An Organic drive on the road to Agric success
In this installment of Meet the Boss, Voice Money’s KABELO ADAMSON speaks to Lesego Elijah, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Botswana’s fastest-growing organic manufacturing company, Stockton Holdings.
The energetic Elijah outlines exactly how her organistation intends to be a game-changer while at the same time spearheading the country’s efforts to reduce fertilizer importation.
For those who don’t know you, kindly introduce yourself to our readers.
My name is Lesego Elijah; I am a Motswana woman leading one of the newly established and speedily growing organic fertilizer manufacturing and distribution companies in the Agricultural industry.
Briefly take us to your professional career.
By profession, I am an accountant, with a certificate in Agrochemicals from the Botswana University of Agriculture and Natural Resource under the CICE short courses program.
As the CEO of Stockton Holdings, what does your role entail?
Among my many roles as the Director of the company, I handle product legal registration, procurement, and administrative duties just to mention a few.
Briefly take us through the organisation’s background?
Stockton Holdings was established in 2016 with motivation from other Directors, to diversify in Agriculture and address the need of the country to reduce fertilizer importation hence saving the currency and also increasing the exportation pool, and gaining foreign currency by exporting to the international market.
It was also formed to bring the green revolution to the country and revive the status of the Agricultural industry in Botswana.
What products and/or services does the business provide?
The company focuses on the supply of Agricultural products.
We are manufacturers and distributors of organic fertilizer products, which include: The Grow Fast organic liquid fertilizers which help boost soil nutrition and also make nutrients instantly available for plant usage.
We also have another product called the Organic Yield Enhancer, which boosts flowering on all fruit trees and vegetables and increases fruit size, and makes them more flavorful.
With regular use, one can expect an increased yield of up to 40 percent.
Looking at the pest situation in Botswana, our farmers are frequently attacked by pests in their fields which reduce the harvest and overall yield leading to a loss.
Therefore, we came up with an organic pesticide solution that controls up to 200 different pests including DBM, Tuta, aphids, and even bacteria and fungi causing diseases such as termites and nematodes.
We also manufacture organic insecticide oil, which acts as a buffer and sticker when mixed with the pesticide or the fertilizer and can control and repel the vast majority of leaf, soil, and root pests.
What would you say makes Stockton Holdings stand out from other similar set-ups?
Our vision is to see Batswana prosper in farming, whether dry land, irrigated, or in horticulture. Our products are unique in nature since they are 100 percent organic and can be used as a standalone without the need for any chemical fertilizers or pesticides.
Our products can be used across all sorts of vegetable plants, shrubs, lawns, vineyards, fruit trees, and ornamentals, cost-effectively.
How many branches does the company have and are there plans to increase your reach?
Since our establishment, we have managed to open a branch in Lobatse, situated at WoodHall industrial – Kerekang complex; Mahalapye at GT-African Mall by Shoshong road, behind the bus rank; Block 3 industrial Gaborone by Tswana filling station on the way to the Oriental Plaza Shopping Centre and currently we are opening a new branch in Palapye by Palapye Junction.
These branches are operated by graduates in the agricultural profession field.
We have about 13 employees, the majority being graduates from the Botswana University of Agriculture and Natural Resources, while some are on the job training.
Our products are also available in Agri-shops, Landmark, Supa Feeds, Agrichem, AgriFeed MICA, Perfect Feeds, and Lereme Agri Greens.
We have also made it into the international market as we have now been able to export to Namibia and intend to export across Africa to countries such as South Africa and even the European Union.
What are the main challenges faced so far?
One of the challenges we come across is getting farmers to fully get into organic farming, which is easy and affordable.
We have since been able to host educational training to fully educate farmers on the importance of organic farming and its results.
We are also working with extension officers to educate farmers on the importance of using organic fertilizers.
As the CEO, where would you like to see Stockton Holdings in the next five years?
The aim is to be global and generate employment across the globe, at the same time saving the earth!