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Milking Success with Dairy Innovations - Feature

Milking Success with Dairy Innovations

Milking Success with Dairy Innovations

Event Report: DIC 2024

The Golden Jubilee edition of the Dairy Industry Conference (DIC), along with the concurrent show, Dairy Expo, was held at the HITEX Exhibition Center, Hyderabad, India, from March 4-6, 2024. The 50th edition of the conference, organized by the Indian Dairy Association (IDA) and anchored by the IDA Telangana Chapter, focused on optimizing processes at every step of the dairy value chain, thus improving businesses, and boosting demand for dairy and milk products. 

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The conference and its concurrent show served as a pivotal platform for industry heads to converge, deliberate, and strategize on the future trajectory of the Indian dairy sector. Under the overarching theme of ‘Indian Dairying: Innovation & Entrepreneurship’, the conference aimed to address key challenges and opportunities facing the industry while fostering knowledge dissemination and collaboration.

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Cream of the Crop: Industry Contributions

The dairy industry stands as one of the largest components within the agricultural sector, contributing approximately 4 percent to the nation’s GDP. India annually produces around 230 million metric tonnes of milk, valued at approximately INR 11 lakh crore. “Agriculture, in total, contributes nearly 17  percent to the economy, with 25 percent of this coming from the animal sector,” shares Satish Kulkarni, Chairman - South Zone, Indian Dairy Association (IDA), providing further insights. “Remarkably, milk alone accounts for 60 percent of the animal sector’s contribution. Engaging approximately 80 million dairy farmers, the industry surpasses the combined contribution of wheat, paddy, and sugarcane.”

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Both the private and cooperative sectors dominate the milk industry, with the private sector holding a share of nearly 57 percent in the organized sector, while the cooperative sector accounts for the remaining 43 percent. “The dairy economy demonstrates robust growth, expanding by nearly 5 percent annually compared to the agricultural sector's growth rate of 2 percent. Globally, the Indian dairy industry outpaces the average growth rate, growing at 5 percent compared to the world's milk production increase of 1.5 percent,” stresses Kulkarni. “This dominance positions Indian dairy favorably, with little foreseeable competition in the near future, maintaining its stronghold for the past two decades.”

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IDA’s Path to Global Competitiveness

India’s dairy prowess shines globally, with the country ranking number one in milk production, contributing a staggering 26 percent to the world’s milk output. The IDA played a pivotal role in revolutionizing the dairy sector and enhancing its global competitiveness. 

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As Kulkarni elaborates, “DIC collaborates with the entire dairy industry, spanning from production to processing to marketing, ensuring a seamless journey from farm to consumer. The association regularly organizes conferences, seminars, and dialogues to facilitate the exchange of ideas and promote the application of cutting-edge technologies for the growth and development of the industry.” 

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By actively supporting the industry and fostering the adoption of new knowledge and processes, the association plays a leading role in driving growth within the dairy sector. Additionally, the association’s efforts were instrumental in creating a supportive ecosystem for innovation and advancement, as evident in the success of the conference. 

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Herding Dairy Enthusiasts 

Spanning over 11,000 sq mt, the concurrent Dairy Expo show at the conference served as the largest event in the industry and a beacon of technological advancements. The bustling halls of the expo witnessed the gathering of approximately 2,500 delegates from across India and 30 countries, eager to explore the latest advancements in the dairy sector. Additionally, young dairy professionals and seasoned industry leaders engaged in spirited CEO panel discussions, adding a dynamic flair to the event, and ensuring a multifaceted experience for all visitors. Nearly 5,000 trade visitors made the best use of the Dairy Expo which showcased the recent developments in Dairy Processing & Production. 

The conclave of Southern Dairy Ministers at the conference provided a platform for policymakers to develop the necessary infrastructure and deliberate on strategies for sectoral growth and sustainability. Amidst the myriad offerings, around 4,000 attendees were treated to 60 technical and industrial presentations, from 70 global speakers, alongside 100 scientific posters, fostering a thriving environment for intellectual exchange, technological innovation, and collaboration.

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Churning Change: Revolutionized Technology

In dairy farming, the primary focus lies on milk production and processing. “Traditionally, crossbreeding using exotic semen through artificial insemination has been the conventional method for developing milch breeds,” the South Zone IDA Chairman explains. “However, in recent times, there has been a significant shift towards the adoption of embryo transfer technologies and sex-sorted semen to enhance dairy animal productivity.”

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The emphasis is on increasing the productivity of animals to produce a minimum of 8-10 liters of milk per animal per day. “The milk undergoes a rapid cooling process immediately after production to preserve its freshness and maintain quality,” he adds. “Furthermore, in dairy facilities, the milk undergoes various processing stages such as separation, bactofugation, pasteurization, membrane processing, and manufacturing of various milk products.”

With 230 exhibitors showcasing their products and capabilities, attendees immersed themselves in the latest advancements in dairy machinery and processing technologies. The event’s theme resonated through the exhibition halls, where presentations on generating potable water from the air, carbon restoration in soil, and online cattle marketing sparked intrigue and dialogue.

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Amplifying Success at HITEX

As the curtains drew to a close on the conference, its legacy reverberated across the chronicles of Indian dairy history. Nestled within the confines of the venue, the conference found its perfect stage. “Given the large gatherings of delegates, exhibitors, and visitors, organizing a conference of this magnitude requires thorough consideration of potential locations within the city,” stresses Kulkarni. “We concluded that HITEX is the best-suited venue for our event. With its exhibition halls, catering facilities, and provisions for conferences and seminars, HITEX offers everything we need.”

According to him, HITEX provides a conducive environment for stakeholders, including farmers, researchers, students, technicians, and more, ensuring a seamless experience for all participants. 

India’s dairy prowess shines globally, with the country ranking number one in milk production, contributing a staggering 26 percent to the world’s milk output. The dairy economy’s robustness is evident, boasting a 4 percent contribution to India’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).