Fenil and Bollywood

Ajay Devgan-Karjat ka kisaan

Posted on: January 15, 2010

Ajay Devgan, keen on organic farming, grows everything from mangoes to moolis

By Meena Iyer (MUMBAI MIRROR; January 15, 2010)

Amitabh Bachchan has expressed a desire to try his hand at farming someday. So has Aamir Khan. However, both of them have been beaten by Ajay Devgan.

Ajay has six film releases in 2010 but one would never have guessed that besides acting what gets the actor’s adrenaline pumping is farming.

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// His close associates say that the actor, who spends weekends at his Karjat farm house, has, for the last three years, been actively involved in farming.

On his 28-acre Devgan Farms, he is said to have approximately 4500 papaya trees, 2500 banana trees, 500-odd bora (green berries) trees, and he also has kesar and hapoos mango orchards.

News has it that for the last three seasons, the Devgan Farm mangoes have been winning the Best Mango prize at the Raigad Zilla Mango Competition.

Confirming the news Ajay says, “Well, I’ve always been keen on organic farming. We grow our own vegetables like brinjals (egg plant), ladies finger (bhendi), raddish (mooli) and even fresh tomatoes. If I’m not in Karjat, the vegetables are sent to me at my Juhu home. While I’m not involved in the day-to-day supervision of the farm (I have a full-fledged staff caring for it), I keep myself abreast with what happens here.” He is happy that Karjat, in recent years, has been getting enough water for irrigation. And, he is also aware of which is the best season for the various vegetables and the fruits.

He modestly admits that it is indeed an honour to have picked up the award for the best mangoes three seasons in a row. “This year the mango trees have just started to flower,” says the actor. “We’ll have a late start to the mango season. The kesar fruit should come in April, while the Alphonso will come in May.”

Reacting to a news item about a Ratnagiri farmer selling a single Alphonso at an exorbitant Rs 333 for export to Australia, the actor says that he also has plans to take mango farming to the next level.

As of now, the papaya, the bananas and the berries from his farm are sold at the Vashi local market on a regular basis.

However, his mango crop is comparatively limited. Besides picking up awards at Raigad, the fruit is mainly for his home consumption. “I’m hopeful that soon we’ll grow more mangoes,’’ he says, “On the one hand, it is flattering that foreign countries are ready to pay such a high price for our mangoes. However, I’m worried that if we export all our mangoes, the locals may not get to enjoy the fruit.”

Ajay is also involved in paddy farming-and even grows his own rice. He concludes, “What is really gratifying is that we use no artificial fertilisers. Everything is grown organically.”

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