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“I learnt it all on Google”! Former Journalist and Banker Rotimi Williams owns the Second Largest Rice Farm in Nigeria #BellaNaijaMCM

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Rotimi Williams is a household name in the Nigerian Agricultural space and understandably so, he owns Nigeria’s second largest commercial rice farm in terms of land space.

Rotimi is on a quest to reverse the trend of rice importation into a country with enough landmass and manpower to produce and export the product.

Rotimi started as a journalist, and then went on to become an banker before venturing into agriculture after seeing the massive potential in it.

Rotimi, who has two masters degrees – one in Economics and the other in Finance and Development Studies – said he decided to sink his teeth into the agricultural space after seeing how agriculture is building the economies of the African countries he traveled to when he worked as a journalist.

Upon return to Nigeria, he tried to get into the agricultural space by working at the agricultural desk of a premier bank, but according to him, the bank “wasn’t quite ready to launch fully into the agricultural space”.

“As my frustration grew, I decided to quit banking and planned to go it alone into agriculture. Frankly, my decision led to a challenging sojourn as attempts to raise funding with my partner proved difficult. We started a Structured Trade and Commodity Finance company. After a while I started consulting for small agriculture companies seeking to raise capital both locally and internationally,” he said in a 2016 interview.

After two years of no land to start his business, he made an offer to a farmer with vast land to help develop it and them share the profit with him 50-50. The deal went well, and he became part owner of 17,296 hectares of farmland. That was how Kereksuk Rice Farm began.

As a visionary, Rotimi increased the land space to 55,000 hectares, and after he and his partner split, he got 45,000 hectares to himself.

Although not its full capacity, Rotimi’s farm currently produces 8,000 metric tons a year, an output it aims to double this year.

He aims to to achieve optimization by the year 2020.

Kereksuk also runs the Farm-Out-Of-Poverty initiative which exposes secondary school students to the production and economics of rice farming during a 3-year program.

The second phase of the initiative is the engagement of Fulani women in rice farming.

Here’s the interesting part; Rotimi’s reply when asked how he learned so much about agriculture and rice farming is always: “I learnt it all on Google. I downloaded every article I could find on rice production, consumed it and then practiced it in the fields.”

12 Comments

  1. MeE!

    April 17, 2017 at 10:36 am

    This is the definition of taking initiative..
    Nice one man!

  2. Live In Ibadan

    April 17, 2017 at 10:55 am

    This is indeed very inspiring. Government should create more interest in the agricultural sector of the country and invest in budding entrepreneurs like Rotimi. It’s not like the youths don’t want to engage in farming but the funding is not usually forthcoming and with the minute structures on ground, it’s very hard to secure capital.

    http://www.liveinibadan.blogspot.com

  3. Rainbow

    April 17, 2017 at 11:59 am

    Great vision. Well done. I pray for more grace for your business.

  4. Fifi

    April 17, 2017 at 12:06 pm

    Great

  5. Mar

    April 17, 2017 at 1:29 pm

    How come we never see his rice in the market. Or is it not packaged in bags and such for sale?

  6. M

    April 17, 2017 at 2:18 pm

    Nice. Helpful when your baba in-law is Obasanjo. I feel sorry you have to spend time proving to the world otherwise.

    • Mr.A

      April 17, 2017 at 3:29 pm

      Thank you @M. What he is doing is nice, good for him and potentially the country. While it won’t be fair to hold him to ransom for being connected to Obasanjo, a person of questionable characater, please BN & Forbes Magazine don’t leave it out of the story. I might be wrong but his story is of privilege, nothing wrong with it, but STATE IT AS IT IS. May the wind be behind your sails if your hands are clean.

    • Derin87

      April 17, 2017 at 4:17 pm

      You are wrong, because he married into a privileged family does not mean he collects pocket money from his FIL. This story briefly states his struggles, yet you’re talking of ‘privilege’, please take a seat and hold your lips while you’re at it

    • Tata

      August 16, 2018 at 9:57 am

      His FIL gave him nothing, that’s if he is not even trying to compete with him.get your facts dude, his farm is in Nassarawa!!! think before you talk

  7. jinkelele

    April 18, 2017 at 1:36 am

    Well done Rotimi….being a front runner takes courage.
    And for the naysayers..If his story was of privilege he would have just joined Obasanjo Holdings.

    For those who who asked where his rice is in the market. It’s a farm so there is no ‘his’ rice. The grow rice and sell to to those who package for sale.

  8. Tee

    April 18, 2017 at 5:20 am

    While others that married into such privileged families are busy flaunting their superficial life on social media. You can’t bring this man down. No be only him be Obasanjo in law. Jealousy jealousy na e dey worry you. I bet you didn’t read the part when he made a deal with the farmer abi OBJ no get money to buy the land. Lazy people and their excuses. Business isn’t for everyone, face your 9-5.

  9. Mummy Ade

    April 18, 2017 at 9:41 am

    Hmmm i hope Mr. Concession does not push you off the game

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