Bill Kenneths, CEO & Co-Founder of Globetrot Farmsponsor Nigeria Limited in this interview says the Agriculture Summit Africa by Sterling Bank is a laudable initiative. The bringing together of stakeholders in the agribusiness sector to rub minds and chart an onward movement could not have come at a better time than now when there is an impending boom in agriculture.
Kindly introduce yourself and tell us what you do?
My name is Bill Kenneths. I am the CEO and Cofounder of Globetrot Farmsponsor Nigeria Limited. Farmsponsor is an Agrotech business that operates across the value chain of the poultry business in Nigeria. We have been in operation for over two years and growing steadily every day. We are currently expanding into oil palm plantation and refinery business.
Do you believe agribusiness has a prospect considering the status of the Nigerian economy?
Without a shred of doubt, I do. We could not have recorded our success stories in such a manner as achieved in any other sector of the Nigerian economy both from personal efforts, investors, support from the banks and the government. Someone once said that even in a time of war, people must eat.
Do you believe Nigerians, especially the youths, are willing to get into the sector?
The Nigerian youth is very creative and industrious in an enabling environment. I am a Nigerian youth and my journey is a testament to the fact that youths are willing and capable to make significant improvements in the agribusiness sector.
What are the inherent challenges of the sector?
Some of the challenges of the sector are availability, accessibility, and affordability of a host of items ranging from capital to know-how, implements, raw materials and finished products. That is why Farmsponsor provides superior value in these problem areas and ultimately playing its part in the effort to achieve food security in the country.
How well do you attend Agric-related summits?
As often as my work schedule permits me. The Agriculture Summit Africa by Sterling Bank is a laudable initiative. The bringing together of stakeholders in the agribusiness sector to rub minds and chart an onward movement could not have come at a better time when there is an impending boom in agriculture, as well as provide funding for profitable agricultural projects which is very key.
What can you say about Agriculture Summit Africa by Sterling Bank?
We attended the 2019 edition based on a referral from an influencer who informed us that Sterling Bank was giving grants to agricultural businesses in Abuja and providing opportunities to network with major stakeholders in the sector. At that time, we were about to launch our first chicken processing plant which would help us take a piece of that trillion dollar economy. Today, we have continued our engagement with Sterling Bank in building a mobile application (Vest Pay) that enables users to gain access to profitable agricultural services, investments, commodities, and other related benefits in the sector.
Why have you attended past editions, and what was your experience?
Attending the summit last year exposed us to a more in-depth view of the agribusiness sector, key players, and success stories. This motivated us to double down on our drive to achieve the vision to get everyone involved in agriculture. Currently, we have more than 10,000 Nigerians actively involved in the value chain of the poultry business, whether as an investor, farmer, employee, merchandiser, or supplier.
What do you seek to achieve in this year’s edition coming up between September 23-24?
What we seek is expansion of our operations within and outside our current operating location, which is Rivers State. So, the Summit presents us with an opportunity to interact with valuable stakeholders. Also, we have achieved some milestones in our two years’ experience, including an integrated breeder, commercial broilers, feed mill and chicken processing plant farm in Obeakpu-Ndoki, Rivers State. We also have a hatchery in Afam Ndoki and two supermarkets as well as a restaurant in Port Harcourt and an ecommerce website to serve our increasing customers daily. Sterling Bank, through the Summit, should foster partnership with Farmsponsor to increase our operational capacity in no distant time.
What message do you have for those looking to grow their agribusiness?
My message to those willing to grow their agribusiness on whatever level or scale is that it is possible in Nigeria with commitment, focus and determination. Record your failures and celebrate your success no matter how little. Be thankful and be prayerful in all circumstances.