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“I find inspiration in Thomas Jefferson’s quote, ‘I like the dreams of the future better than the history of the past.’ It encourages me to embrace a forward-looking mindset and actively contribute to positive change. Now, let’s delve into the potential double whammy in the weather forecast and its implications for India’s climatic conditions.”

In 2023, global temperatures soared to record highs, solidifying it as the warmest year since 1850. With a global average temperature of 14.98°C, it surpassed the previous record in 2016 by 0.17°C. The year was 0.60°C warmer than the 1991-2020 average and a striking 1.48°C warmer than the pre-industrial level of 1850-1900. Alarming trends continue as it is anticipated that a 12-month period ending in early 2024 will likely exceed the critical 1.5°C above the pre-industrial level. Furthermore, 2023 saw a unprecedented milestone: every day throughout the year surpassed 1°C above the pre-industrial level, with nearly half of the days exceeding 1.5°C, and two days in November reaching an unprecedented 2°C above pre-industrial levels.

After the La Niña phenomenon ended in early 2023, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) declared El Niño’s onset last July. WMO secretary-general Petteri Taalas notes that El Niño’s global temperature impacts usually manifest the following year, as in 2024. Taalas warns that this year could be even warmer, attributing it unequivocally to rising concentrations of greenhouse gases from human activities.

A rare combination of a strong El Niño in the Pacific Ocean and a significant temperature shift in the Indian Ocean may intensify heat and drought in Australia and Southeast Asia, along with causing flooding in East Africa.

What if El Niño extends a bit this year ?

If El Niño persists through 2024, it may weaken the Indian monsoon, causing less rain.

Experts emphasize that each event is unique, and climate change introduces uncertainty about how this combination might compare to past occurrences. However, occurring in a warmer world, any associated rainfall or drought has the potential to be more extreme.

Anticipating a warmer 2024 in India offers a glimmer of hope for dairy processors, potentially boosting demand for fermented milk products, beverages, and ice creams. This could also lead to a more pronounced lean with milk shortages, presenting a valuable opportunity to address the accumulated surplus of milk powders and butter in the country. However, it’s crucial to note that global markets may not align with the price expectations of Indian Skimmed Milk Powder (SMP), at least in the first half of the year, making domestic demand particularly significant.

Shifting focus to global trends in the dairy industry, it’s worthwhile to explore the top 10 trends that have not only gained traction globally but are also making inroads in Indian markets. Start us Insights has conducted insightful research, encapsulating these trends in a tree map to illustrate their impact on the dairy industry.

Top 10 trends in dairy sector in 2024

The Dairy Industry Innovation Map showcases the impact of the Top 10 Trends in 2024. Innovations include animal-free dairy producing milk proteins without direct animal involvement and synthetic biology engineering organisms for essential dairy components. Technology adoption extends to big data and analytics, optimizing operations and streamlining supply chains. Real-time cattle monitoring and virtual fences redefine grazing practices, preventing overgrazing and ecosystem degradation.

Highlights of top 10 trends in dairy innovation in 2024

  1. Animal-free Dairy:
    • Utilizes biotechnology to replicate cow’s bodily processes.
    • Cultivates cells to produce milk without traditional animal farming.
    • Examples include microbe and millet-based products.
  2. Novel Milk Processors:
    • Integrate automation and data-driven insights.
    • Streamline milk production from sourcing to packaging.
    • Produce diverse milk products catering to specific needs.
  3. Synthetic Biology:
    • Manipulates microorganisms genetically to produce milk components.
    • Streamlines production, contributing to resource conservation.
    • Facilitates creation of specialized milk variants.
  4. Advanced Milk Testing:
    • Utilizes modern instruments for detailed milk composition analysis.
    • Enhances supply chain transparency and product quality.
    • Aids in preventing adulteration and fraudulent practices.
  5. Fermented Dairy Products:
    • Improves digestibility and flavor through fermentation.
    • Acts as a natural preservation method.
    • Enhances nutritional profiles and promotes digestive health.
  6. Robotics:
    • Automates tasks like milking, feeding, and cleaning.
    • Provides real-time insights into cow health and behavior.
    • Optimizes production and reduces manual labor.
  7. Big Data & Analytics:
    • Collates data for well-informed decision-making.
    • Guides optimization efforts across the supply chain.
    • Forecasts cow health issues, milk production trends, and market demand.
  8. Advanced Diagnosis:
    • Includes imaging, molecular diagnostics, and wearable sensors.
    • Enables precise detection of health issues in animals.
    • Reduces disease spread and economic losses.
  9. Cattle Monitoring:
    • Uses wearable sensors and RFID tags for real-time data.
    • Swiftly identifies health irregularities for prompt interventions.
    • Enhances transparency in the dairy supply chain.
  10. Virtual Fences:
    • Utilizes GPS, sensors, and software for invisible boundaries.
    • Manages grazing patterns and optimizes pasture usage.
    • Reduces reliance on traditional fencing, minimizing environmental impact.

Some of these trends are led by Indian startups like Better bet and Faunatech.

I wish all the readers a very happy new year full of purpose and achievements.

Source : Dairy blog by Kuldeep Sharma, Chief editor Dairynews7x7

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