By Kasarachi Azuka, Asaba
The Delta State governor, Dr Ifeanyi Okowa, has been consistent in empowering the grassroots people and creating a bottom-up economic growth. Some of the beneficiaries usually break their silence once in a while to pour encomiums on their governor.
Just like most others who had benefitted from the Delta State’s Youth Agricultural Entrepreneurs Programme (YAGEP) in the last five years, Joy Torere has thumbed up the state governor, Ifeanyi Okowa for making her dream of becoming a fish farmer come true by training and empowering her.
Torere, a wife and mother, had remained unemployed since her graduation from the Department of Agricultural Science Education, Delta State University, Abraka, five years ago.
She told newsmen in Asaba, that she no longer feels or acts like an unemployed person because she is now meaningfully engaged in producing fish in her farms through the state’s interventionist programme.
She confessed that she is now sure of contributing to the economic well-being of her family as well as the economic development of the state because of the training and empowerment she received.
Hear her: “I now own and run a fish enterprise and through it, I’ll contribute to economic growth of my family and that of Delta State”.
Torere, a Green YAGEP beneficiary whose fish farm is located at Okolor Inland in Udu Local Government Area of the state, said she would have remained unemployed if the state government did not intervene through the agricultural programme.
She is among those who graduated from the 2019/2020 cycle of the Green YAGEP under the state’s Job and Wealth Creation Programme, who the bureau supported in setting up their fish farms after their six months training.
To qualify for the training and empowerment, a candidate must have proof of ownership of land where the farm would be establised. Also, there must be evidence of availability of steady source of water supply around the location.
Torere having fulfilled the two requirements was confirmed qualified and following her six months training by the state’s Job and Wealth Creation Bureau, the bureau empowered her with starter pack, of which she received some of the items in tranches.
Speaking after receiving the second tranche of fish feeds from the officials of the bureau, Thursday, Torere said she was grateful to the state government for the training she received and for establishing her in her choice enterprise.
She affirmed that she has received 55 bags of fish feeds of various sizes, 2mm, 3mm and 4mm out of the 120 bags she is entitled to receive, expressing confidence that the remaining 65 bags would be delivered to her in due course when her fish mature to the point when they can eat 6mm and 9mm fish feeds.
She listed her establishment package to include 6 months training, monthly stipend, three 13 X 13 X 4 feet polygon tarpaulin fish tanks, 1,500 juveniles, a solid basement for the tanks, a roof to house the tanks and 120 bags of feeds to grow the fish to maturity.
“Training began before the lockdown. After the lockdown, we resumed and we trained for six months. It wasn’t easy, but I scaled through. I was amazed when the contractor called me to show him my site. I did and went back to training. I wasn’t expecting all these”, she said.
She disclosed further, “They (govt) built the roof, the basement for 3 tarpaulin tanks, stocked it with fish and gave me quality feeds of different sizes to grow the fish to table size.
I didn’t know I will receive the establishment package as soon as I completed training. I am grateful. Governor Ifeanyi Okowa has made my dream of becoming a fish farmer to come true, she declared.
“With all these, I am not thinking of any other job. I can’t even manage this enterprise alone. With time, I need to engage the services of other youths to assist me,” she averred.
The YAGEP Coordinator in the Delta State Job and Wealth Creation Bureau, Sam Ndikanwu, reaffirmed that Torere received 120 bags of fish feeds to take the fish to table size, giving the credit to the State Governor who provided all the resources to construct the basement, the roof, the tarpaulin tanks among others.