West Asia is a drought prone region
West Asia’s road to prosperity opened only when the world started to depend on oil-driven energy. The oil reserves opened the floodgates for investment in the region. Given the fact that the region became key oil supplier for the rest of the world, the tribal warfare subsided for a brief period and the region started to prosper on the petrodollar earning. However, the region’s poor geography made it next to impossible to survive without food imports. The area is arid and subject to drought. Only 2 per cent of the region falling in member states of Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) is arable.
That is why the region has to buy food from outside. Deepening on the climate, the region imports anywhere between 80 to 90 per cent of its required food stock. Media reports may not tell you much, but official statistics do tell us how much these countries are dependent on India’s food produce.
West Asia imports Indian food
India provides almost everything available on a meal plate in West Asian countries. These countries not only avail food grains like Rice, Maize and wheat from India, but they also need India for fruits, dairy products, processed vegetables, cereals, onions among other items
Indian rice is in huge demand in the region, especially during the month of Ramzan. It includes both basmati as well as non-basmati rice. In Financial year, 2020-21, India exported nearly 24,00,000 metric tonnes of rice to the region. Talking about wheat, in the same ffinancial year, the West Asian countries availed 2,82,678 metric tonnes of wheat from us. India also supplied 50,325 metric tonnes of maize to the region. OIC nations were trying to turn Nupur Sharma episode into an international talking point, India punctured their narrative