Operation Flood, the largest dairy development initiative ever initiated on January 13th, 1970, was an important undertaking for India’s National Dairy Development Board (NDDB). It turned India, which lacked access to milk, into the largest milk producer in the world, thus surpassing the US in 1998 and accounting for around 22.29 percent of worldwide output in 2018. It doubled the amount of milk available per person in India within 30 years and made dairy farming the country’s biggest source of self-sustaining rural employment. It was started to provide farmers control over their development and the resources they produce. All of this was accomplished not just through mass manufacturing but also through popular creation which is known as the “White Revolution.” Dr. Verghese Kurien is credited with starting the White Revolution.

History of the White revolution

The Intensive Cattle Development Programme, which offered cattle owners a package of enhanced animal husbandry to support the white revolution in the nation, was established in India in the years 1964–1965. Later, the National Dairy Development Board launched a brand-new initiative called “operation flood” to quicken the country’s white revolution.

The goal of Operation Flood, which began in 1970, was to establish a national milk grid. The National Dairy Development Board of India (NDDB) was the organization that started the rural development initiative.

In Anand, Gujarat, Dr. Tribhuvan Das Patel started the white revolution in 1970. The “Anand Milk Union Limited” (AMUL) was established in the city of Anand. A pioneer in advancing the Amul cooperative society was Dr. Varghese Kurian. The idea immediately caught on throughout India, making it the “largest milk producer” in the world.

Operation Flood

Launched in 1970 to take advantage of dairy support provided by the European Economic Community, Operation Flood saw liberal foreign currency support cause milk prices to plummet, discouraging dairy production and ultimately pushing India to the rest of the world. It has drawn strong criticism from several quarters, claiming that it permanently relies on Countries that require dairy products.

The challenge was to develop an integrated national plan to regulate the flow of dairy subsidies so that supplies do not overwhelm the market and reduce the perverse incentives for local dairy farmers. The strategy was to “monetize” the aid and invest the profits from monetized commodities into capital-intensive but essential infrastructure in the form of the National Milk Grid System “NMGS”.

Features of the White revolution

  • Introduction of new animal husbandry methods.
  • Changes in the composition of feed ingredients at different ratios.

Objectives of the White revolution

The village milk producers cooperative laid the foundation for Operation Flood. They sourced the milk and served it with the best of modern technology and management.

The White Revolution had the following goals are as follows;

  • Increase production to create a milk flood
  • Increase the income of rural people
  • Provide consumers with milk at a fair price

Dr. Verghese Kurian was chairman of the National Dairy Development Board when Operation Flood was carried out. With his managerial skills, Dr. Papacy advances the co-op to strengthen the revolution. As such, he is considered the architect of India’s White Revolution. Several major companies have joined and strengthened the revolution that turned this Operation Flood into India’s White Revolution. AMUL – Anand Milk Union Limited, a Gujarat-based company, was the driving force behind the success of the Operation Flood program.

Significance of Operation Flood

India’s White Revolution helped reduce fraud by traders and merchants. It has also helped eradicate poverty and made India the largest producer of milk and dairy products.

Operation Flood gives dairy farmers control over the resources they create. It helped them direct their development.

The National Dairy Network was established, connecting milk producers and consumers in over 700 towns and cities across the country. This revolution has also reduced regional and seasonal price fluctuations while ensuring customer satisfaction. It also ensured that the manufacturer received a large portion of the price paid by the customer.

Rural people’s living standards have improved, leading to the development of the rural economy.

Phases of White Revolution in India

Operation Flood started in three phases and is described below.

Phase I

Phase I began in 1970 and lasted 10 years. This stage was funded by the sale of butterfat and skimmed milk powder donated by the European Union through the World Food Programme.

Specific goals were defined early in Phase I to ensure the successful implementation of the program. One of these goals was to improve the marketing strategy for milk in metropolitan areas to reach the goal.

Phase II

It lasted for five years from 1981 to 1985. At this stage, the number of dairy farms increased from 18 to 136, milk outlets expanded to about 290 urban markets, and a self-sustaining system comprising 4,250,000 milk producers distributed in 43,000 village cooperatives. established. Domestic milk powder production increased from 22,000 tons in 1980 to 140,000 tons in 1989, and milk sales increased by several million liters per day due to direct sales of milk by cooperatives. Did. Improvements in production were due to dairy farms established under Operation Flood.

Phase III

It also lasted for almost ten years 1985-1996. This phase allowed the dairy cooperative to expand its program and put the finishing touches on it. It will also strengthen the infrastructure needed to source and sell the ever-growing amount of milk.

By the end of the White Revolution or Operation Flood, 73,930 dairy cooperatives had formed, linking over 3.5 million dairy farmer members. Due to the White Revolution, there are now hundreds of cooperatives in India that work very efficiently. White Revolution is therefore the cause of the prosperity of many Indian villages.

Father of White Revolution

Verghese Kurien, known in India as the “Father of the White Revolution,” is a social entrepreneur whose “billion-liter idea,” Operation Flood, has turned dairy into India’s largest self-sustaining industry and largest rural employment sector. This has made India the world’s largest milk producer, doubling the amount of milk per capita and quadrupling milk production in 30 years.

He pioneered ‘Anand’ his model of dairy cooperatives and replicated it nationwide based on various ‘top-down’ and ‘bottom-up’ approaches. Farmers Consumers, as dairy owners, were paid in cash to dairy farmers who control the marketing, sourcing, and processing of milk and dairy products.

Brief history about Dr Verghese Kurien

Kurien was born to an Anglican Suriyani Nasrani family on November 26, 1921, in Kozhikode, Kerala, as the son of civil surgeon Dr. P. K. Kurien. Kurien was raised by affluent Syrian Christians. He studied at Loyola College of the University of Madras (B.Sc., 1940), where he also received a 1943 bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering. Additionally, he completed training in dairy engineering at the National Dairy Research Institute of Bangalore while pursuing his engineering studies at the Tata Iron and Steel Company in Jamshedpur, then in the state of Bihar. He had to labor at the Government Research Creamery in Anand, Gujarat state, as a requirement of the scholarship, which he started doing in 1949.

An established system in which small local dairies sold milk to a large supplier for very little money, and the supplier transported the milk to Bombay (now Mumbai) and sold it at a sizable profit, was being challenged at the time by a small cooperative of dairy farmers called the Kaira District Co-operative Milk Producers’ Union. Sri Tribhuvandas Patel, the cooperative’s chairman, requested Kurien’s assistance in bolstering the group. Kurien took over as the cooperative’s manager (which later came to be called Amul and became one of the largest food producers in India).

Under his direction, the company bought dairy processing and storage equipment and established itself as a dependable provider. It consequently enhanced the quality of life for rural dairy farmers. Based on this model, further dairy cooperatives were established and in 1965,  Kurien was elected as the first chairman of the brand-new National Dairy Development Board. Through the growth of the cooperative movement, he implemented Operation Flood, sometimes known as the “white revolution,” a long-term initiative to increase milk output while also boosting rural incomes and maintaining prices affordable for consumers. The Gujarat Co-operative Milk Marketing Federation was founded by him in 1973. Kurien got many awards, but two stand out in particular: the World Food Prize (1989) and the Ramon Magsaysay Award for community leadership (1963).

Role of Amul in the White Revolution

The Kaira area milk producers and cooperative union, which owns and runs the Amul dairy, is responsible for the White Revolution. The Patidar, an agricultural group to which Sardar Patel belonged, is largely responsible for the success of the union. Gujarat’s Anand is home to the Indian dairy cooperative society Amul. The Sanskrit term “Amulya,” which signifies priceless or precious, is where the English word “Amul” comes from. The Gujarat Co-operative Milk Marketing Federation Ltd (GCMMF), a cooperative organization that currently includes 3.6 million milk farmers in Gujarat, is in charge of running Amul. The Amul cooperative was established on December 19, 1946, as a response to the Polson dairy’s dealer’s and agents’ exploitation of local milk producers. The cost of milk was determined at random. Polson had been granted monopoly rights by the government to collect milk from dairy farmers in Kaira and deliver it to Mumbai.

The farmers of Kaira, led by their leader Tribhuvandas K. Patel, approached Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel as a result of this treatment. Instead of relying on Polson, Sardar Patel advised them to form a group called the Kaira District Co-usable Milk Producers’ Union (KDCMPUL) and supply milk directly to the Bombay Milk Scheme. He sent Morarji Desai to figure out the issues looked at by the ranchers.

KDCMPUL had begun pasteurizing milk for the “Bombay Milk Scheme” by June 1948. The White Revolution in India began in 1970. An apex marketing body of these district cooperatives, the Gujarat Co-operative Milk Marketing Federation Ltd. (GCMMF) was established in 1973 to combine forces, expand the market, save money on advertising, and avoid internal competition. GCMMF acquired the brand name Amul from the Kaira Union, which had it since 1955.

Amul celebrated its 25th anniversary in 1973 with Morarji Desai, Maniben Patel, and Verghese Kurien under the direction of Tribhuvandas Patel. Along with H.M. Dalaya, Dr. Verghese Kurien founded and led the cooperative. Dalaya’s development of making skimmed milk powder from bison milk without precedent for the world and afterward making it on a business scale with Kurien’s assistance prompted the principal current dairy of the helpful at Anand (Gujarat). It faced numerous established market players in the competition.GCMMF has grown to become India’s largest food product marketing organization since then. It is Gujarat’s leading dairy cooperative organization. The exclusive marketing of products sold under the “Amul” and “Sagar” brands is the sole responsibility of GCMMF.

Dairy cooperatives in Gujarat have built an economic network over the past five and a half decades that connects more than 3.1 million village-produced milk products to millions of Indian consumers.

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