India To Meet UAE’s Food Security Interests

India is all set to become the UAE’s ‘most trusted’ partner in South Asia. As the West Asian nation has agreed to address India’s energy security needs, India, too, decides to prepare an ambitious plan in order to serve the UAE’s food security interests.
According to sources close to the Indian Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently assured Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan that New Delhi would soon launch a “farm-to-port” project only to feed the UAE.
MEA Secretary Amar Sinha told the press a couple of days ago that the proposed project would be similar to a special economic zone, but in the style of a corporatised farm. The senior ministry official explained that India, under the project, would grow crops for a specific UAE market and export them through various ports.
During his recent visit to New Delhi, the crown prince welcomed India’s decision and thanked the Modi government for implementing a project especially for his country. The premier further assured his guest from the UAE that any changes in the Indian food security laws would not affect food items to be produced in these special food zones. Modi claimed that successful implementation of the project could create a whole new sector for agro-industries.
Meanwhile, Sinha said that the main two pillars of India-UAE co-operation are agriculture and defence. Commenting on bilateral defence co-operation, he stressed: “We want to use our skills, capital, technology and partner with international companies for production opportunities in the region.” He said that both the countries bought Rafale fighter jets from France. “So, an effort would be made to see if joint production of spares and components could be accomplished,” added Sinha.
Foreign policy experts have welcomed the Indian government’s decision to launch the “farm-to-port” project as they believe that it is part of India’s initiative to boost ties with West Asian countries. ‘Cordial’ ties with countries in the region will make it easier for India to tackle its regional rivals – Pakistan and China.
Both Pakistan and China have been trying to increase their influence in West Asia for the last couple of years. Since becoming prime minister in May 2014, Modi has made various moves to maintain friendly ties with Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Qatar, Kuwait, Palestine, Iraq and Iran. Although it becomes increasingly difficult for New Delhi to balance its ties with Riyadh and Tehran, the PM is trying hard to co-operate with the two countries in different sectors. Modi has realised the fact that it’s not possible for India to secure the Indian Ocean Region without the help of West Asia. Countries in this part of the world can also help India in ensuring stability in South Asia by imposing pressure on Pakistan and China to stop anti-India activities.

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