According to industry experts, India is looking at a loss of milk production by over 3 million tonnes per year by 2020 due to the frequent climate change. This could also lead to a decline in the per capita consumption.
As the world’s largest milk producer, this is a huge blow for the country. Even with the steady increase in 2015-16, the rising and changing temperatures could affect production in every way. At the recent 45th Dairy Industry Conference in Mumbai, National Dairy Development Board Chairman Dilip Rath said, “The dairy sector is likely to be affected both directly and indirectly by climate change. While stress to animals caused by changes in the temperature-humidity index would directly affect milk production, indirect effects include feed and water availability being impacted by adverse climate events.”
Stress from heat can cause a decline in milk yield in the range of 10 – 30% in the first lactation, research states. Plus, heat waves and cold waves can cause short to long term cumulative heat on the milk production in cattle and buffaloes, Mr. Rath said.
At the conference, Mr. Rath also said, “As climate change is a challenge that impacts all of us, our dairy sector must not only evolve adaptation strategies but also help in mitigation by contributing to the reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from the dairy sector.”