India is the largest milk-producing country in the world. Records from the USDA show that the country is trailed by the United States, which is the second largest producer, in milk production by a large margin.
India is unique among the major milk producers because more than half of its production comes from water buffalo, rather than cattle. Its dairy herd, also the largest in the world, has the biggest herds of both dairy cattle and water buffalo.
Since 1980, production has grown consistently at an average of 4.5 percent per year. The rate of growth between water buffalo and cow’s milk has also been quite similar at 4.6 and 4.5 percent, respectively.
In 2016, total production reached 154 billion tons compared with 96 billion produced in the United States.
India surpassed the United States as the largest dairy producer in 1997, when both countries produced roughly 70 billion tons, each.