<p>Cows in Indian villages like this one in rural Rajasthan are revered not only for religious reasons; they also make India the world's largest dairy producer.&nbsp;</p>

Cows in Indian villages like this one in rural Rajasthan are revered not only for religious reasons; they also make India the world's largest dairy producer. 

[Enlarge]

India's largest dairy producer is preparing to enter the U.S. market, seeking to build a global powerhouse from a company that counts on villages to stay competitive. 

 Relying little on industrialized dairy farms, India produced more than 34 billion gallons of milk in 2012, about 62 percent more than the United States

And the country's output is poised to continue to increase by nearly 50 percent in the next seven years, Rahul Kumar, managing director of Amul Dairy, said at the USA India Business Summit in Atlanta Sept. 12. 

The secret was unleashing the power of village cooperatives pioneered by Amul's founders in the Indian state of Gujarat, Mr. Kumar said. 

Under a three-tiered model, individual farmers, many owning only two or three cattle, pay a nominal fee to enter local cooperatives. These cooperatives enter a district union which operates under a state-level federation that markets dairy products. 

"When we're successful, maybe the second plant will be in the state of Georgia," Mr. Kumar said to applause from the audience at the summit.

Amul Dairy is owned by the Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation and until two years ago sourced all its milk from Gujarat. 

Last year Amul's revenues topped $3 billion, and its eyes are set now on the United States and Europe.

While the cooperative has been exporting products to the U.S. since 1998, Amul recently received Food and Drug Administration approval to begin production at a New York-based plant operated by a partner. 

Two Amul products -- paneer (a spicy cottage cheese) and ghee (clarified butter) -- will be rolling out in the coming months, with other items from Amul's portfolio, like yogurt and ice cream, entering later.

"When we're successful, maybe the second plant will be in the state of Georgia," Mr. Kumar said to applause from the audience at the summit. 

Mr. Kumar said he expects to find a market with the many Indian restaurants in the United States.

"Indian food is popular, and they will need a lot of dairy products," he said.

While Mr. Kumar said Amul's village cooperatives provide the "best model to eradicate poverty" in places such as rural Africa, he believes his company's expansion into first-world countries will benefit its operations back in India.

By collaborating with American innovators, Amul's farms in India will improve in areas such as water conservation, solar power, feed storage and biogas.

Amul began in 1946 when dairy farmers in India's Kaira district went on strike to protest middlemen and corrupt bureaucrats. Mumbai, which depended on the district for dairy, went without milk for two weeks before a settlement was reached. 

Two days after diverting a plane with 273 passengers and 17 crew bound for Tel Aviv to Paris for security reasons, Delta Air Lines Inc. on July 24 restarted its flights to the Israeli tech hub.  More
Former University of West Georgia President Beheruz Sethna, the first Indian-American to lead a U.S. university, has been honored as one of the Carnegie Corp.’s 40 “Great Immigrants” this year.  More