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Middle East retailer LuLu Group plans to invest Rs 200 cr in setting up a food processing plant in Jammu & Kashmir.

The announcement was made by Yusuff Ali MA, Chairman of Lulu Group, in the presence of Manoj Sinha, Lt. Governor of the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir in Dubai.

“In the first phase, we will be investing Rs. 200cr and subsequently another Rs. 200cr. has been earmarked for further expansion. I am sure these projects will not only provide considerable employment opportunities to the local youth but also benefit the Agri sector and farmers immensely,” said Yusuffali MA of LuLu Group.

The firm also plans to set up a logistics hub and a hypermarket in Srinagar for uninterrupted supply. It expects to export products worth Rs. 500 crore annually from J&K across its stores in gulf countries. It plans to procure Saffron, Rice Basmati, Apple, Almonds, Honey, Dry Mushroom, Honey, Walnuts, Dry Apricot, Qahwa with Sugar, Vegetables mainly Carrot, Brocolli, Cauliflower, White Radish amongst others from the geography.

Jammu and Kashmir ranks first in the production of saffron, apple, walnut, and almond in India.

Lt. Governor Manoj Sinha said “LuLu group is already importing apples from Jammu and Kashmir. And with saffron, we are adding Kashmir’s finest spice to the basket. I am certain that this new beginning will take our trade to unprecedented levels”.

Lulu Group’s investment in Kashmir comes on the backdrop of the company’s chairman’s meetings held with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Last year, LULU Group has agreed to set up a 100% export-oriented food and agri produce processing park in Greater Noida with a total investment of Rs 500 cr.

Lulu Group currently has 220 hypermarkets and shopping malls in the Middle East, Egypt, India, Malaysia and Indonesia with a global workforce of over 57,000 employees.