India is the world’s largest producer and consumer of milk, accounting for 25 percent of global milk output. However, approximately 22 percent of the country’s farmers live below the poverty line and the its dairy industry faces challenges such as concerns about milk quality, a fragmented supply chain and insufficient investment in training, animal feed and veterinary care. Many of these milk producers are women, who comprise over 80 percent of India’s 100 million dairy farmers but often lack the technology and services available to maximize output and earnings.
Solution and Impact:
Financing and technical assistance are supporting the expansion of Milk Mantra, a startup that procures, packages, sells and delivers dairy products in India. Milk Mantra is committed to ethical procurement with a focus on fair, transparent and timely payments to farmers, along with a range of extension services to farmers. Milk Mantra currently sources milk from more than 60,000 smallholder farmers and sells milk, cheese, and other dairy products throughout eastern India. With DFC’s support, the business will expand capacity and develop new lines of food including yogurt and paneer. DFC technical assistance supports Milk Mantra’s implementation of agricultural extension and digital financial services programs that benefit small rural farmers, with a strong focus on reaching female farmers.
The Milk Mantra project is a part of the Portfolio for Impact and Innovation (PI2) and advances multiple DFC initiatives, including the 2X Women’s Initiative.