Keralite businessman MA Yusuf Ali has heeded the call of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to support the Kashmiri apple farmers as part of the government’s plan of bringing investors to Jammu Kashmir. The multi billionaire who owns the Lulu Group has imported around 400 tons of Kashmiri apples to West Asia.
Said Yusuf Ali, the Chairman and Managing Director of the group while speaking to a news agency, “I have always considered that it is the prime responsibility of all Indians to accept and act upon the policies of Government. Naturally when PM Modi during his UAE visit in 2019 put forth the idea of investing and supporting the state of Kashmir, I was the first one to give my commitment and we have imported more than 400 tons of Kashmiri apples during the last year and it is continuing but it’s slightly less than the target owing to Covid related issues.”
According to reports, the Lulu Group was has been importing of apples from Kashmir since 2019. Last year, around 200 tons of apples were said to have been exported.
Yusuf Ali moved to West Asia in 1973 and since then he has endeavored to make Lulu a top brand. The UAE-based Lulu Group runs more than 180 hypermarkets and shopping malls across West Asia. The group takes the Kashmir apple to West Asian countries like UAE, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait and Oman. Apart from apples, Lulu group also imports saffron, basmati rice, cherries and pulses from Kashmir too.
Jammu Kashmir has the second largest area in the world under apple cultivation and contributes 75 percent of apple production in India.
The annual apple production in Kashmir is estimated at an approximately 20 lakh metric tons, an economy worth Rs 8000 crore.