Chiweike Nwankwo is a YAGEPreneur (2015 Cycle) in Fish Production who hails from Ibusa in Oshimili North Local Government Area. He obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Technical and Vocational Education from the Delta State University, Abraka. Within a year and two months of establishment, Chiweike has distinguished himself by growing his enterprise beyond our expectation. He is also into fish processing and is growing some brooder stock to commence fish hatchery. Much more, he has acquired a vast expanse of land to be used as his permanent site.
What were you doing before the training?
I graduated in 2010, but I was unemployed. I looked forward to getting a government job without success until I was given hope by the Delta State Government through its job creation programme, Youth Agricultural Entrepreneurs Programme (YAGEP).
What was your starter pack like?
After the training which lasted for three months, I was given a starter pack with the following components- 3 concrete ponds at Agricultural Development Programme (ADP) at Ibusa, 2,000 fingerlings, 145 bags of fish feeds and a monthly stipend of #10,000 for 3 months. I also received a smoking kiln from the State Government through my cooperative group.
Share your success story with us.
I am one year and six months old in fish business. Currently, I have 9,500 fish, 7 ponds with an annex located at 2 Dumebi Onwuka Crescent, Off DLA Road, Asaba where I have 2 ponds. The highest number of stock I have ever had was 12,000 fish before I sold some of them at maturity. I now process my fish to add value, to control price and to prevent wastages. In addition, I am growing some brooder stock to enable me to begin fish hatchery soon. In December, 2016, I acquired a plot of land measuring 300 feet X 320 feet for expansion from the proceeds of my fish farm.
Interesting! What is the secret of your success?
It is not enough to begin a business, but knowing the intricacies involved in such a business. Basically, I plough back my profit. By ploughing back my profit, I have been able to grow my business.
What are those intricacies and your challenges as a fish farmer?
I have had ups and downs, but it is quite exciting. Sometime ago, I lost about 2,000 fish as a result of expired fish feed which I stored for so long and at another time my tarpaulin pond gave way during a heavy downpour with 1,300 fish. I was able to rescue only very few. In all, I was not discouraged. The passion to succeed drives me on. I love fish farming; I communicate with my fish; I identify them and give them names. The challenge I have now is funds for expansion.
How many persons have you trained?
I have trained 12 persons including corps members. I have one employee. ADP sends to me corps members serving under them for training
Are you still in search of a white collar job?
No! I no longer need a government job. I am a busy man.