Anna Phosa is one of Africa’s most successful pig farmers and one of South Africa’s biggest pork suppliers.
She is one of the few black female commercial pig farmers in the country. She started Dreamland Piggery & Abbatoir in the Vaal area, South of Johannesburg in 2004.
Explaining her journey into farming, she says that she and her family bought a smallholding in De Deur from their savings with plans to plant vegetables to sell to the community. She was farming part time while working at her husband’s business.
It was in 2006 when after buying two pigs from a family friend, she decided to go into farming full time. Phosa says she went into farming with a passion and acquired the knowledge along the way “I learnt a lot from the people in the industry and the department of agriculture also provided us with some support” she said.
In 2004, Anna Phosa founded her first pig farm in Soweto with $100 which was her own contribution. At first, her farm counted only 4 small pigs, but after 4 years, she was contracted by Pick ‘n Pay, the South African supermarket chain.
According to the contract, the supplier had to sell 10 pigs per week. This was kind of a breakthrough, and soon the request grew to 20 pigs per week.
After 2 years, Anna Phosa signed one more contract for five years with Pick ‘n Pay to supply 100 pigs per week
It was an R25 million deal (this amount equaled $1.9 million).
This contract allowed Anna to raise capital from ABSA Bank and USAID and buy a 350-hectare farm property.
At the moment, the farm rears around 5,000 pigs employing about 20 staff.
In addition to the pigs, the farm has an abattoir and maize field. Its main clients are big retailers such as Pick n Pay.
While many young entrepreneurs trying to start a business turn to banks ended up disappointed, Anna Phosa managed to start her business without a financial help of banks. The point is that banks mostly tend to focus on more or less mature businesses.
Similar to many other businessmen, her career journey wasn’t that easy as at the beginning she struggled to raise capital to start and grow the business and she plans to broaden her client base for her thriving business.