KOCHI: In a bid to boost the economy of Kashmir, for the first time, the famed Kashmiri apples are being exported to the Middle East market.
Lulu Group, which runs more than 180 hypermarkets and shopping malls across the Middle East, has shipped 10 containers (200 tons) of three variant apples on Saturday.
A high-level delegation led by A V Ananth, director of the group along with procurement experts personally visited various farms and processing units to oversee the packaging and shipment process.
This followed many rounds of meeting and discussion which they had with top officials and growers in Kashmir.
This ground-breaking initiative is the direct result of meetings held during the recent visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the UAE, where Yusuffali MA, Lulu Group chairman, and prominent NRI businessman confirmed his willingness to procure Kashmiri agricultural produce and set up a logistics hub in Srinagar for uninterrupted supply.
Apart from apples, the Lulu group has also placed firm orders for saffron and would be soon sourcing rice, walnuts, pulses and spices from Kashmir.
“This shipment of 200 tons is actually just the first lot, we expect this to increase in the coming days. Soon we will be having a 'Kashmir Promotion Week' in our Lulu Hypermarkets to popularize the high-quality agriculture produce of the state, which I am sure will further boost the export and trade sector in Kashmir,” said Yusuffali.
The first shipment is slated to reach UAE shores by the end of the month and would be available in Lulu hypermarkets shelves in the first week of November 2019.