In many small cities, the milkman is the first person one meets in the morning. Most of us also start our day with a cup of tea, made from rich, creamy milk and retire to bed, after having a glass of hot milk. Milk and milk products are used by the throughout the day. A huge workforce is employed in the dairy sector in order to ensure sufficient availability of dairy products.
A career in this industry would ensure excellent prospects and steady inflow of wealth, as this is one of the fastest growing sectors of the economy. The roles of different professionals are required in this diversified industry and the demand for trained professionals is immense.
So, if you are interested in this field and are hardworking enough, say cheese, and go in for Dairy Technology. Dairy refers to the business concerned with the production and treatment of milk and cream and the manufacture of butter, cheese, curd, yoghurt, etc. It also refers to an establishment where milk and cream are collected and kept and butter and cheese are made. It is a highly specialized industry in which dairy products are procured, produced, processed; stored and distributed.
The production, processing and storage of dairy products is what is involved in Dairy Technology. The main activities in a dairy are the production and the processing of dairy products. Cattle of good breed, which are high – yielding, are reared; nutritious food is provided to them and their milk is collected. The milk is processed at the dairy and several products like cream, butter and cheese are derived out of the milk. Dairy Technology needs professionals like procurement officers, who can collect milk from farmers, cattle – rearers, milk – booths, dairy owners and other individuals or groups.
The Procurement Officer should be abreast with the requisite technology to check the quality and quantity of the milk and should know the preservation techniques to be adopted while transporting milk from different locations to the destined common location or factory. Here, a number of professionals well abreast with Dairy Technology are required to churn and process milk for the required products and by – products. Different stages of production and different types of products require specialist of the specific fields. Dairy Engineers are required to develop improved methods in production, preservation and utilization of milk and milk products.
In a dairy industry, the affairs of the production of dairy products are looked into by dairy scientists. A dairy scientist conducts research work to improve the quantity, and more importantly, the quality of milk produced. This goes into determining the prospects of a dairy industry. Hence, a Dairy Scientist conducts research work to ascertain as to what kind of cattle – feed results in the production of more qualitative, quantitative and nutritious milk.
It is a fact that the environment in which cattle are reared has a definite impact on the standard of milk produced. Hence, a Dairy Scientist also tries to ascertain the ideal environment for the production of good quality milk. The milk collected at the dairy is processed and converted into a variety of dairy products. In the processing stage a lot of technical and quality control measures are adopted.
It is to deal with these aspects that a dairy farm employs dairy technologists. A Dairy Technologist has to devise suitable techniques that would be useful to process and produce dairy products. Dairy products are highly perishable in nature. There lies the need to develop methods that would be helpful for storing and preserving dairy products for a long period of time.
It is the job of a Dairy Technologist to develop methods that would ensure the proper storage and preservation of dairy products. Some cooperatives and companies set up their own dairy farms. These dairy farms engage the services of Dairy Engineers who are responsible for the setting up of and maintenance of dairy plants and related activities; and marketing personnel who handle the marketing personnel who handle the marketing and sales of milk and milk products.
India has the largest number of cattle in the world. This makes India a global leader in milk production and other milk – products. With the advent of technology and need of the time, the dairy sector has been upgraded to the status of an industry. Dairy Technology is the vital link between the dairy sector and dairy industry.
Eligibility for Dairy Technology
Candidates who have passed the 10+2 examination with Science with a minimum of 60 percent aggregate marks can opt for various courses in Dairy Technology. The selection is done on the basis of an entrance examination conducted at the national level. After graduating in Dairy Technology, one can pursue a Master’s Degree in Dairy Engineering and Dairy Technology disciplines.
Candidates who have done B.V Sc and A.H. ( Bachelor of Veterinary Science and Animal Husbandry ) and Biotechnology courses are exempted from Graduation courses in Dairy Technology and can directly compete in the entrance to the Master’s Degree programs. This is done so, as Dairy Technology is traditionally offered as a part of the B.V Sc. & A.H. course.
In order to gain admission into a Graduate level course in Dairy Technology, one has to qualify in an All India Entrance Examination in which questions of the 10+2 level are asked in Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics. This entrance examination may be common to other Agricultural and Animal Science courses or may be a separate entrance examination of any particular university. The National Dairy Research Institute ( NDRI ) prospectus is available in the month of March and the All India Entrance Test for admissions to the institutes affiliated to the ICAR ( Indian Council of Agricultural Research ) is conducted in May.
A scientific bent of mind together with the ability to work hard, are the most important personality traits required to make a career in this industry. One should be committed towards one’s work and should have an experimental bent of mind. A sense of cleanliness and hygiene is required to work in a farm of animals since cleanliness is very important to ensure good health of the animals.
Good sense of hygiene is required to work in the food – products industry so that production of hygienic and safe food is ensured. A dairy industry is generally located away from the city. Hence, one should be prepared to forgo the comforts and luxuries of city life and work in a rural area.
Dairy Technology Courses
The B.V Sc. and A.H. course is available at many agricultural universities across the country. Dairying, as a vocational subject, is also available at the 10+2 level of education. Dairy Science, as a vocational subject, is available at several universities across the country at the B. Sc. ( Bachelor of Science ) level. Various courses in Dairy Technology are offered by institutes and universities across the country.
Dairy Chemistry, Dairy Engineering and Dairy Bacteriology are the three areas of specialization which comprise a course in Dairy Technology. One deals with the composition of various dairy products in the area of Dairy Chemistry. In this area, one has to ascertain the proper ratio of various components like milk, cream, water, etc., that would make the dairy product nutritious and palatable.
In Dairy Engineering one deals with the various technological aspects utilized in the production of dairy products. Dairy Bacteriology is another important area in Dairy Technology. Proper methods for the pasteurisation and purification of milk and milk products, as also the techniques of their proper storage and preservation, are included in Dairy Bacteriology. The role of a Biotechnologist is very important in this area. One should specialise in a course like Veterinary Science or Dairy Technology in order to make an entry into this field.
Prospects for Dairy Technology
There are more than 500 small and big dairy plants owned by private companies and dairy federations in the country making various milk products. These companies and federations are looking for good, qualified and well – trained personnel to run the plants efficiently and profitably. The field is large, wide – open and one of the fastest growing industries of the agro – based Indian Economy.
Trained professionals in Dairy Technology can avail of the enormous prospects, in the form of challenging jobs and assignments, in the dairy industry. The dairy industry is a huge success in India with the production of milk going up fivefold since 1950 – 51. More than 1.10 lakh village – level cooperative societies, functioning with about 13 million producer members, procure more than 200 lakh kgs of milk per day.
This huge industrial enterprise has been possible due to Operation Flood which was launched by the Government of India to bring sufficiency in milk production in the country. These 1.10 lakh cooperative societies link milk producers and milk consumers across 700 towns and cities of the country and form the National Milk Grid. This grid has ensured the steady availability of milk throughout the year.
It ensures good quality milk at reasonable price for consumers and also good remunerative price for the producers. The sector offers tremendous, employment opportunities. The Intensive Dairy Development Project ( IDDP ), which has been launched by the Government of India in the hilly and backward regions of the country, is currently being implemented in 25 States and one Union Territory of the country. This Program has generated additional employment opportunities in the rural areas.
Apart from the public sector, one will also be able to find employment in the private sector. Some of the institutions and organisations in which a professionally trained Dairy Technologist will be able to find employment are dairy farms, cooperatives and milk product processing and manufacturing industries. One will also be able to find employment in the quality control departments of the industries involved in the processing and manufacturing of dairy products.
After gaining a few years of work experience in the dairy industry, one can either become a consultant or an entrepreneur. Large dairy farms employ experienced consultants for advice in their units. As an entrepreneur, one can start off with the setting up of small scale dairy units like milk plants, creameries or ice – cream factories. The other avenues which are open for a Dairy Technologist are teaching in a Dairy Technology institute or research work in a laboratory engaged in research on Dairy Technology.
One will be able to get a stipend of around 5,000 per month when one is recruited as a trainee or shift officer in a dairy plant. One’s salary goes on increasing as one gains experience in this industry. When one is confirmed as an officer in a dairy plant, one will draw a salary ranging between 8,000 to 10,000 per month. A salary above 15,000 is guaranteed when one becomes a General Manager in a dairy plant. However, one can earn a lot more if one takes to entrepreneurship in this sector. As in any food product industry, a lot of profit is guaranteed if one sets up a dairy industry of one’s own. The export of dairy products ensures a steady source of income for the entrepreneur.