HistoryWhite revolution - Operation flood | History | | Impact

White revolution – Operation flood | History | | Impact

White Revolution in india

What is the white revolution?

The white revolution was the biggest dairy development movement that was established to increase the production of milk, It is also known as Operation Flood.

Operation Flood was started under the supervision of Dr. Varghese Kurien in 1970 to make India a self-sufficient country in milk production; before its inception in 1955, India was able to produce only 500 tons of butter, but in today’s era, India Produces more than 12,000 tons of butter.

Today, more than 12 million farmers in India have dairy plants in more than 22 states.


Who is the father of white revolution?

Verghese Kurien is known as the father of white revolution and architect of operation flood, He was born on 26 November 1921 in Calicut, Madras.

He had discovered NDDA (National dairy development board) under the leadership of Lal Bahadur Shastri, He made milk powder from buffalo milk along with his friend H M. Dalaya, Verghese Kurien discovered the technique of making condensed milk.

Verghese Kurien died on 9 September 2012 in Muljibhai Patel urological hospital in Gujrat, From 2014 National Milk Day is celebrated in the memory of Dr. Verghese Kurien on 26 November.

Amul is Considered to be the largest brand in India today and it is headquartered in Gujarat, when Varghese Kurien was appointed the chairman of the program he spread milk cooperatives to strengthen the revolution which is why Varghese Kurien is Considered the architect of the revolution.


The objective of white revolution

  • Bringing milk flood to India by increasing milk production.
  • It aimed was to make Operation Flood reach all the rich and poor farmers.
  • Increase in income to milk selling farmers.
  • This was the aim of removing poverty from Indian villages.
  • Providing Quality milk at low prices to all the customers.


History of White revolution

White revolution in India occurred in 1970 when the National dairy development board was established, Later it becomes the largest milk production after that IDC (Indian dairy Corporation) was established to take the grant.

This operation was also named OPERATION FLOOD, and this operation was continued in three phases.


Phase 1

The first phase started in July 1970 and continued till 1980, under which 18 milk sheds were installed in 10 states of India, including 4 metropolitan cities (Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai); by the end of this phase, about 30,000 milk operatives were developed in Indian villages by 1961, and 15,000 farmers were involved in this phase.

The first phase was started by NDDB in association with the Government of India and in this phase skimmed milk powder and butter was sold given by EEC (European Union community)

The total cost of this phase was 116 crores.


Phase 2

The second phase was carried out in a planned manner which started from 1981 and continued till 1985. The purpose of this phase was to expand the dairy development program in Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, and Rajasthan.

Under this phase, 136 milk sheds were set up for 34500 villages and India expanded the milk outlets in 290 urban markets and also spread about 4,250,000 milk producers in 43000 rural cooperatives.

Milk production was 22,000 tonnes at the beginning of the second phase in 1980, which had risen to 140,000 tonnes by 1989, this phase jointly sponsored by the European economic community and World Bank.


Phase 3

Keeping the last two phases in view to further strengthen the revolution, the third phase was started in 1985 which lasted until 1996, during which special attention was paid to the infrastructure which increased milk production as well, Along with some special services were also provided to the cooperative members like health care, first feed, and artificial insemination.

By the end of this phase, 73,300 new dairy cooperatives were created for more than 94,00000 farmers.

During this last phase, the breeds of milking animals such as cows and buffaloes were upgraded and services like health care were provided to them, due to which raw milk became a quality product.

White revolution impact on india


White revolution impact on India 

  • Increased the milk production

Before the arrival of the revolution in India, milk production was 20 million metric tons, after the revolution, the production of milk increased to 100 million metric tons.


  • It made Indian self-reliant

With the advent of the revolution, India stopped importing milk from abroad and started exporting milk powder to foreign countries.


  • Increase in animal cross-breeding

Farmers started cross-breeding their milking animals, which increased the genetic improvement of the animals.


  • Employed to farmers

Due to Operation Flood, more than 10 million farmers got employment, due to which farmers also started raising more milking animals, which led to more than 100 million milking animals in India.


  • Increased quality milk

Because of Operation Flood, more than 125,000 villages in 180 districts of 22 states of India are availing quality milk.


  • India got the first rank in the world

This program made India self-reliant and ensured place in milk production in the world.


  • It increased women empowerment

Women were already involved in this program, but after the third phase came, women started participating more aggressively than before.


  • Reduced the pressure from agriculture

This program also reduced the pressure on agriculture because many farmers who used to do the only cottage started focusing on animal husbandry for milk.


  • Farmers got the rights to sell milk at their own will

Indigenous companies got a boost because, before this industry, the foreign company in India was Paulson, which was established by Pestonjee Eduljee in Mumbai in 1915, the monopoly rights were given to the Paulson Milk Industry by the Government of India under which any Indian farmer could not sell milk to any other milk industry at his own will.


  • It increased the GDP growth of India

Before 1970, India was not a milk-providing country and India used to import milk from abroad due to which the economic pressure on India started increasing but after the arrival of Amul milk, India fell into a forward category due to which India’s GDP also started increasing.


Drawbacks of White revolution

The milk revolution did not have as many deficiencies as the Green Revolution, nor any of these deficiencies has left a negative impact on India.


  • It increased the economic pressures on poor farmers

The people of the village had started raising animals of the foreign breed which used to give more milk than Indian animals, but they were difficult to serve in Indian conditions and sometimes the economic pressure on the people of the village to fulfill the desire of the animals used to increase.


  • Lack of milk production per person

There was a lot of increase in milk production in India, India had come first in milk production but there was no significant change in milk production

per person.


  • No good-quality food for milking Animals

Indian farmers did not take any interest in improving the breed of Indian milking animals nor did they manage good quality food for the animals.


The growth rate of important stuff received from animals in India (%)





1950-51 to 1960-61




1960-61 to 1973-74




1973-74 to 1980-81




1980-81 to 1990-91




1990-91to 2000-01





Annual growth rate according to the Five Year Plans from the year 1975-76 to the year 2001-02 (%)







First five year  

1975-76 to 1979-80 




Second five year

1980-81 to 1984-85




Third five year 

1985-86 to 1989-90




Fourth five year  

1992-93 to 1996-97




Fifth five year 

1997-98 to 2001-02




Source: Basic animal basic husbandry statics 2002, Department of Animal husbandry and dairying, Ministry of agriculture



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