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Tue 24 Sep 2019 06:30 PM

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UAE entities plan $7bn food security investment in India

Emaar Group to coordinate multi-billion dollar investment in the UAE-India food corridor project

UAE entities plan $7bn food security investment in India
Piyush Goyal, India's Minister of Railways and Minister of Commerce and Industry.

Major UAE entities are expected to invest up to $7 billion in India’s food sector in the next three years as part of the UAE-India food corridor project.

The companies, coordinated by Dubai-based Emaar Group, plan to invest up to $5 billion in mega food parks in various Indian cities and up to $2 billion in contract farming, sourcing of agro commodities and related infrastructure, according to Piyush Goyal, India's Minister of Railways and Minister of Commerce and Industry.

In a statement issued to state news agency WAM on Tuesday, Emaar Group said it is "coordinating with the Government of India in respect of the investment relating to food security in the UAE. The investment will be made by other UAE entities, the details of which will be declared at a later stage".

The idea of the joint food corridor to secure the UAE’s food security was inspired by India’s strategic petroleum reserve in Padur in south India, in partnership with Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc), WAM added.

The minister was quoted as saying: "They [UAE entities] have expressed their interest to invest up to $5 billion in mega food parks, logistics and warehouse hubs, fruits and vegetable hubs in various Indian cities, which would create 200,000 jobs across India."

The proposed projects include mega food parks in Kutch in western state of Gujarat and Aurangabad in western state of Maharashtra, Goyal added.

A food park in Pawarkheda in central state of Madhya Pradesh, logistics and warehouse hub in Itarsi in Madhya Pradesh, fruits and vegetables hub in Nashik and warehousing hub in Bhiwandi in Maharashtra are other projects, he said.

The UAE entities also plan to make an indicative investment up to $2 billion in contract farming and the sourcing of several agro commodities plus other related infrastructure for food processing, the minister said.

They are considering western Indian states of Gujarat and Maharashtra for the proposed projects and the possibility of eight food parks is being currently evaluated, Goyal revealed.

Although India grows enough food for its 1.3 billion people, 30 percent of that food is wasted due to the lack of appropriate infrastructure for storage, processing and transportation, which could be built by the UAE’s investments.

The UAE can buy the food produced by the project at a cheaper price while Indian farmers will get a comparatively better price for their crops, WAM said.