Dhruvika writes on sustainable practices in various sectors for BuzzOnEarth. Get in touch with her at dhruvika@buzzonearth.com. Sometimes she reads her emails too.

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United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia have decided to make India as a base for food security for the countries and plan to invest in both organic and food processing industries, minister of commerce and industry and civil aviation Suresh Prabhu said on Sunday.

“This is happening at an interesting time because we just had made a policy for agriculture exports which has identified food items that can be exported,” he said.

He informed that this year the country would be producing 290 million tonnes of farm produce as per advance estimates, and 305-310 million tonnes of horticultural items.

“In the export policy, we have decided to remove all restrictions on organic products and processed products. Both the UAE and Saudi want to invest in both organic as well as food processing industries. This will be a win-win situation for the UAE, Saudi, and other GCC countries but also for us, particularly for our farmers, who want better prices to their produce,” he said.

India is one of the world’s leading food exporter. The country is already the largest producer of milk and the second largest producer of fruits.

India is expected to produce 290 million tonnes of agricultural products along with 310 million tonnes of horticultural products, according to advanced estimates.

The farm export policy will go a long way in reducing wastage, the minister said. On the Udan policy, he said the government will announce its phase III in the next few days, which will also focus on air cargo. On January 15, the government will be announcing the first air cargo policy, Prabhu added. The UAE and Saudi Arabia are keen to invest in all these infrastructure initiatives, he said.

Saudi Arabia has said it can make investment in logistics, food parks and make a sector-specific investment in food processing, Prabhu said. This will open a number of opportunities in Indian food and export sector.

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