Cause of decline in availability of milk and high prices

I have been experiencing a shortage of milk while ordering Akshaykalpa(or sometimes any non tetra pack milk) via Dunzo or Instamart, and if I miss the time slot of its availability in my local store, then it is near impossible to get any milk apart from tetra packs.
Having read through a few articles like 1 and 2
and tweets like this, I’m wondering how long will this shortage remain, and if things are beginning to improve in better cattle fodder management.


If you can, kindly shift to Akshayakalpa app. We do morning 4 am to 7am deliveries and there is no milk shortage, but for Q commerce we don’t allow them to stock our products, but supplied against fixed indent, hence the stock out.

Meantime, in general, next 2 years we have to brace for milk shortages in the country, we need to get ready for importing milk and milk products, sooner than later.


@Shashi you explained the reason for this shortage when we met in person. Maybe share that here for the community.

The milk shortage challanges are driven primarily with the following

  1. Lumpy skin disease has impacted substantially on the milk production in key states like Gujrat, Rajastan, MP, and certain areas of Maharashtra, and TN. It has also hit Karanataka very hard. LSD has hit both milking population, heifers (young cows). Hence it will be a while (say 2 years) to recover the cow population to productive herd.

(You know, each cow needed a vaccination called goatpox costing Rs. 10 to save the cow, we have failed our farmers)

  1. Dependancy on the cow feeding on concentrate feed and linking of concentrate feed to commodities prices has shot up the cost of milk production and producing milk at that price has become unviable. Only way to solve this problem is localised fodder and feed production systems. Milk production cost in the country is heavily linked to commodities.

  2. Pandemic issue - during pandemic milk demand fell substantially, and procurement prices hit the bottom, and farmers gave up dairy, as it became unviable. This problem is showing up now as market demand is picked up now.

  3. There is no ground level work is happening in milk production at farm level. Dairy industry in India shows growth in milk industry by moving the milk form unorganised sector to organized sector. 60% of the milk in India still in un organized sector. This impact is showing in the industry already.


This hotter and longer than usual summer with delayed monsoons has been difficult on farmers in a few villages near Bangalore where i have been able to observe community.

  • The price of fodder has compelled many to even gift/sell cows and goats as they are seen as a liability. The unorganized market does not help as local consumption can often not afford the price premium.

  • Higher temperatures also increase susceptibility of livestock to diseases and lowered immunity as a general trend as shashi outlined.

  • Have observed community going to farms on bikes to chop down fodder from fruit trees like jackfruit given overgrazed commons. This uphill economics can help the cow survive the season but it lowers milk production significantly.

  • Anecdotal observation, but many village families are also shifting to milk powder when guests come for tea/coffee.

The stress should reduce once monsoons “properly arrive” but as a general trend expecting milk to become a premium product in coming years.

But the trend goes beyond milk, if we account for products to generally be a function of x litres of water. Fruits like jamun, oranges, raw coconuts have become unaffordable to most rural folks as water availability has gone down.

Since water and fodder solutions practically come under “community & commons scale”, also observing individuals & families unable to take meaningful steps towards solutions that increase the community’s carrying capacity.

The upside to this has been a greater consciousness in community. A farmer on the fences to do a multi layer food forest (for human food) this season proactively bought grass seeds and cuttings along with drumstick, agase and other fast growing nitrogen fixing trees on the boundary of their farm. :slight_smile:

Another thing that has invisibly become super expensive and often even unavailable has been agase seeds. They were around ₹1000/kg last year in hessarghatta local market but sold out this year. In the nearest town Nellmangala we found limited quantity at ₹1800/kg. Agase is super delicious and edible by humans but was often disregarded as “makke soppu” (goat food) by the said farmer. But the upcurve in price made him value it, and he has planted a few hundred of them around his conventional field. This gave me a lot of hope.

Highlighting that this is basis limited personal observation in few places and reasons would differ place to place to place as complexity overlaps.