Washington: India has come a long way from receiving US help to meet its food security needs to now becoming an exporter and is extending insights from its remarkable development progress to countries well beyond its borders, a top American diplomat has said.
In her address to the US Indo-Pacific Command Chiefs of Defense (CHOD) Conference in Fiji on Wednesday, United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Administrator Samantha Power said investments in one country can often yield benefits in other nations.
She applauded India’s efforts to help other countries.
“Investments we make in one country can often yield benefits in others. Take food security. In India, starting in the 1960s, we worked with scientists and local farmers to develop and distribute high-yield, resilient seeds.
“Over the next two decades, those seeds helped to increase rice production in India by 50 per cent and wheat production by 230 per cent, ending a cycle of recurring famine and helping kick off a Green Revolution that boosted agricultural yields in other parts of the world,” she said.
India has come a long way from receiving help from the US to meet its food security needs to now exporting it to others, she said.
“Now, India is expanding efforts to extend insights from its remarkable development progress to countries well beyond its borders,” Power said.
India, the world’s biggest rice exporter, accounted for nearly 40 per cent of global rice trade in 2022, exporting 22 million tonnes worth USD 9.66 billion to 140 countries.
The Indian government on July 20 banned the export of non-basmati white rice to boost domestic supply and keep retail prices under check during the upcoming festive season. This type of rice constitutes about 25 per cent of total rice exported from the country.
Power also said the US has deepened its commitment to security in the strategic Indo-Pacific and is expanding its investments.
The Indo-Pacific is a biogeographic region, comprising the Indian Ocean and the western and central Pacific Ocean, including the South China Sea.
The US, India and several other world powers have been talking about the need to ensure a free, open and thriving Indo-Pacific in the backdrop of China’s rising military manoeuvring in the region, vital to global trade.
China claims nearly all of the disputed South China Sea, though Taiwan, the Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia and Vietnam all claim parts of it. Beijing has built artificial islands and military installations in the South China Sea.
The US is investing in building disaster warning capabilities and training more first responders throughout the Indo-Pacific region, Power said.
She said the first responders in India, Bangladesh, and Pakistan, after receiving USAID training, stepped up to support nations in need, for example helping Turkey respond to the devastating earthquake.