Dairy sector in Pre, during COVID-19 and Post pandemic periods: A review
Author(s): Lalita Garg and Kamal Kumar
Abstract: Dairy farming is essential not only as a source of income but also as a reservoir of protein, supplementary nutrition, fertilizer, fuel, and a store of wealth for millions of households across the country. The dairy sector has been a tool of inclusive development in our country, as the distribution of dairy animals is more equitable than landholding. The COVID-19 pandemic-induced lockdown has created a vital adverse impact on different sectors, including that of agriculture and allied sectors in India and several other countries. The crisis is severe in countries like India where dairy farming is one of the most essential sources of sustenance and regular income for 60 million rural households of which 80 percent are landless, small, and marginal farmers. The COVID-19 pandemic has opened up the opportunity for the dairy industry to benefit as large sections of consumers may shift from meat-based to dairy-based protein. COVID-19 has made people more aware of the need to adopt a healthy diet. The government should work upon increasing the procurement base of the organized sector, creating storage and bulk milk chilling infrastructure, promoting value addition, and encouraging clean milk production. The dairy sector is more resilient compared to other sectors and according to various industry reports signs of recovery are observed. Being more equitable in distribution the dairy sub-sector is the new growth dynamo of the agriculture and allied sectors.