Dairy Start-ups & Their Contribution in Technology Upgradation in Dairy Sector.

Background
Dairy is one of the biggest agri- businesses in India and a significant contributor to Indian
economy (around 4%). Dairy activities form an essential part of the rural Indian economy,
serving as an important source of employment and income. Dairy is the only agri-product in
which around 70-80% final market value is shared with farmers and it accounts for
approximately one-third of rural household income in India. It serves wide range of
consumer needs too – from protein supplements and health foods to indulgence foods such
as yogurt and ice creams. As per the NITI Aayog working group 2018 report, milk production
in India will increase to around 330 million tonnes in 2032-33, and milk supply will exceed
milk demand by 38 million tonnes in 2032-33. India also has the largest bovine population in
the world.
As one of the fastest growing beverage segments in the Indian market, dairy is predicted to
become a billion-dollar market by 2021. However, the industry in India faces challenges of
disorganization with only 20-25% of the total milk produced going through appropriate
organized channels. The union budget 2018-19 provided a special focus on the dairy
industry in rural sector in order to contribute to the organisation, development of supply
chain management and the introduction of technology.

Recent Technology Upgradation in Dairy Sector
In recent years there have been significant technological advancements in the Indian dairy
industry, from cattle healthcare to supply chain management. Some of the technologies are
already in practice in India, but the adoption is still quite low while many others are yet to
penetrate the industry. A number of tech start-ups are working towards digitizing the dairy
supply chain, improving milk quality and production.
According to analysts, the Indian dairy industry comprises 300 million bovine population
spread across 75 million dairy farmers. These smallholder dairy farmers lack veterinary
support, advice on cattle nutrition, access to optimal nutrition and animal health products,
transparent markets for trading cattle and, in some cases, market access for their milk. At
the same time, private dairies and dairy cooperatives struggle with sourcing milk, managing
farmer payments, building traceable supply chains, and ensuring quality.
A Bengaluru-based Stellapps uses IoT for efficient milk production, milk procurement and
cold chain management. It assimilates this data on a cloud platform, analyses it and
provides real time, actionable intelligence to all stakeholders via mobile devices.
Cattle health is the most important aspect of any dairy business, considering that it is
directly connected with the milk output. Diseases like sub-clinical mastitis, one of the most
common diseases in the dairy industry, cost the Indian dairy industry $1 billion annually. A
machine learning platform developed by start-up MooFarm is working with Microsoft to
create a product that uses machine vision to detect whether the cattle have subclinical
mastitis using the images of its udder. The algorithm detects the change in markings or
discoloration in the udder among many more features to make the prediction. They are also

working on a project that involves measuring the Body Conditioning Score (BCS) just by
using images of the cattle from three different angles.
Alongside technological developments to improve farming methods and the organizational
supply chain, big data is another arena which Indian companies are turning to. In order to
accurately predict consumer behavior and buying patterns, big data is a key as companies
such as Doodhwala have discovered. Noticing a pattern in millennial consumers prioritizing
convenience, Doodhwala created a subscription-based milk delivery platform and now
deliver more than 30,000 liters of milk every day before 7am in Bengaluru, Pune, and
Hyderabad. Also, Gurugram-based Country Delight delivers milk and dairy products directly
from the farmer to the customer, building a fresh food brand with milk as the mode of entry
to the customer's doorstep.
But to achieving the AI vision of India's dairy sector there are some challenges. First, one of
the biggest roadblocks to these innovations is lack of dataset availability. There are no
standardized datasets that can be used to develop AI solutions like health monitoring,
financial products, and cattle trading marketplace. Second, it can be difficult to extend high-
end technology solutions to the rural population. For AI to disrupt India's dairy industry and
help farmers, governments must create ecosystems that enable innovators to improve the
lives and incomes of smallholder

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