What is the White Revolution and its history

What is the White Revolution its benefits and history in India?

After the independence of the country, the Green Revolution and the White Revolution were the two revolutions that brought about major changes in India’s economic condition.

The White Revolution started in the country in the year 1970, which brought a lot of changes in the dairy industry and provided employment to poor farmers.

Due to this program, the number of healthy animals in the country increased, modern technology was also used for milk production.

In fact, the aim of this revolution was to put India in the category of the highest milk producing countries in the world.

And this program made India, which struggled with scarcity of milk for a time, the leader in milk production in the world.

What is the White Revolution and its history

white revolution in india definition, benefits, history –

Revolution nameWhite Revolution / Milk Revolution / White Revolution
Other names (Revolution)Operation flood
Father of RevolutionVargis Kurien
Inauguration of Revolution1970
Ending of Revolution1996
Total number of Phases3
First Phase1970-1980
Second Phase1980-1985
Third Phase1985-1996

Why and who started the White Revolution?

Varghese Kurien was the father of the White Revolution. He founded Amul, the largest milk producing company in the country.

This operation was based on the experimental pattern of Amul Chairman Verghese Kurien. For this reason, he was also made the chairman of NDDB. He is also known as the architect of Operation Flood.

At that time, several other companies under the leadership of the then Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri and the National Dairy Development Board were started with Amul’s infrastructure arrangement and resource management.

His friend HM Daliya along with Kurien contributed to the invention of the technique of making milk powder from buffalo milk and condensed milk.

What is the reason for the start of white revolution ?

After independence, the development of rural areas of the country had become very important, because not only was crop production a problem, but also the country was lagging behind in the area of ​​milk production.

Importing milk and dairy products from outside had increased the economic burden on the country. Milk production had increased in the 1950s and 1960s, but annual production growth was negative during these years.

Annual compound growth in the first decade after the independence of the country was 1.64 percent, which remained at 1.15 percent by the end of 1960. For this reason, the Government of India made major changes in policies in the dairy sector and tried to be self-reliant in milk production.

Shri Lal Bahadur Shastri inaugurated Amul’s Cattle Feed Factory at Kanjari on 31 October 1946. He not only understood the necessity of this project, but was also very interested in its success.

That is why he spent a night with the farmers in the villages and talked with Kurien in detail about the economic progress and problems of the farmers settled in different parts of the country. The National Dairy Development Board was formed as a result of this visit.

Operation Flood was launched in July 1970 in the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and Technical Assistance to Food and Agriculture (FAO).

History of White Revolution in India –

White revolution is also known as Operation Flood. It was launched in 1970, started by the National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) of India, which over time proved to be the world’s largest dairy program.

A separate agency “Indian Dairy Corporation” (IDC) was created by Dr. Varghese Kurien, so that the operation flood could be awarded. And thus the milk production which was 22,000 tonnes at the beginning of the scheme reached 1,40000 tonnes by 1989.

When Amul started, there were many competitors in the market such as Polson and other foreign companies, but Amul not only gave a tough competition to all of them, but it also soon became India’s most preferred dairy company. In fact, in 1950-51, where milk production was 17 million tons, it reached 84.6 million tons by 2001 -02 due to this white revolution.

Phases of  White Revolution

This revolution was not a small five-year plan, but was a long-term plan planned by the government in 3 phases.

  • Phase 1 –

This phase began in July 1970, which lasted until 1980. The aim was to set up 18 milk sheds in 10 states.

All these milk sheds were associated with 4 big cities (Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai) markets.

By the end of this phase, dairy cooperatives had developed in 13,000 villages in 1981, of which 15,000 were farmers. In the first phase, skimmed milk powder and butter, gifted by the European Economic Community, was sold and received financial assistance.

NDDB had planned this program and determined its details with the help of European Economic Community (EEC).

  • Phase 2 –

The purpose of this phase, which ran from 1981 to 1985, was to carry out dairy development programs in other states like Karnataka, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh, moving the first phase.

By the end of this phase in 1985, 136 milk sheds were built, which spread to 34,500 villages, and milk production was up to 4.25 million in 43,000 villages.

Domestic milk production also increased to 22000 tonnes by 1989, the gift and World Bank loan helped a lot. Operation Flood was being jointly sponsored by the European Economic Community, World Bank and India’s National Dairy Development.

UNDP was also providing assistance by sending foreign experts, consultants and equipment. The World Bank and its allies also supported the country in areas such as agriculture extension, rain-based fish farms, storage and marketing.

  • Phase 3 –

The third phase further strengthened and developed the White Revolution, during which milk production increased, and the infrastructure was also improved.

Veterinary First and Health Care Services, Feed and Artificial Insemination Services were provided for the cooperative members. 30,000 new dairy cooperatives were added during this phase.

In 1988-1989, the number of milk sheds also increased to 173, a feature of which was that the number of female members had also started increasing in it.

In 1995, the Woman Dairy Cooperative Leadership Program (WDCLP) was also launched as a pilot project. The aim of which was to increase the participation of women in the dairy cooperative movement.

The main strategy in the villages was to train local women and increase their latent potential. In this phase, more importance was given to providing nutritious food to animals, making new innovations such as vaccines for theileriosis, protein feed bypassing and increasing the number of milch animals. gave.

This phase ended in 1996 and by then 73,300 dairies had become operative among 9.4 million farmers. By the end of this phase, though private agency cooperatives could not produce milk from the villages, but still this stage had achieved more than its target.

At that time, such a situation and plans were made, from which it can be availed for a long time. As a market was created for raw milk, with which many technical services were also developed, milk production increased due to many facilities such as cattle feed, emergency health service. 3 State of the Art Dairy was created, to produce quality products for the domestic and export markets.

During the Operation Flood, where the demand for milk was increasing, the total number of cattle was still fixed.

Cow and buffalo breeds were also upgraded. Productivity was also increased by making non-description cows breed with exotic semen. Research and development also took place in Animal Husbandry.

In 1998, the World Bank published a report showing the impact of dairy development and its impact in India.

It was told in this audit that the World Bank invested Rs 200 crore in this Operation Flood, and in the next 10 years, about 24,000 crore rupees economic progress was made annually from rural areas, which was not achieved by any other dairy program.

Benefits of White Revolution

  • Milk production in the country increased from 20 million metric ton to 100 million metric ton in just 40 years. And it was possible only because of this dairy cooperative movement.
  • This revolution encouraged the farmers of the country to keep more and more animals, due to which 500 million buffaloes and cattle were made in the country. Which is the highest in the world.
  • Dairy cooperative movement was done in all parts of the country, which benefited 125000 villages in 180 districts of 22 states. This movement was very successful due to its developed achievements and support system of states and districts,

From the table below, one can understand the change in annual growth rate from before to after white revolution.

Annual growth rate (%) of significant livestock in the country

PeriodMilkEggsWool
1950-51 to 1960-19611.644.630.38
1960-61 to 1973-741.157.910.34
1973–1974 to 1980–19814.513.790.77
1980-81 to 1990-915.687.82.32
1990-91 to 2000 -014.214.462.01


Annual growth rate according to the Five Year Plan from 1975-76 to 2001 -02

PlanThe yearMilkEggsWool
Fifth five year plan1975-76 to 1979-802.913.51.49
Sixth Five Year Plan1980-81 to 1984-856.428.42.67
Seventh Five Year Plan1985-86 to 1989-904.377.231.88
Eighth five year plan1992-93 to 1996-974.414.580.8
Ninth five year plan1997–98 to 2001–024.134.342.14

Source: Basic Animal Basic Husbandry Statistics 2002, Department of Animal Husbandry and Daring, Ministry of Agriculture

Disadvantages of White Revolution

Seeing the success of the White Revolution, it can be understood that its losses were very small, but yes there were some difficulties which the milk producers and farmers had to face.

For example, animals of foreign breed would have given more milk, but it was difficult to survive in the situation here. Due to this, the financial burden was increased on the common villagers and small companies in the private sector for their food and other needs.

The milk obtained during this time did not contain all the nutrients, which could have a bad effect on health.

Today, 3 important areas in animal breeding are Artificial Insemination and Quantitative Genetic Technique, Ambrio Transfer and Ambrio Micro Manipulation Technique and Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering, which are definitely the product of the White Revolution.

Today, 12 million farmers have around 250 dairy plants in about 22 states, producing about 20 million liters of milk per day.

In 1955 we had about 500 tonnes of butter imported every year, today the cooperative sector in the country 1200 tons of butter are made from it.

Where we used to import 3000 tons of baby food in 1955, the same now we produce 38000 tons of baby food. In fact, due to the milk revolution, by 1975, the import of all milk and milk products was stopped, which was a big success at that time, so from today’s situation, the benefits gained from the success of this revolution can be gauged.

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