-By Gertrude ONYEKACHUKWU-UTEH and Ese Laura OGHENE:
HENRY CHUKWUMA OFIEN is the CEO of Chukky Go Farm located at YAGEP Farm Cluster, Owa-Alero. His enthusiasm and passion for hard work distinguished him from his peers. He was an “okada” rider before he got enrolled into the Delta State Government’s Youth Agricultural Entrepreneurs Programme (YAGEP.) He was trained and established in Fish Production in the 2017/2018 cycle.
Four years after establishment, Henry has taken his business to enviable heights. He has done so well and has diversified into crop production. He shares his experience.
“From three small size tarpaulin fish tanks, I now have 14 of that size and additional four medium size fish tanks at home. At present, I have 12,000 fish of different growth stages stocked in them. After government’s support package, I sold my fish at maturity, restocked by ploughing back my profit. I did not stop there. I take loans from the associations I belong to; these loans are invested in the business. I have fish all year round.
“I attribute my success rate to prudence and financial discipline, ability to manage funds well. While an okada rider, I was able to acquire a land, get married and to build the house where I live with my family.
“I have two casual workers. My wife and children assist me too. We are in it together. I make a minimum of 1.2m annually. From the proceeds, I provide for my family and pay my children’s school fees. I have diversified into crop production. I cultivate cassava, yam, maize, melon and vegetable in commercial quantities. I look forward to expanding my farm business.
“Fish production is lucrative. The State Government has done well for the youths and needs to continue with it. The number one failure is selling of starter pack with the false hope that the government will intervene again. I advise STEP/YAGEP trainees not to sell their starter packs when established. When they do so, they sell their future and live to regret it.”