India-UAE cooperation to sow regional food security | 20th April 2023 | UPSC Daily Editorial Analysis

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What's the article about?

  • It talks about the potential benefits of India-UAE food corporations to both countries.


  • GS2: Bilateral, Regional and Global Groupings and Agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests;
  • GS3: Food security;
  • Essay;
  • Prelims


  • India, the world’s second-largest food producer, is a food surplus country, and she wants to diversify its food markets.
  • On the other hand, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), whose food security has been built on imports from global markets, is now focusing on the twin objectives of food access and readiness to confront supply chain crises.
  • Thus India is an essential partner in the UAE’s ambition to strengthen food security.
    The India-UAE food security partnership stands to benefit from multiple points of convergence.

India’s progress in food security:

  • India has built its status as a global agri-export powerhouse.
  • India in recent years acted as a humanitarian provider of food to developing countries, demonstrating awareness of its evolving role in advancing regional and global food security.
  • India has also made major budgetary outlays towards setting up massive food parks, with due emphasis on modern supply chain management spanning farm gate to retail outlet.
  • These investments, complemented by how India has placed its food sector to benefit from bilateral trade agreements, reflect the country’s strong and sustained intent to make the most of its agri-capabilities in the global food marketplace.
  • In parallel, India runs the Public Distribution System, the world’s largest food subsidy programme.
  • As a part of its G-20 presidency, India is promoting the consumption and farming of millets — nutritious, drought-resistant, sustainable, crops — that demonstrate the resilience focus that India offers to the global food security dialogue.
  • In the realm of food security, India’s G-20 presidency seeks to address the three Cs, of “Covid, Conflict, and Climate” (to borrow from India’s External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar’s address last year), issues pernicious to food security in India and across the globe.

India-UAE mutual gains:

  • During the I2U2 (India, Israel, the United Arab Emirates and the United States) summit in July last year, the UAE committed $2 billion in investment towards constructing food parks in India (in Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat), while the signing of a food security corridor on the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA)’s sidelines (with logistics partner DP World) has taken forward India’s envisioned presence on the global food value chain, beyond the UAE.
  • The corridor could potentially commence a route for foods made and processed in India, beginning their outbound journey on the Indian coast of the Arabian Sea, passing through the UAE, and towards major international markets.
  • Trade linkages could enable the Emirates to leverage its strategically placed location between Asia and Europe to serve as India’s food export gateway to West Asia and the Africa region, and further beyond.
  • Given the food corridor’s incredible commercial potential, several UAE-based companies have expressed interest in constructing a supporting logistics and infrastructure pipeline to accelerate trade and reinforce the food corridor.


  • The Dubai Multi Commodities Centre, the UAE’s largest free trade zone, launched Agriota, an agri-trading and commodity platform to link Indian farmers to food companies in the UAE.
  • Agriota gives millions of Indian farmers the opportunity to directly reach out to the entirety of the UAE’s food ecosystem (processing companies, traders, wholesalers) and stock their products in Emirati stores.
  • Alongside this initiative, a consortium of UAE-based entities are investing up to $7 billion in mega food parks, contract farming and the sourcing of agro-commodities in India.
  • The initiative will include mega food parks, logistics and warehouse hubs, and fruits and vegetable hubs.

Way Forward:

  • India’s G-20 presidency offers an opportune moment for both India and the UAE to showcase viable strategies and frameworks that can forge the basis of food security in the Global South.
  • As it sets the global developmental agenda, India can look to leverage and strengthen trade pathways with the UAE to forge a sustainable, inclusive, efficient, and resilient future of food.

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