Anna Phosa is one of South Africa’s most successful pig farmers, her rise to the top wasn’t rosy, and she struggled to raise capital to start and grow the business.
To date, Anna is one of the fewest black woman commercial pig farmer in the country. She’s often been called one of South Africa’s new age “agripreneurs” — entrepreneurs who’re in the agricultural sector.
She started Dreamland Piggery & Abbatoir with only 4 pigs in Soweto, her business has now grown to the capacity of producing between 100 – 300 pigs per week.
Anna Phosa was born in the Free State, and raised by a single mother of 7 children. Inspired by her mother’s determination, Anna became business-savvy from a young age — selling goods and doing odd jobs while still completing high school.
After completing high school, she was not able to study further but she continued to persevere, working as a Shoprite cashier to support her mother.
She got married at 21 to a Soweto businessman who later opened a hardware store in 1994.
Dreamland Piggery & Abbatoir
One day, Anna went to a farmers’ networking event in Zuurbekom, which proved to be a turning point for her. After the event, she bought 4 pigs in 2004 using her personal savings, believing in the possibility of successful commercial pig farming.
“Farming pigs was not my dreams, it just happens that when I was visiting some farms, I saw they were doing vegetable, poultry, pigs, and all sort of farming, but I choose to do pigs.
There was this old man who inspired me a lot, he was doing pig farming just outside Soweto, So I started learning Pig farming from him and I fell in love with it. Pig farming is just like any other farming if you can do chicken why not pig?”
At that point, she was working in the family hardware business, but when the pigs were bought, and a plot of land was found in De Deur in Johannesburg South, she started Dreamland Piggery & Abbatoir, and put her heart into learning all she could about pig farming.
In 2005, she approached the Vereeniging Meat Packers, and started selling meat to them. By 2006, she took home the ‘Young Farmer’ award for her exceptional work in the agricultural sector.
After 4 years of grinding, she was contracted by Pick n Pay to supply its stores with 10 pigs per week. This was her first breakthrough, and the request soon grew to 20 pigs per week.
After 2 years, she signed another 5 year-contract with Pick n Pay worth R25 million to supply 100 pigs per week.
Leveraging her new contract, Anna was able to raise capital from USAID and ABSA to buy a 350-hectare farm property.
Today, her farm houses over 5 000 pigs at a time, and employs about 20 staff & 10 seasonal workers. In addition, the farm has an abattoir & maize field. Its main clients are big retailers including the likes of Pick n Pay.
Anna’s Advice To Those Planning To Go Into Pig Farming
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