‘Operation flood’ a program started by National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) in 1970 made India the largest producer of the milk in the world. This program with its whopping success was called as ‘The White Revolution’. The main architect of this successful project was Dr. Verghese Kurien, also called the father of White Revolution.
In 1949 Mr. Kurien joined Kaira District Co-operative Milk Producers’ Union (KDCMPUL), now famous as Amul voluntarily leaving a government job of dairy engineer.
Kurien has since then built this organization into one of the largest and most successful institutions in India. The Amul pattern of cooperatives had been so successful, in 1965, then Prime Minister of India, Shri Lal Bahadur Shastri, created the National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) to replicate the program on a nationwide basis citing Kurien’s “extraordinary and dynamic leadership” upon naming him chairman.
The Operation Flood was completed in three phases:
Phase I (1970-79):- During this phase 18 of the country’s main milk sheds were connected to the consumers of the four metros viz. Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai and Kolkata. The total cost of this phase was Rs.116crores. The main objectives were, commanding share of milk market and speed up development of dairy animals respectively hinter lands of rural areas.
Phase II (1981–1985):- The management increased the milk sheds from 18 to 136; 290 urban markets expanded the outlets for milk. By the end of 1985, a self-sustaining system of 43,000 village cooperatives with 42.5 lakh milk producers were covered. Domestic milk powder production increased from 22,000 tons in the pre-project year to 140,000 tons by 1989, all of the increase coming from dairies set up under Operation Flood.
Phase III (1985–1996):- The dairy cooperatives were enabled to expand and strengthen the infrastructure required to procure and market increasing volumes of milk. Veterinary first-aid health care services, feed and artificial insemination services for cooperative members were extended, along with intensified member education. It went with adding 30,000 new dairy cooperatives to the 42,000 existing societies organized during Phase II. Milk sheds peaked to 173 in 1988-89 with the numbers of women members and Women’s Dairy Cooperative Societies increasing significantly.
Amul: (“priceless” in Sanskrit. The brand name “Amul,” from the Sanskrit “Amoolya,” formed in 1946, is a dairy cooperative in India. It is a brand name managed by an apex cooperative organization, Gujarat Co-operative Milk Marketing Federation Ltd. (GCMMF), which today is jointly owned by some 2.8 million milk producers in Gujarat, India. The White Revolution’s model dairy board was that of Amul. The whole program of NDDB was largely based the working of this dairy board. The three-tier ‘Amul Model’ has been instrumental in bringing about the White Revolution in the country.
Achievements of the White Revolution
- The phenomenal growth of milk production in India – from 20 million MT to 100 million MT in a span of just 40 years – has been made possible only because of the dairy cooperative movement. This has propelled India to emerge as the largest milk producing country in the World today.
- The dairy cooperative movement has also encouraged Indian dairy farmers to keep more animals, which has resulted in the 500 million cattle & buffalo population in the country – the largest in the World.
- The dairy cooperative movement has spread across the length and breadth of the country, covering more than 125,000 villages of 180 Districts in 22 States.
- The movement has been successful because of a well-developed procurement system & supportive federal structures at District & State levels.