Runa Mukherjee Parikh (Ahmedabad)
Anand (Rajkot)-based mint fresh agriculture science graduate Radhika Ghetiya (22), has made media headlines in Gujarat for bagging a record 12 gold medals including the vice chancellor’s best student medal — the highest honour — for her performance in the four-year B.Sc (Agriculture Hons) final exam. The medals were awarded to her at the high-powered convocation of Anand Agricultural University (AAU) staged in early February.
The elder of two children of Dr Lalit Kumar Ghetiya, associate professor of entomology at Navsari Agricultural University, and homemaker Nita, Radhika is delighted that history has repeated itself. “When my father graduated from Junagadh Agricultural University in 1992-93, he was also conferred the vice chancellor’s best student medal,” she says with quiet satisfaction.
Although the less preferred choice of school-leavers, Radhika has no regrets about opting for an agriculture science degree programme. “My achievements are an appropriate response to all those who mocked my decision to sign up for agriculture education. Farmers feed the nation. Therefore, it’s important that well-educated professionals enter the agriculture sector to drive up yields and productivity,” says this aspirant agriculturist.
Dr Vinaya Kumar HM, assistant professor of agriculture at AAU, believes that Radhika will add value to the agriculture community. “Radhika is very clued-up about the rural economy. She debates ground-level issues with knowledge and intelligence. I believe she has what it takes to transform into an agriculture entrepreneur who will take the nation forward,” says Kumar.
Driven by the mission to revolutionise agri-farming practices, Radhika has signed up for a postgrad agriculture statistics degree programme at AAU. “My undergrad degree which included a year’s internship with several agricultural firms including Gujarat State Fertilizer Corporation Agrotech Ltd was very enriching. A postgrad in agriculture statistics will equip me with data analysis and processing skills. India has twice the acreage of arable land as China but only half the production. By applying scientific innovations and advanced technologies, we can not only adequately feed all Indians but several countries of the developing world,” says this young farming entrepreneur in the making.