By Gertrude Onyekachukwu-Uteh
HELEN MORRISTER: The testimony of Helen Morrister is another success story of the Delta State Government’s Youth Agricultural and Entrepreneurs Programme (YAGEP). She is the Managing Director of Odhi Technical and Energy Services Fish Farm located in Orokpokpor in Ughelli, but hails from Isoko South Local Government Area. She is a Political Science graduate from the Delta State University, Abraka. Trained and established in Fish Production in the 2015/2016 Cycle, Helen has diversified into Poultry and Crop Production. She is passionate about her farming enterprise and has great drive to succeed in agribusiness.
Her success started right from the training centre. “I took my training serious. I learnt Fish Production, Crop Production as well as Poultry. I owe my success to the effort I put into my training,” she enthused.
As a goal getter, she bought extra 2,000 fingerlings in addition to the 2,000 she was given as starter stock bearing in mind that the 145 bags of feed given by the state government would feed them to table size. It worked for her. At some point, she said she stocked 10,000 fish and continued in that stead till she lost count of the number of cycles she had done.
Her business received a big boost when her husband acquired a five-acre land. With this fortune, she diversified to poultry and increased her fish ponds. She currently has two concrete fishponds and six earthen fishponds that have the capacity to take up to 30,000 juveniles. She has a large poultry pen that has the capacity to take 10,000 birds. At present, she has 2,000 laying birds and 600 table size broilers birds. From the 2,000 laying birds, she harvests 46 crates of eggs daily. She has sold off her fish and is awaiting the dry season to restock to prevent loss of her stock to flooding.
Six years after, her success rate is phenomenal. “I started from a rented plot of land. All proceeds from my fish farm, I ploughed back into poultry and I continued to restock to grow the business. Now, I am self-reliant and greatly contributing to the upkeep of my home. I have also diversified to Crop Production, precisely vegetable farming e.g. cucumber,” she added.