Lulu Group to export Kashmir apples

Muscat: Apple Will Reach Kashmir From November


NEW DELHI: Lulu Group has signed an agreement with Lulu Group to export fruits from Kashmir. The Lulu Group management is of the opinion that the changes in the commercial sector following the repeal of Articles 370 and 35A in Kashmir could lead to a huge boom in the commercial industry in Kashmir. It will also help bring in more foreign currency to India.

While Article 370 and 35A existed, industrialists could not operate in Kashmir as they do in other parts of India.

However, the cancellation of the privilege granted to Jammu and Kashmir on August 5, 2019 is expected to make a huge impression on the commercial and industrial sectors. It will come into effect from October 31, 2019. Under the trade rules dictated by the Union of India (Government of Bharat), any entrepreneur can work independently in the Union Territories of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh.

In August 2019, Yusufali MA, Chairman of Lulu Group, in a meeting with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, expressed his willingness to buy Kashmiri agricultural products and establish a logistic hub for uninterrupted supply in Srinagar. Modi had welcomed Yusuf Ali's this move. As part of this, the Lulu Group has begun buying apples in Oman.

"We have already exported 200 tonnes of apples as the first export from Kashmir and will increase exports in the coming days," Lulu management officials said. "Lulu Hypermarkets will soon launch a 'Kashmir Promotion Week' to popularize other agricultural products in Kashmir," the management said.

Apple is currently cultivating 3.87 lakh hectares in Kashmir. This would bring in about Rs 8,000 crore annually and would become a livelihood for over seven lakh families. Experts estimate that setting up of processing plants and cold storage in Kashmir will increase turnover. Apart from apples, Lulu Group is also in the process of purchasing rice, walnuts, pulses, saffron and other spices from Kashmir.

After the abolition of the special status of Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370, terrorists have threatened apple growers. Despite partial restrictions, the supply of apples and peaches from the valleys to the rest of the country has doubled. Approximately 19 lakh MT of apples are produced in Jammu and Kashmir every year. That's 80 percent of the country's apples. India ranks fifth in the world in apple producing countries.