Meet Nikita Vaiju Patil, a 26-year-old woman from Jafarwadi, Belagavi who has proven that with determination, self-confidence, and hard work, one can achieve their dreams, even if they take a different form.
Nikita hails from a family of farmers and had her sights set on becoming a Chartered Accountant. However, fate had other plans for her when her father passed away, leaving her with the responsibility of continuing the family’s farming business.
Undeterred by the sudden change in circumstances, Nikita took charge of her father’s agriculture and began to cultivate it scientifically. In a world where agriculture is often looked down upon, Nikita has become a beacon of hope and inspiration in her community. She has earned the respect and admiration of her peers by earning lakhs of rupees from seasonal crops like chili.
Last year, Nikita’s father, Vaiju Patil, tragically committed suicide by hanging himself at their residence, leaving the Patil family in a state of devastation. The question of who would cultivate their four acres of farmland as the Karta Purush disappeared loomed over them. At the time, Nikita had just completed her B.Com from Bhaurao Kakatkar College in Belagavi and was pursuing a CA course with aspirations of working in a company in Bangalore or Pune.
However, the sudden loss of her father caused a significant upheaval in Nikita’s life. Her aged mother, Anjana Patil, and elder brother, Abhishek, did not have much experience in farming, leaving the responsibility of the land on Nikita’s shoulders. Despite acquiring knowledge of agriculture from her father, Nikita’s decision to quit her studies and take up farming full-time six months after his passing surprised her family.
Many were concerned about how a young woman like Nikita, who had just come of age, would handle the demanding work of agriculture. However, Nikita’s determination and self-confidence proved them wrong. She left her education behind and became a full-time farmer, planting pepper plants on one acre of her father’s four-acre farm and installing drip irrigation during the process.
During the first harvest, Nikita was able to yield over four tons of chilies, selling them for 500 rupees per 10 kg. This resulted in a profit of lakhs of rupees, surprising her family and proving that Nikita’s decision to pursue farming was the right one.
Her success is attributed to the hard work of 10-15 women who work in her field to harvest chilies. The chilies are removed every 10-12 days, and since one acre of land is divided into three parts, it takes 4-5 days to grow one part of the chilies. After taking care of the plants, watering, and weeding, the chilies are re-planted after 10-12 days in another area. Chilies are harvested thrice in 35 to 40 days, and each load of chilies can fetch 2 to 2.30 lakh rupees. The chilies are packed in 10 kg bags and are sent to Goa and Kolhapur.
Nikita’s success is not only due to her hard work but also the support of her brother Abhishek and his family. Uncle Tanaji Patil provides the scientific advice needed for better income in agriculture. Under the guidance of her elder brother and uncle, Nikita indulged in agriculture and gave up her CA studies halfway through. She now proudly says that agriculture has given her a better income than working in big cities.
Nikita’s story is an inspiration to many who want to pursue a career in agriculture. With hard work, dedication, and scientific knowledge, one can achieve great success in this field.