The new year 2023 has arrived. It did not take our permission to roll in. Same is true with our life. It just happens. Each moment , life is happening to us. Still we try to plan for it. We miss every moment in life while planning for some good moments in future. We are never mindful to the way things are coming our way.

The best resolution for this year is that make no resolution and just live the moment. I studied around 15 reports from the world’s largest investment companies. None of them accepted the status quo. Most of them professed a more bleaker 2023 ahead than the last year.

Next year will be a long, hard slog

This was the title of one of the research findings of Barclay’s on 2023. It said that 2023 may well be one of the slowest years for global growth in decades. Our analysts expect the world to grow at 1.7% next year, a big slowdown from the 6%+ growth of 2021 and a significant drop from the 3.2% growth expected for 2022. Inflation will likely fall slowly, with consumer prices worldwide rising at a 4.6% average next year.

The Credit Suisse also shared the same view . It said that the growth set to stay low Global growth is decelerating, and with monetary policy reaching restrictive territory, we believe that it will generally stay weak in 2023.

Statutory warning : Too much planning is a form of Procrastination

Let us think about Indian dairy industry. I personally live each moment of my life enjoying the bliss of being a dairyman. Our dairy industry is strong enough to take care of tomorrow. As I understand, there is no tomorrow and today is the only truth. I learnt in 2022 that the Indian dairy industry covered the longest distance in its history and stopped at maximum number of stations while running at a phenomenal speed.

I started to see a large number of digits falling in front of me like in the movie Matrix. It was getting too difficult for me to understanding those digits and creating a single reality for the dairy sector. The sector has become so complex now that the only inevitable is entropy. So I started to list the factors responsible which could change the current status quo of our industry. Currently we have a true win win situation. Farmer is happy, processor is happy and consumers must feel happy because at least he is getting affordable milk at his doorsteps. Anyone having doubt may check milk prices in our biggest neighbouring country .So I created a checklist with 23 scenarios for the year 2023.

2022 has taught one lesson – Don’t forecast but play Yes and No

These 23 statements given below may be source of few of the most critical scenarios which the industry may face in 2023. I request all of you to put, yes or no in front of these statements.

  1. Covid will not return in a big way
  2. Global recession will not impact India in 2023
  3. We shall be wearing winter clothes on Holi on March 8th 2023 in north India
  4. Lumpy skin Disease (LSD) will have no impact on Indian cows this year
  5. The LSD affected cows will regain their immunity
  6. The LSD affected cows will not have reproductive issues in 2023
  7. There will be bumper crop of Wheat and rice this year
  8. There will be very low methanol production from grains/Maize to be mixed with fuel
  9. Government will control exports of grain and other feed materials from India.
  10. India will keep on getting its oil supplies from Iraq, Saudi and Russia
  11. Government will not import Butter-oil or SMP in 2023
  12. Water reservoirs in India will remain at sufficient levels
  13. Government will not impose or increase gst on some of the milk and milk products
  14. There will not be a great demand of Indian dairy exports in global markets
  15. Inflation will remain under control
  16. There will be an improvement in employment in India
  17. Government will rationalise milk subsides and link it to some productive results
  18. India will attain 4.5% + growth in milk production
  19. There will not be any significant climatic calamity in the country
  20. Government will incentivise and increase manure buy back from the farmers
  21. The GDP growth of Indian in 2023 will be 6.5% +
  22. The USD will remain below Rs 83 per dollar
  23. Stricter measures will be taken up by FSSAI on adulteration of ghee, powder, paneer and khoa with vegetable oil and maltodextrin/plant proteins etc

All yes means that we will have a great year 2023 and the dairy industry will return back on track.

A positive attitude will lead to a positive outcome

This is year with great hopes. We need to decide whether we can find best of both world for both farmers and consumers. In these tough times we cannot cross subsidise either. We can also not expect our dairy processors to make losses in these inflationary times. We also cannot afford to have milk subsidies put to use to create an imbalance in level playing field for this sector. Dairy prices are still competitive against other food products. Indian Dairy value chain gives back almost 70-80 % to the farmers. It is the most inclusive food chain in the world .

So 2023 is not about making annual plans, it is rather keep on watching the market dynamics on above 23 points and doing course correction. Each No as answer in the above checklist means there is a speed breaker ahead. So better tread slow and focus on daily or at the most weekly shifts and keep the annual plans on the back seat.

Happy new year 2023 to all of you. Lets reimagine Indian Dairying in 2023