DUBAI: For the first time, the famed Kashmiri apples will soon be available in the UAE.
In a bid to boost the economy of the strife-torn region in India, Lulu Group has started exporting the fruit to the huge Middle East market.
On Saturday, it shipped 10 containers (200 tonnes) of three variant apples to the Middle East.
A delegation led by Lulu Group director A.V. Ananth, along with procurement experts 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.
The initiative is the result of meetings held during the recent visit of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the UAE, where Yusuffali MA, Lulu Group chairman, and prominent Indian 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 tonnes 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 Lulu Hypermarkets to popularise 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 this month-end and would be available in Lulu hypermarkets shelves in the first week of November.