Banaskantha (Guj): Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday said India produces milk worth Rs 8.5 lakh crore annually, more than the turnover of wheat and rice, with small farmers being the biggest beneficiaries of the dairy sector.

“Today, India is the world’s largest producer of milk. When the livelihood of crores of farmers depend on milk, India produces milk worth Rs 8.5 lakh crore annually, something that many people, including big economists, do not pay attention to,” the prime minister said while addressing a gathering at Diyodar in the Banaskantha district after inaugurating a new dairy complex and a potato processing plant of Banas Dairy.

“Decentralised economy system of villages is an example of this. As against this, even the turnover of wheat and rice is not equal to Rs 8.5 lakh crore. And small farmers are the biggest beneficiaries of the dairy sector,” he said.

The new dairy complex and the potato processing plant of Banas Dairy are aimed at empowering local farmers and giving a boost to the rural economy in the region.

The PM also dedicated to the nation the Banas Community Radio Station and the expanded facilities for the production of cheese products and whey powder at Palanpur, and organic manure and biogas plant established at Dama.

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