Our Agribusiness conversations with Roland Fomundam, CEO Green House Ventures, he talks about leading sustainable agriculture in Cameroon with Low-cost greenhouse technology, leadership and building a sustainable agribusiness brand
Here is the Interview
African Harvesters: Can you introduce yourself and what your company Green House Ventures (GHV) does?
Roland Fomundam: My name is Roland Fomundam. I am resident and carrying out business in Cameroon. I was born and lived in Cameroon up until after High school where I had an opportunity to travel to the US to further my education in the USA.
After some years, I graduated with a degree in Technological Entrepreneurship and soon after founded the company called GreenHouse Ventures in 2015.
The company is leading sustainable agriculture in Cameroon with the use of their low cost greenhouse technology and other farm technologies and methods.
African Harvesters: What aspect of the Agribusiness Value Chain do you play?
Roland Fomundam: GreenHouse Ventures does three things:
The development and distribution of the low-cost greenhouse technology
The cultivation and commercialization of greenhouse-grown crops
The training of several participants in the area of green and sustainable farming
Our company’s end goal is to aggregate the harvest from multiple producers/farming coops and then channel for processing/ transformation for sale and distribution in local, regional and international markets.
African Harvesters: How is GHV fostering food security in Cameroon and in Africa?
Roland Fomundam: In 2015, we had only a few farms and very little production to satisfy the demand we had at the time. Demand is grown exponentially and we have continued to extend our reach in expanding production surface area to meet the growing demands.
Today, we are setting up more than 100 greenhouse farms with an average harvest capacity of 20 tons weekly.
The use of our technology assures year-round production of a wide variety of produce and for several markets. Our greenhouse technology has been instrumental in growing large amounts of food on very small lands compared to traditional farm methods that have long existed. This, coupled with our unique ability to produce foods irrespective of seasons ensures constant food production.
In so doing, we have also been able to drastically reduce food prices while ameliorating the quality/value of vegetable foods.
African Harvesters: What are the commitments of Green House Ventures towards the development and transformation of Africa’s sustainable Agriculture?
Roland Fomundam: Since inception, GreenHouse Ventures has committed to setting the stage for an agricultural premise that will unveil new farming technics and methods with a common goal of increasing production and assuring profits.
We have succeeded in standardizing the technology in several ecological zones making it application to all in those places. We have also standardized the cultivation methods making sure we have similar results across several farms.
These achievements have further reinforced our brand image making our models very much attractive and engaging.
Today, we have emerged as the leader in sustainable agriculture in Cameroon and the only company with a huge potential to attract and engage youths irrespective of their backgrounds.
Africa’s agriculture can only see a shift when these youths are seamlessly integrated and find a future in the industry sector and at GreenHouseVentures, we have a firm commitment to keep it very attractive to youths and innovations.
African Harvesters: Have you always been entrepreneurial? What sparked your interest into founding GHV?
Roland Fomundam: I was never entrepreneurial and so I believe entrepreneurship sparked itself out of me – it was merely a survival tactic. After years in the USA, I soon realized that I could be more valuable in Cameroon/ Africa than in America. Then I further identified the void in the domain of agriculture adding to its potential impact if well realized.
My background in Technological Entrepreneurship conferred me with the knowledge to embark on this journey of transforming Africa’s agriculture through the inclusion of sustainable farm technologies.
African Harvesters: If any, what challenges have you experienced as an entrepreneur in Agribusiness?
Roland Fomundam: Every challenge has turned into an opportunity. And every opportunity has become a lesson and asset which we continue to transform into impact.
African Harvesters: What are some of your biggest achievements since you founded GHV?
Roland Fomundam: My biggest achievement will be the ability to move back home despite the very loud opportunities offered in America. And more so, establish a footprint in the agriculture industry that today is setting the standard for Good Agriculture Practices in Cameroon.
African Harvesters: What’s the future for GHV and what steps are you taking towards achieving it?
Roland Fomundam: In 2020 – we are setting up additional greenhouse farms with a capacity of over 20 tons weekly to meet the growing demand for food and vegetable in Cameroon.
In 2021 – we will expand our platform to include cooperatives who will gain capacities to grow to produce using these greenhouses. Our goal is to include over 50 cooperative groups all over Cameroon.
In 2022 –we will start the process of setting up a processing factory for the transformation and packaging of these vegetables.
African Harvesters: How do you feel as an African entrepreneur in Agribusiness?
Roland Fomundam: Being an African entrepreneur is the most valuable aspect of my journey to date. I believe the future of the world depends on how well Africa rises to the entrepreneurial stage.
And agriculture being the backbone of our economy makes our involvement even more enriching. I strongly believe that once Africa’s true agricultural potential is realized, Africa will become food sufficient and less reliant on any form of foreign aid and assistance.