Meet Rotimi Williams, The Lagos Boy Turned Millionaire Rice Farmer In Nasarawa State

rotimi williams biography

March 22, 2017 – Meet Rotimi Williams, The Lagos Boy Turned Millionaire Rice Farmer In Nasarawa State

Kerekusk Rice Farm Owner Reveals How He Became A Millionaire

A Lagos boy, Rotimi Williams is making waves in Nasarawa State as a rice farmer. He shares his success story at a forum organised by Agrihub and Agroentrepreneur, entrepreneurship capacities’ building groups, in Lagos.

36-old Nasarawa -based agro entrepreneur, Rotimi Williams, is the proud owner of Kerekusk Rice. He acknowledges not only his enjoyment of growing rice, but also as a rice connoisseur.

Young and well-educated, he has about 45,000 hectares of rice farm. He sells the product to major milling firms.

Williams, who grew up in Lagos Island, is down-to-earth and recognises that he first has to roll up his sleeves and get dirty with some serious work, to make the kind of wealth he desires. This is is in the marshy, mosquito-infested paddy fields that he has to break his back to satisfy his innate entrepreneurial instinct.

rotimi williams millionaire rice farmer

He had to learn everything as he had no experience, nor background in farming. But he read a lot on it and took all the risks because he needed to do something others were not really interested in. He did his calculations and promised the community some returns. That was the winning strategy.

He had challenges with machinery services for harvesting and for threshing, procurement of agro-chemicals as well as, good planting material. The absence of these contributed immensely to poor harvests at the onset.

With these challenges, there is less possibility of bringing more land into production. Right now, he is using few hectares because of the cost of clearance and maintenance. He said the organisation would have to increase the productivity per hectare by knowledge- and science-based farming with purchase of promising rice varieties.

Notwithstanding these, Williams has been able to make some good returns on his investment. It became more interesting as the days went by as he had bought a processing mill.

He believes the success of his farm is based on a “we” attitude, rather than “I” – calling the operation a successful team work. He has been blessed to have wonderful people who agree to work with him.

Williams believes his farm’s success is tied to the community and his dedicated employees. He believes agriculture has to feature prominently in the nation’s development plans if the government hopes to achieve a prosperous future for Nigerians.

One of the greatest challenges of young agripreneurs, according to him, is unequal access to key assets, such as land, finance and information services.

How I Started My Rice Farming Business

As a journalist, I had the opportunity to travel around a few African countries. These trips exposed me to countries like Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda, South Africa, Zambia and Ghana. A common thread amongst the aforementioned nations is agriculture. Agriculture is at the very core of these countries and this got me thinking. After a few more trips, I decided to move back to Nigeria and sink my teeth into the agricultural space. Nigeria remains the largest economy in Africa from both a GDP perspective and also the strength of the size of our population.

Upon my arrival back in Nigeria, I got a job at a premier Bank where I was promised to sit on the agriculture desk – my hope was that I would gain enough knowledge of the Nigerian agricultural industry and develop myself from there.

Unfortunately, the agricultural desk at the Bank never quite achieved its set goals. I pushed hard for the Bank to adopt policies and gain inroads into the agricultural industry but my attempts were somewhat frustrated. I sincerely feel that 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.

Two years had past and we still had no funds, so I made an offer to some farm owners in Nasarawa that with a 50-50 split, I would develop their farm with both personal funds and external funding. He agreed and that’s how I became part owner of 17,296 hectares of farmland. Knowing that agriculture would become the integral area of focus in Nigeria, I was bullish and ramped up the land to 55,000 hectares. I later parted with my partner as a result of unaligned views and strategy. I maintained 45,000 hectares for myself and today we have started producing, with our quality paddy being sold to major milling companies in Nigeria. However, I must add the following, I often have people ask how I learned about farming, as everyone thinks you need a special degree in agriculture to be a farmer, but I always tell them the truth, 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.

Frankly, my experience working alongside indigenes of Nasarawa state has been exceptional. I have learnt over the years that if you approach people with respect even more so while one seeks to set up a business venture. Having a healthy sense of community makes all the difference in attaining one’s set objectives. I lean heavily on the wisdom and cultural approach of the indigenes to carry out farming on such a scale here in Nasarawa.

[By DANIEL ESSIET ]

12 thoughts on “Meet Rotimi Williams, The Lagos Boy Turned Millionaire Rice Farmer In Nasarawa State

  1. Rotimi had done a lot of 419 which he has done well. We interviewed him. He done a lot of secret healing by having a lot of wheelchairs, getting a few people to pretend that they are sick. He was very clever, it was a good idea.

    • Kofi Mensah, wetin are you talk about of? Wetin are you sabi wey we are doesn’t sabi? Abeg be tolding us to be knowing.

  2. Rotimi Williams thank you so much for going an extra mile to achieve this success. Infact you are one of few Nigerians millennia that have convinced me in changing my perception about Nigerians youths. If all Nigerians can be thinking the way you are thinking, I swear to God, there will be a tremendous change in our growth, development, social, economic and political aspect of our system. There will be no 419, rituals, kidnapping and unnecessary assassination that have engulf our nation. The reason why other youths like yourself are going the other way is because they have taught that since our nation’s money is in the have of few cabals, it is going to be difficult for them if not impossible to have a secure future, that is why results in crime instead of showing and correcting the fool leaders who always tell them to wait for their turn.

    Rotimi, you have done a good job especially by trying to show other youths that there is a good way of making money and be successful order than fraud and swindling other people. Steve Jobs, Bill Gate, Dangote others started just like you and they have achieved a lot and remarkable success.

    Finally, Nigerian youths let me tell you a secret. It is not difficult to achieve success in life if you know what you are doing. Forget that you have all these idea but there is money to back it up. Trust me, there will be a time when that help will come in the manner you least expected. Just try to focus and continue working on your ideas. Just like Biblical adage that says “Keep watching you never know when bridegroom will arrive”.

  3. MR KOFI SUPPOSEDLY from ghana knew much abt the millionare farmer.abeg bring charges if u have proof or keep ur mouth shut.i cherish his hardwork though didnt quite agree wt him on fulani herdsmen .those guys are brutal and have no remorse in killing and destroying peoples farmland.i suggest a grazing settlement for them in their northern region

  4. about fulani headsmen,they should rear or take care of there animal in there compay,igbo has different type of animal but we dont go about them all over the country showing off and causing problem,we build animal house or cage in the compound or in the farm and take care of them.fulani headsmen should stop parading their animal brothers on Nigeria street,we dont need animal in our street to move the way human being move,get a cage or a farm for them

  5. Your success story is a dream booster and action tonic. Am into agriculture becourseof your story, looking forward to the day I will see you face to face. Remain bless for us.

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