UAE business leaders hungry to invest in India’s food sector

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Dubai - Raveen Guliani, head of business development at DP World, said it is preparing itself to overcome any food security challenges that may occur post-Covid-19.



by

Dhanusha Gokulan

Published: Wed 9 Dec 2020, 9:57 PM

The United Arab Emirates and India aim to treble the volume of their food trade in the next five years. Opportunities and optimism for achieving this goal was discussed on the second day of the UAE India Food Security Summit 2020, which saw participation from over 500 public and private sector organisations.

Dr Aman Puri, Consul-General of India in Dubai, has urged participants to carry forward the ideas discussed during the two-day summit.

Raveen Guliani, head of business development at DP World, said it is preparing itself to overcome any food security challenges that may occur post-Covid-19. He said DP World is in the process of setting up an agriculture and food terminal to meet the requirements.

Meanwhile, Anand Kalaskar with the Sharaf Group stated that the group is planning to further their investment in India in the range of $250 million to $1 billion.

Kalaskar said the group has already invested in excess of $USD 300 million in building India’s logistics infrastructure services, warehousing and storage, including cold storage for perishable, ship services, rail, road and air transportation service, which has the future potential employment generation of over 10,000 Indians.

Saifee Rupawala, the CEO of Lulu Group International and board member of Agthia Group PJSC, said that both UAE and India look at each other as reliable partners in food security. “As a preferred trade hub for Indian businesses, UAE can offer several competitive advantages such as its world-class logistics and transport infrastructure as well as a geographic position enabling Indian food exporters to expand their reach across the GCC markets.”

Currently, the India operations of Lulu Group exports vegetables, fruits, fish, meat, garments, etc.

Increased focus on agro-tech, hydroponics, aquaponics

A session on agrotech highlighted investment opportunities in India and UAE in the areas of Agro-tech where UAE could source their greens through vertical farms. Manoj Sharma, project head, Avantee Mega Food Park Ltd Madhya Pradesh, stated that the Mega Food Park program started in India in 2008-09 is currently in its fifth phase and invited MoU agreements from the UAE companies at the summit.

Rahul Agarwal, logistics head at Invest India, provided an overview of the current scenario of India’s logistics sector which currently employs nearly 22 million people and is expected to grow at a rate of 16 per cent over the next two years. He touched upon the recent policy and regulatory changes in the logistics sector and mentioned that current opportunities in India’s cold storage sector has a shortage of more than 10 MT for agro produce.

dhanusha@khaleejtimes.com


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