What Was the White Revolution in India?

The White Revolution in India, also known as Operation Flood, was a plan of three phases by the National Dairy Development Board to revitalize India’s dairy production until India became self-sufficient in milk. The program was so successful that by 1998, India was the world’s largest milk producer.

The first phase of the White Revolution took place between 1970 and 1980. To finance it, the European Union donated buttered oil and skimmed milk powder, which was then sold. This phase linked India’s top milk-producing regions with major metropolitan areas to organize and speed up production. Phase two, from 1981 to 1985, increased the milk-producing regions from 18 to 136 and expanded urban outlets for milk sales. By the close of 1985, there were 43,000 village milk cooperatives and 4,250,000 producers of milk. In phase three, from 1985 to 1996, infrastructure was strengthened, and dairy cooperatives were expanded. In addition, emphasis was placed on veterinary health care services, feed and artificial insemination services, member education, and research and development in animal health and nutrition.

According to the official website of India’s National Dairy Development Board, the aim of the White Revolution was not only to increase milk production, but also to provide millions of people in rural areas with employment, income and development.