaneously rise; and when productivity of milch-animals is sought to be enhanced through exotic breeding, the males turn out to be inadequate for the purpose of draught.[16]


This failure is perhaps easily understandable. Modern techniques to solve problems of production are patterned on the laboratory methods. And the essence of the scientific laboratory method is to isolate the problem from its environment, to eliminate the inter-linkages it has with diverse other factors in nature, and to reduce it to the minimum possible number of controllable parameters. This laboratory strategy is of course immensely successful in compelling nature to perform miracles. By looking at a natural cow as a mere producer of milk and scientifically breeding it to maximise the milk output of the progeny, one can make cows that will deliver unheard of quantities of milk. What will these cows need to perform their miracle of production is however a different question, which will need to be separately tackled, probably by devising economic instruments to deprive the ordinary cows of their normal rations in order to feed the miracle breeds. Such techniques can of course be used to enhance milk output of individual cows, but given the constraints on the total availability of feeds and fodder, it is doubtful whether such techniques can be used to enhance the aggregate production of milk in the country.


It seems doubtful whether the modern scientific method of isolating a phenomenon from its environment can at all be used to design techniques for fulfilling the highly inter-linked basic needs of a society. Conventional wisdom attempts to solve such problems by taking them in their entirety, with all their inter-linkages and their complexity. This common-sense method of looking at and solving societal problems within their natural setting may not achieve miraculous results, but it seems to have proved quite efficient in maintaining a balanced growth of essential commodities in functioning societies. We have seen this happening in Indian agriculture during the first fifteen years after Independence. For agriculture in China, there is evidence to indicate that production there kept on rising at a rate of 1 per cent per annum over a period of at least six centuries. About half of this growth in production could be attributed to increases in the productivity of land, which was achieved by arranging more irrigation, providing more manure, and by selecting better yielding seeds and crops from amongst those growing in nature.[17]


Traditional sciences, especially the traditional Indian sciences, respect the common-sense method of looking at the world in its integrity. These sciences, it seems, seek to systematise the common sense, to make it rigorous, without destroying its essentially multifaceted integrity. Thus for Charaka Samhita, the canonical text of Indian medicine, science is dependent upon what the text calls yukti,[18] which is defined as the intellect that perceives the phenomena brought into existence by the coming together of a multiplicity of causes.[19] And the text further clarifies that yukti is also the intellect that, while perceiving the multiplicity of causes of which the phenomena are constituted, brings together appropriate actions and materials at the appropriate time and place.[20] Thus traditional Indian sciences even in their theoretical formulations define their task to be a pragmatic understanding of the world in order to act appropriately within the natural complexity of this world. This is exactly what conventional wisdom and common sense also attempt. Their objective is to find ways of healthily living in the world. They seek neither to dissect it, nor to change it. No miracles can be expected from the sciences and the methods that are modelled on the common sense. These, however, are perhaps the appropriate methods for finding ways of ensuring balanced production of essential commodities, and for carrying on the mundane business of living in the given world.


Another aspect of modernity that emerges strongly, especially from the experience of milk and oilseeds sector of Indian economy, is the extraordinary emphasis that it lays on processing and trading activities, to the exclusion of all activities that help in enhancing production. Part of the reason for this emphasis is perhaps just that trading and processing are simpler tasks. It is much easier to put up an array of processing plants at various places in the country and arrange to transport large quantities of milk between locations than to develop the milk production potential of the country. The engineering and marketing efforts turn out to be especially simple when much of the designs and strategies, if not the machines and managers themselves, can be imported outright. Helping millions of small farmers owning a cow or two each in improving the milk yield of their animals on the other hand is a stupendous task for which no ready-made solutions are available. The engineering and managerial skills available in the country, and internationally, are perhaps not even suited for the latter task, which is more explicitly social and political.


It would have been a different matter if enhancement in the production of milk were to be achieved not through the co-operation of millions of small farmers but through the raising of special herds in huge industrially managed farms. The available managerial and engineering skills would have then come into their own, and the production task then would have acquired the glamour and the prestige that for the present seems to be associated with trading and processing. It would have also made manipulating production upwards or downwards easier. But, Indian milk economy has not yet become expensive enough to support industrial production of milk. Till that happens, marketing and processing will remain the only fields of activity for the modern managers and engineers.


This association of glamour and skill with trading and processing activities is of course not merely accidental. There is something inherent in modernity that gives preference to trading, handling and manipulating of products and markets over the actual tasks of production. Looking at the repeated failure of modern techniques to help in the balanced growth of basic commodities at a reasonable cost, it seems that modernity perhaps has only a secondary interest in productive activities. Its primary concern seems to be with controlling the output. And till this control can be achieved through processing and marketing activities alone, it remains unnecessary and uneconomical to dabble in the complex task of basic production. To control the output, it may become necessary, at a later stage, to control the production and productive resources too, but modernisation of an economy always seems to begin with opening it up for trade, through technological means if possible, by force if necessary.


The logic of the mad rush with which processing, transportation and marketing facilities have been generated under the OF project to the exclusion of all activities designed to enhance milk production seems difficult to comprehend. The logic of it becomes even more incomprehensible, when we see that much of the handling capacity generated is lying un-utilised. The phenomenon can be understood only in the context of the inordinate emphasis that modernity lays on opening up an economy for trade. This is considered so important that capital employed for this purpose is not even subjected to the minimal of constraint of producing an appropriate return.


In this connection it is apt to recall the experience of the laying down of the Indian railways during the latter half of the last century. This was an event of much bigger magnitude and much greater historical importance than the OF project. But in essential details the two are very similar. Indian railways were constructed by the British at the threshold of the forced modernisation of Indian economy. Lines were laid down in a great rush with borrowed foreign money. For a long time in the beginning these lines remained idle and uneconomical, and the state-guaranteed return on the capital employed was paid out of public moneys. The real return from the railways came, however, in the form of opening up of Indian economy to foreign trade. The railways made it possible to dump cheap foreign goods in the Indian market and to carry cotton and foodgrains from the interiors of India to the port cities, to be shipped from there to the metropolis for processing and consumption.[21] The project OF seems to have done for the rural milk economy what the railways did for Indian economy as a whole. As a consequence of this project, milk can now be drained from the rural areas to the cities irrespective of the levels of production.


Colonisation of the productive hinterlands then seems to be the first consequence of modernisation. It seems odd that Indian managerial, engineering and scientific experts should get together to help in this activity of colonising their own people, in their own country. But it should be remembered that once a system of organisation is accepted, it creates a kind of blindness about its consequences. The priorities and objectives of the system tend to be implicitly accepted; and the experts use their expertise only to maximise the parameters that the system defines to be desirable. Thus it happens that the experts in milk economy work efficiently to generate facilities for taking away milk from the villages to the cities, believing in all honesty that in the process they are doing the people and the country immense good. They also probably believe that by their trading activities they are helping in enhancing production of milk. Given the dominance of the modern system of thought, it is perhaps impossible to convince the experts of the inappropriateness of their beliefs. It may be possible to show that through their activities production has not actually risen. They shall then believe that it will rise in the long run. If so much effort, money and technology are being poured in, it cannot be without a beneficial effect. Modernisation cannot possibly go waste!


The Indian moderniser gets a little more than his share of blindness. He is a newcomer to the game of modernity; he has to prove his modern credentials. A western expert can once in a while afford to transcend the system and take a look at the real needs and preferences of his society, and at the consequences his actions are likely to have on the society as a whole. An Indian expert can hardly afford such luxury. He is under pressure to show that he has fully imbibed the modern system, that he fully accepts its universal and objective truth, and that in his pursuit of modernity he is not swayed by parochial considerations like the peculiar needs of his society or the preferences and sensitivities of his people. This intense pressure often leads to a touch of madness, the consequences of which are often seen all around us. Let us conclude with a tragic illustration of this madness that inflicts the Indian experts.


A few years ago two scientists from an agricultural university in India wrote a paper for a symposium on energy and agriculture held in the United States of America. The theme of the paper was to prove that though some of the traditional foods and commodities popular in India were good and healthy, yet they happened to be simply too expensive for the poor Indians to afford, and therefore India must switch to synthetic alternatives. Thus they proved that cotton was good but India could afford only synthetic fibres, ordinary natural foods were good but India could afford only synthetic meats, ordinary milk was good but we could afford only soy milk, and so on.


In their search for synthetic surrogates for naturally available essential commodities, these experts discovered that, on the criterion of protein-calorie input and output ratio, the human female happened to be as efficient a producer of milk as the cow. Promptly they suggested:


…the efficiency of energy conversion in women is as good as in the cow. It has therefore been suggested that to meet the demand at least partially, this may be developed as a source of commercial food for infants from wet nurses in lactriums, as has been done in some Western countries.[22]


This outrageous suggestion that human females should be commercially milked has perhaps been rashly made in the first flush of scientific enthusiasm and objectivity by people who have not yet learnt the art of hiding their intent behind delicate phraseology. But, the madness and the insensitivity towards the basic sentiments of Indian people represented in the above suggestion do not seem to be rare amongst Indian modernisers.


Appendix 1: Bovine Population of India, 1950-2000


1951

1956

1961

1966

1972

1977

1985*

2000*

CATTLE









Males over 3 yr.









i. Breeding only

0.65

0.44

0.36

0.43

0.39

0.41

0.40

0.28

ii. Breeding and Working

(a)

(a)

1.97

2.26

1.99

1.99

(a)

(a)

iii. Working only

58.48

62.48

68.70

69.18

70.57

71.01

74.32

72.76

iv. Others

2.68

1.95

1.50

1.46

1.51

1.36

1.25

0.34

Total Males over 3 years

61.81

64.87

72.53

73.33

74.46

74.77

75.97

73.38

Females over 3 years
i. Breeding of which









Those in milk

18.96

20.10

20.67

20.97

22.04

23.21

55.40

51.25

Dry and Not Calved
even once

27.41

27.16

30.33

30.80

31.38

31.35

(a)

(a)

ii. Working

2.32

1.83

2.15

1.98

2.07

1.99

1.89

0.47

iii. Others

1.18

0.81

1.05

0.93

0.91

1.29

0.79

0.20

Total Females over3 yr.

49.87

49.90

54.20

54.68

56.40

57.84

58.08

51.92

Young Stock

43.58

43.81

48.83

48.05

47.48

47.39

45.94

42.49

Total Cattle

155.24

158.67

175.56

176.60

178.34

180.00

179.99

160.79

BUFFALOES









Males over 3 years
i. Breeding only


0.31


0.33


0.29


0.33


0.23


0.23


0.20


0.14

ii. Breeding and Working

(a)

(a)

0.49

0.62

0.60

0.60

(a)

(a)

iii. Working only

6.03

5.96

6.65

6.97

7.01

7.30

8.05

6.84

iv. Others

0.46

0.22

0.25

0.27

0.23

0.23

0.20

0.05

Total males over 3 years

6.80

6.51

7.68

8.19

8.07

8.36

8.45

7.03

Females over 3 years
i. Breeding of which









Those in Milk

10.22

11.82

12.46

12.92

15.07

17.00

33.07

30.59

Dry and Not Calved
even once

10.79

9.87

11.78

12.59

13.54

14.29

(a)

(a)

ii. Working

0.55

0.42

0.49

0.39

0.37

0.34

0.29

0.07

iii.Others

0.30

0.24

0.30

0.24

0.26

0.26

0.21

0.05

Total Females over 3 yr.

21.85

22.35

25.03

26.14

29.24

31.90

33.57

30.11

Young Stock

14.75

16.09

18.50

18.59

20.12

21.70

21.70

19.07

Total Buffaloes

43.40

44.95

51.21

52.92

57.43

61.96

63.72

56.81

Total Bovine Stock

198.64

203.62

226.77

229.52

235.77

241.96

233.71

217.60


Notes:
* Figures for 1985 and 2000 are projections. (a) For these years figures for “Breeding and Working Males” amongst the Breeding Males, and for “Dry and Not Calved Even Once” Females amongst the Breeding Females are not separately available and are included with “Breeding Males” and “Those in Milk Females”, respectively. Sources: Live stock census figures quoted in various editions of Agriculture in Brief, Ministry of Agriculture, Government of India, Projection for 1985 and 2000 are taken from the Report of National Commission on Agriculture, Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation, Govt. of India, New Delhi, 1976.



Appendix 2: Compound Rates of Growth of Production, Area and Yield

Period

Agricultural
Production

Area under
Crops

Yield

First Plan
1951-52 to 55-56


4.1


2.6


1.4

Second Plan
1956-57 to 60-61


3.1


1.3


1.8

Third Plan
1961-62 to 64-65


3.3


0.6


2.7

Fourth Plan
1969-70 to 73-74


2.2


0.8


1.0


Note:
Plan-wise rates have been calculated on the basis of triennial averages with the base and the last year of each plan as the mid-years. For the third and fourth plan instead of taking triennial periods for the purpose of averaging, the years 1964-65 and 1973-74 respectively were taken as the end years, in order to avoid including especially bad years in the average. For the third plan period, 1965-66 being an exceptionally bad year has been excluded. Source: Table 3.16 of the Report of the National Commission on Agriculture (1976) Vol.1, cited earlier.


Appendix 3: Draught Animals and Mechanical Power in Selected States, 1956-1972

States


1956

1961

1966

1972

Andhra Pradesh

Draught animals

0.469

0.552

0.548

0.586


Mechanical Power

0.023

0.025

0.047

0.116

Karnataka

Draught animals

0.369

0.387

0.391

0.411


Mechanical Power

0.007

0.013

0.032

0.113

Kerala

Draught animals

0.383

0.355

0.297

0.206


Mechanical Power

0.009

0.015

0.027

0.054

Tamil Nadu

Draught animals

0.679

0.817

0.788

0.708


Mechanical Power

0.042

0.102

0.254

0.602

Punjab

Draught animals

0.276

0.282

0.266

0.245


Mechanical Power

0.013

0.022

0.048

0.291


Note:
Animals in heads per hectare of cropped area; mechanical power in hp/hectare. Source: A. Vaidyanathan, ‘Aspects of Indian Bovine Economy: Some Preliminary Results’, Indian Journal of Agricultural Economics, Vol.33 No.1 (Jan-March 1978) p.1-29.


Appendix 4: Operation Flood, A Project Summary
[23]


Excerpts


Introduction

The project, which has a duration of five years, aims at the development of the dairy industry in Bombay, Calcutta, Delhi and Madras and in the rural areas which supply milk to those cities. This involves the following main lines of action:


- Major increases in the capacity and throughput of dairy processing facilities;

-Competitive transfer of the bulk of the urban markets for the traditional supplies of raw milk to the modern dairies;

-Resettlement in rural areas of cattle in the cities, which at present serve a large part of these city markets;

-Development of the basic transportation and storage network to facilitate regional and seasonal balancing of milk supply and demand;

-Development of milk procurement systems in appropriate rural areas in order to provide for raw milk a channel which is more remunerative than the traditional channel; and

-Improvement in standards of dairy farming by programmes of animal breeding, veterinary services, feed-stuff supplies and management, thereby increasing milk yields per animal.


2. Successful completion of the project will bring the following main benefits:

(a) Availability of wholesome milk at stable and reasonable prices to the bulk of city consumers, with major effects on protein intake, including of vulnerable groups, namely pre-school children, nursing and expectant mothers, etc.;

(b) Improved productivity of dairy farming in extensive rural areas bringing major increases in agricultural output and incomes with special emphasis on improvement of the income of small farmers and landless people;

(c) Removal of dairy cattle from the cities, where they represent a growing problem in terms of genetic waste, social cost and public health; and,

(d) Establishment of a broad basis for accelerated development of the national dairy industry in the post-project period.


Appendix 5: Average Rates of Feeding of Concentrates, Green Fodder and Dry Fodder assumed for different Categories of Livestock and Poultry


Rates of feeding in kilogram per day


Concentrates

Green Fodder

Dry Fodder

Cattle




1. Crossbred (milch)

2. Females over 3 years of age, of which

2.75

20.00

6.00

(a) Improved cows (milch)

1.20

10.00

6.00

(b) Other milch cows and not calved
even once

0.125

3.50

3.16

3. Males over 3 years of age

4. Males less than 3 years of age, of which

0.17

4.96

5.65

(a) Crossbred (young stock)

1.50

10.00

2.00

(b) Others young stock

0.016

1.58

1.47

 

Buffaloes




1.Females over 3 years of age, of which




(a) Improved buffaloes

1.50

10.00

6.00

(b) Other milch buffaloes and those
not calves even once

0.41

5.72

5.08

2. Males over 3 years of age

0.109

6.51

5.43

3. Males less than 3 years of age

0.01

1.59

1.64

Poultry




1. Improved layers

0.123

0.020

--

2.Growing stock

0.041

0.007

--

Other livestock




1. Improved sheep

0.274

--

0.40

2. Improved pigs

2.50

1.00

--

3. Horses and ponies

0.50

--

--

Note: The schedules do not include any grazing. Source: Report of the National Commission on Agriculture (1976), cited earlier, Vol.VII, Appendix 34.1, p.433.


Appendix 6: Estimated Requirements of Feed-Stuffs for Some Categories of Livestock in 1973 calculated as per Schedule of Appendix 5

Species

Category

Projected Population

Concent-rates

Green fodder

Dry fodder

Cattle

1. Crossbred milch

2. Improved milch

3. Crossbred young stock

4. Others

1.00

5.50

0.44

172.00

1.00

2.41

0.24

7.20

7.30

20.07

1.60

213.91

2.19

12.04

0.32

238.40


Total cattle

178.94

10.85

242.88

252.95

Buffaloes

1. Improved milch

2. Others

3.50

54.40

1.92

4.34

12.77

87.70

7.66

77.29


Total Buffaloes

57.90

6.26

100.47

84.95


Total Bovine

--

17.11

343.35

337.90

Poultry

1. Layers

2. Growers

24.00

12.00

1.08

0.18

--

--

--

--


Total Poultry

36.00

1.26



Sheep/Lambs

Goats/Kids

Improved Pigs

Horses/Ponies


0.40

0.68

0.32

0.96

0.30

0.45

0.22

0.22

..

..

..

..

3.00

4.50

--

2.00


Total Livestock


19.56

..

347.40


Note:
Projected population in million heads, requirements in million tons. Source: Report of the National Commission on Agriculture (1976), cited earlier, Vol. VII, Appendix 34.2, p.434.



Footnotes

[1] See, the previous article.

[2] A. Vaidyanathan, Aspects of India’s Bovine Economy: Some Preliminary Results, Indian Journal of Agricultural Economics, 33, No. 1, Jan-March 1978, pp.1-29.

[3] D. K. Desai and A. V. S. Narayana, Impact of Modernisation of the Dairy Industry of Kaira District, Indian Journal of Agricultural Economics, 22, 1967, pp.54.

[4] For end of the project OF-II targets, see extracts from OF-II project documents reproduced in Claude Alvares, Another Revolution Fails, Ajanta , Delhi 1985, pp.264-5.

[5] For OF-I budgetary details, see OF-I and OF-II original documents reproduced in Claude Alvares, cited above, Appendix II, pp.261-3.

[6] Incidentally, the Jha Committee begins its report on milk production enhancement aspects of OF by quoting the number of cattle and buffaloes in India and their yield (along with the figures for some other countries) from the FAO Production Year Book for 1983. Why does a Committee of the Government of India appointed to evaluate a national dairy project refer to a foreign source for the number of animals and their yields in the country, especially when the FAO itself in all possibility would have got these data from original Indian sources? Is it that we have no confidence in ourselves, or is it just continuation of habits picked up by Indian economists in foreign universities and Indian elite institutes? The honourable way for a Committee of the Government of India is to quote the India data from Indian sources, and the foreign data from the original sources in the respective countries. But even our National Commissions do not hesitate in quoting foreign sources about Indian conditions and data.

[7] See, for example, V.Kurien (Chairman, NDDB and IDC) in The Black Lie, an NDDB/IDC pamphlet issued in 1984; reproduced in Claude Alvares, cited earlier, pp.56-7. The following quotation of NDDB secretary is also from the same source, p.56.

[8] R. V. Singh and S.K. Sharma, Cost Analysis of Toned Milk Processing, Indian Journal of Agricultural Economics, 34, No.3, July-Sept 1979, pp.61-65

[9] See OF-II documents reproduced in Claude Alvares, cited above, pp.264-5.

[10] V. N. Amble, V. V. R. Murthy, K.V. Sathe, B. B. P.S. Goel, Milk Production of Bovines in India and their Feed Availability, Indian Journal of Veterinary Sciences and Animal Husbandry, 35, No.3, 1965, pp.221-233; see, especially, Table 4 on p.231.

[11] See, previous article, especially Tables 1 and 3. Also see, Table 14 below.

[12] For details of this aspect, see previous article.

[13] See, Susruta Samhita 45.112 and 130.

[14] Label on a tin of Sunahari Tir, manufactured by Amrit Banaspati Company Ltd. Rajpura (Punjab), Batch 192, February 1986.

[15] Susruta Samhita, 45.112-130.

[16] See, Exotic Cross Breeding of Cattle in India, Report of the Expert Committee appointed by Akhila Bharat Krishi Goseva Sangh, Bomby 1981.

[17] Perkins D. H., Agricultural Development in China 1368 - 1968, Edinburgh 1969. Incidentally the author uses the data to prove that there was no major technological advance in Chinese agriculture over such a long period.

[18] Charaka Samhita 1.2:16 and 3.4:4-5. The latter sloka reads: anumanam khalu tarko yuktyapekshah, Inference is yukti dependent reasoning (tarka).

[19] Charaka Samhita 1.11:25. buddhih pasyati ya bhavan bahukaranayogajan, yuktistrikala sa jneya trivargah sadhyate yaya.

[20] Charaka Samhita 1.26:31. yuktisca yojana ya tu yujyate.

[21] For an analysis of the early history of railways in India, see, R. C. Dutta, Economic History of India, vol. II, Reprint, Delhi 1970, pp.120-129, 216-269 and 399-406.

[22] A. R. Rao and I. J. Singh, Choices of Foods to shorten Food-chains in India, in W. Lockeretz (ed.), Agriculture and Energy, Academic Press, New York 1977, pp.581-595.

[23] Published by Indian Dairy Development Corporation.