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India's vibrant food industry is expected to attract a sizable investment of up to $7 billion from major UAE companies in the next three years, as part of the UAE-India food corridor project that aims to ensure the Gulf state's food security.

Minister of railways, commerce and industry (India) Piyush Goyal said that the UAE companies, which will be coordinated by Dubai-based real estate giant Emaar Group, plan to invest up to $5 billion in mega food parks and similar facilities in Indian cities. They also aim to invest up to $2 billion in contract farming, sourcing of farm products and other related infrastructure, emirate's state-run WAM news agency said.

In an apparent move to ensure the Gulf state's food security, a joint food corridor was mooted by India's strategic petroleum reserve in Padur in southern India and Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc) last year.

The ambitious food corridor project is also expected to further strengthen India's exports of food products to the Gulf state, which is estimated at $2.5 billion per annum. Media reports had earlier indicated that the Gulf state has already identified 20 food products that are needed in the country in large quantities, which could be imported from India.

Among the proposed food projects, which will create a total of 200,000 job opportunities and will benefit two million farmers across India, several mega food parks will come up at Kutch in Gujarat and Aurangabad in Maharashtra.

Food Parks, Logistics Facilities

Other proposed ventures include a food park in Madhya Pradesh, logistics and warehouse hub in Itarsi, a fruits and vegetables hub and a warehousing hub in Maharashtra, the minister said, who was on an official visit to the Gulf state. Studies are going on for eight food parks, which will come up in Gujarat and Maharashtra.

Possibilities of exporting processed food and farm products to the Middle East region, particularly to the UAE, are also being evaluated. As much as 30 percent of India's food production is being wasted due to lack of transport, storage and processing facilities. The proposed massive investment from the UAE partners is expected to resolve this problem to a large extent.

Earlier on Monday, the minister said that seventeen UAE companies have confirmed their investment in India's infrastructure projects in the last year.

"The UAE has committed $75 billion investments in India's infrastructure sector. Now it is up to all of us to make that commitment a reality," the minister said, who led a high-powered delegation to attract investment from the UAE.