India’s agricultural production statistics sometimes present dissonances with consumption data. The household consumer expenditure data are more than a decade old, and an update is urgently needed.
How much milk does India really produce? What is its actual domestic requirement of cereals or sugar?
These are simple questions, but basic to understanding the market for agri-produce — not just in these inflationary times, but also from a policy and planning perspective.
Consider milk. According to the National Statistical Office’s (NSO) household consumer expenditure (HCE) survey for 2011-12, the monthly per capita consumption of milk was 4.33 litres in rural India and 5.42 litres in urban India. Taking an average of 5 litres (5.15 kg; 1 litre of milk = 1.03 kg), this translates into an annual consumption of nearly 75 million tonnes (mt) for a population of 1,210.85 million as per the 2011 Census.