Over 70 percent of the milk produced in our country is by small, marginal and landless farmers. There are about 100 million farm holdings in our; country. There are nearly 70 million households who maintain a milk herd of 108 million heads of cattle i.e. 64 million cows and 44 million buffaloes, engaged in milk production, of which more than 10 million are in the cooperative sector. Livestock reargin including dairying is not only a source of employment and income, but is also a storehouse of wealth, an asset that often helps tide over inforeseen demands for liquid cash. Medium and large holdings with a holding size of over 4 hectares account for only 8.8 percent of the total holdings. 77.4 percent of the farm holdings i.e. 77 million holdings posses lank sizes less than 2 hectares. Income from dairying contributes nearly a third of the rural households gross income, and in the case of landless wage earning households, nearly a half.
Buffalo contributes largest to the milk pool with about 46.5 million tonnes (55 percent) followed by indigenous cows with 18.3 million tonnes (24 percent) and crossbred cows, with 13.5 million tonnes (16 percent) Goat contributes 4.2 million tonnes ( 5 percent ). In the year 2003 - 04, the production of milk in the country was 88.1 million tonnes of eggs 34 billion nos., of wool 53 million Kqs.
In fact, 2000 milk shed blocks out of a total of 5488 blocks in the country must be identified and the required number of breeding bulls must be stationed in the veterinary hospitals, dispensaries and artificial insemination centers located in these blocks. Only 12 percent of total milk produced in toil country is processed in 567 dairy factories for conversion into milk and milk products valued at Rs. 6934 crore annually. The contribution in value addition from the manufacutre of dairy products is only 5.4 percent of gross output against 12.1 percent achieved in the food-processing sector. It must be recognized that; 65 percent of the livestock products is derived from the dairy sector in value terms and most of these products are made available to Indian consumers.