by Gertrude Onyekachukwu-Uteh
CHIWEIKE NWANKWO hails from Oshimili North Local Government Area. He obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Technical and Vocational Education from the Delta State University, Abraka; enrolled into the Skills Training and Entrepreneurship Programme of the Delta State Government in the 2015/2016 Cycle, the pioneer set and was trained in Fish Production. Six years after establishment, he has distinguished himself by growing his enterprise beyond expectation.
He is the CEO of Chiwinkx Farms, Asaba; the Head of Trainers, Chiwinkxfarms Beyond Fish Academy; the Guest Speaker, United Nations Migration Project 2021; a Guest Panellist, Niger Delta Beyond Oil Summit and the State Consultant, NIRSAL Strategic Business Support Services Project 2021 and an employer.
With a wide range of clients all over the country and overseas, he is developing the agricultural value chain by processing fish, snail and meat. He has acquired a vast expanse of land to be used as his permanent site. Much more, he got married about four years ago and is blessed with two lovely children. No doubt, Chiweike can be described as one of the Delta State Job and Wealth Creation Bureau star ambassadors.
He shares his success story:
“I graduated in 2010 but was unemployed till I was given hope by the Delta State Government through the Youth Agricultural Entrepreneurs Programme (YAGEP).
“After the training which lasted for three months, I was given a starter pack with the following components- 3 concrete ponds at Delta State Agricultural Rural Development Agency (DARDA) 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.
“Currently, I have 13 ponds and had a stock of 33,000 fish some months back. I process fish to add value, to control price and to prevent wastages. In addition, I grow some brooder stock for fish hatchery. The highest number of fish hatched was 36,000 fries. I have quality fingerlings and juveniles for sale. I off take birds from poultry farmers and package for sale. In December, 2016, I acquired a plot of land measuring 300 feet by 320 feet for expansion from the proceeds of my fish farm. To crown it all, I started as a single man, now I am a married man with two male children.
“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. I have faced lots of challenges, yet I continue to push on.
“I have offered free training to 60 persons including corps members and trained over 40 persons for a fee. I have 6 employees on my payroll and 3 casual staff. I am a farm consultant to 7 agencies. I have helped to establish fish farms for 13 clients and the reward has been very attractive. I have attended 16 training programmes and seminars in the past six years.
“I no longer need a government job. I advise youth entrepreneurs to possess the willingness to grow gradually, stay focused and consistent. With creativity and innovation, they will soar higher and higher.