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The White Revolution in India

History | 7-14 yrs | Interactive

What is White Revolution?

White Revolution was one of the biggest dairy development movements, by the Indian Government, in India in 1970. It was a step taken by the Indian Government to develop and help the dairy industry sustain itself economically by developing a co-operative, while providing employment to the poor farmers.

The White Revolution helped increase milk productivity and milk was now sold at competitive market prices. This program increased the demand for development and production of healthy animals, use of modern technology in milk production sector and networking between various small and large scale dairy industries.

The White Revolution followed after the success of the Green Revolution and the aim of White Revolution was to make India one of the largest milk producers in the world.

How did the White Revolution start?

The White Revolution, known as Operation Flood, was launched in 1970. It was an initiative by India’s National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) and was the world’s biggest dairy development programme. It transformed India from a milk deficient nation into the world’s largest milk producers.

Operation Flood was based on the experimental pattern set up by Verghese Kurien, chairman and founder of AMUL, who was named the Chairman of NDDB and was also recognised as the architect of Operation Flood.

Under Verghese Kurien, the programme created national milk grid linking producers throughout India with consumers in over 700 towns and cities, reducing seasonal and regional price variations and ensuring that the milk producers get a major share of the income generated from end consumers, by forming co-operatives.

Father of the White Revolution

Verghese Kurien was the father of the White Revolution. He founded Amul, one of the largest milk producing companies in India. Kurien, along with his friend H. M. Dalaya invented the process of making milk powder and condensed milk from buffalo milk. Many companies were started under his leadership and former Prime Miniter Lal Bahadur Shastri created the National Dairy Development Board based on Amul’s management, resource and infrastructure arrangements.

What were the phases of the White Revolution in India?

Phase 1: This phase started in July 1970 with the objective of setting up dairy cooperatives in 18 milk sheds in 10 states. They were to be linked with the four best metropolitan markets. By the end of this phase in 1981 there were 13,000 village dairy cooperatives covering 15,000 farmers.

Phase 2: It aimed at building on the designs of phase 1 and on the assisted Dairy development programmes in Karnataka, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh. By the end of this phase in 1985 there were 136 milk sheds, 34,500 village dairy cooperatives and over 36 lakh members.

Phase 3: This phase emphasised on consolidating the gains of the earlier two phases by improving the productivity and efficiency of the dairy sectors for long term sustainability. It ended in 1996 and by that time there were 73,300 dairy cooperatives and over 9.4 million farmer members.

4 Advantages of White Revolution

  1. It ended the imports of milk solids in India and India started exporting milk powder to many foreign nations.
  2. Dairy industries and infrastructures modernised and expanded. Around 10 million farmers earn their income from dairy farming.
  3. Dairy needs are met locally.
  4. Genetic improvement of milking animals has increased due to cross breeding.