WHITE REVOLUTION (Syllabus: GS Paper 3 – Economy)

News-CRUX-10     4th March 2024        
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Context: The government’s latest Household Consumption Expenditure Survey (HCES) for 2022-23 shows milk emerging as India’s top food spend item, both in rural and urban areas.

Key Point of Report

  • Monthly Expenditure: In rural India, an average person spends Rs 314 monthly on milk and dairy products, surpassing spending on vegetables (Rs 203), cereals, egg, fish & meat, fruits, edible oil, spices, and pulses.
  • Urban Preferences: The HCES data for urban India indicates a similar trend, with monthly expenditures on milk leading at Rs 466, followed by fruits, vegetables, cereals, egg, fish & meat, edible oil, spices, and pulses.
  • Positive Impact on Dairy Industry: The rising trend of increased spending on milk, often considered a "superior" food, brings positive news for the dairy industry and farmers.
  • Inflation Concerns: The first challenge stems from consumer demand impacted by inflation, with the all-India modal price of milk rising from Rs 42 to Rs 60 per litre in the last five years, particularly witnessing a significant increase from Rs 52 to Rs 60 in the last year alone.

White Revolution

  • About: Dr. Verghese Kurein was the visionary behind the White Revolution, establishing key institutions like Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation Ltd and the National Dairy Development Board (NDDB).
  • NDDB's Role: The White Revolution, led by NDDB in the 1970s, relied on village milk producers' cooperatives as its foundation.
  • Phases of the Revolution:

oPhase I (1970-1980): Financed by the European Union, this phase saw the sale of butter oil and skimmed milk powder, laying the groundwork for the revolution.

oPhase II (1981-1985): Marked by an expansion of milk sheds and outlets, it established a self-sustaining system involving millions of milk producers and thousands of village cooperatives.

oPhase III (1985-1996): This phase focused on expanding dairy cooperatives, enhancing the program, and fortifying the infrastructure for procuring and marketing increasing milk volumes.

  • Objectives: To boost milk production, creating what was metaphorically described as "a flood of milk."


  • Empowering Farmers: The revolution empowered dairy farmers to control their own development, managing the resources they generate.
  • Global Impact: India's success in the White Revolution led to becoming the world's largest milk producer in 2016-17, currently contributing 22% of global milk production.
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