UAE pledges $2B for food parks in India

Hailing the initiative, US President Joe Biden said that with the support of the American and Israeli private sector, New Delhi has the potential to sustainably increase the country’s food yields in the region three-fold in just five years, reports Asian Lite Newsdesk

The United Arab Emirates will invest USD 2 billion in India to develop a series of integrated agriculture parks across the country, the heads of the four countries said at the inaugural I2U2 Group meeting on Thursday.

In a joint statement, the heads of the four countries including — Israel Prime Minister Yair Lapid, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, US President Joe Biden and UAE President Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan stated that the US and Israeli private sectors will be invited to lend their expertise in India and offer innovative solutions that contribute to the overall sustainability of the project.

“The UAE – home to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and host of COP28 in 2023 – will invest USD 2 billion USD to develop a series of integrated food parks across India that will incorporate state-of-the-art climate-smart technologies to reduce food waste and spoilage, conserve fresh water, and employ renewable energy sources,” the joint statement read.

“India will provide appropriate land for the project and will facilitate farmers’ integration into the food parks. U.S. and Israeli private sectors will be invited to lend their expertise and offer innovative solutions that contribute to the overall sustainability of the project. These investments will help maximize crop yields and, in turn, help tackle food insecurity in South Asia and the Middle East,” it added.

Biden, Lapid hail initiative

Hailing the food corridor initiative between India and the UAE, US President Joe Biden said that with the support of the American and Israeli private sector, New Delhi has the potential to sustainably increase the country’s food yields in the region three-fold in just five years.

“The UAE’s investment to develop integrated agricultural parks across India with the support of the American and Israeli private sector experts has the potential to sustainably increase India’s food yields in the region three-fold in just five years. India is a major, major food producer in the world. Think of the beneficial impacts this will have on India’s farmers and the people suffering from hunger and malnutrition in the region,” Biden said.

Israel Prime Minister Yair Lapid called the food corridor initiative between India and the United Arab Emirates a “clear example of a creative solution” to the global problem.

“An initiative like the food corridor between India and the UAE, which was put together by this group, is a clear example of a creative solution to a problem we’re all — we are all facing. The fast transportation of food and preservation technologies, the ability to connect relative advantages together — this is the solution to the problem,” he said in the statement.

Asserting about solar energy, the Israeli Prime Minister said: “…the idea is to make the most of technological capabilities, some of which are still being developed, in order to deal with an energy market that is facing a serious crisis.”

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“Since the war in Ukraine broke out, each one of us has had to deal with the crisis on the local level. Its effects on cost of living have been immediate and dramatic. And, of course, this has political implications. Real solutions will only come through cooperation between countries that know how to put together brainpower, knowledge, and resources on the same table,” he added.

The virtual summit of India, Israel, UAE, and the USA dubbed “I2U2” is projected as the Quad for West Asia. I2U2 aimed to encourage joint investments in six mutually identified areas such as water, energy, transportation, space, health, and food security.

“This unique grouping of countries aims to harness the vibrancy of our societies and entrepreneurial spirit to tackle some of the greatest challenges confronting our world, with a particular focus on joint investments and new initiatives in water, energy, transportation, space, health, and food security,” the joint statement read.

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“We reaffirm our support for the Abraham Accords and other peace and normalization arrangements with Israel. We welcome the economic opportunities that flow from these historic developments, including for the advancement of economic cooperation in the Middle East and South Asia, and in particular for the promotion of sustainable investment amongst the I2U2 partners,” it added.

The I2U2 Grouping was conceptualized during the meeting of the Foreign Ministers of the four countries held on October 18 last year. “Each country also has Sherpa-level interactions regularly to discuss the possible areas of cooperation,” the Indian MEA said.

It intends to mobilize private sector capital and expertise to help modernize the infrastructure, low carbon development pathways for our industries, improve public health, and promote the development of critical emerging and green technologies.

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