Anna is one of Africa’s most successful business Women as she has been often referred to as the ‘Celebrity Pig Farmer’.
Anna Phosa was born in the rural village of Boukenhouthoek, a small village situated in the Mpumalanga province of South Africa.
Phosa’s father died a few years earlier and the responsibility of bringing her and her siblings up lay solely with their mother.
With a very meager source of income, raising up Anna and her siblings was a huge responsibility for their mother.
Anna’s dream was to become a nurse but her family’s financial situation could not let her achieve that.
She had to drop out of school and look for a job to support her family.
Having later got married, Phosa joined her husband’s business selling hard wares.
Her ambitious nature coupled with the need to increase the family’s income made Phosa and her husband decided to go into farming.
In 2003, Phosa and her husband bought a small piece of land, started growing cabbage, spinach, beetroot and green peppers as well as rearing chickens…
…with the aim of growing these crops and animal on their farm to sell to hawkers when they mature.
Wanting to learn the best tricks in the business of farming and rearing chickens, Phosa began to network with other farmers who had been in the business before her and try to learn what they know.
In 2004, Anna used her personal saving to start her first pig farm in Soweto with $100 and with only 4 small pigs.
Through reading books on pig farming and chats with other farmers, she increased her knowledge on pig farming through the aid of the provincial department of agriculture, being a newbie in the business.
She was very determined to succeed.
After several months, her pigs increased in size and she began to supply meat to the local market.
In 2005, she approached Vereeniging Meat Packers and after reaching an agreement with them, she began to supply meat to the company.
Despite the challenges she encountered in the business, she was determined to succeed and in 2008, she got her business breakthrough when a South African retail supermarket giant, Pick n’ Pay contracted her to supply 10 pigs to its stores every week.
Pleased with her services and delivery, Pick n’ Pay increased the demand to 20 pigs every week.
Anna’s reputation in the pork business grew so much that in 2008, retail giant pick n’ pay contracted her to supply 10 pigs to its stores every week.
Satisfied with her mode of delivery and business ethics, the company increased the demand to 20 pigs every week.
By 2010, Anna signed another contract, this time, a – five – year contract with Pick ‘n Pay to supply 100 pigs per week for just about R25 million – that’s about $2.1 million today.
With this contract, Anna applied and received loans from ABSA Bank and USAID to buy a 350 hectare farmland.
Her new farm with staff strength of 20, now holds nearly 4,000 pigs at a time and supplies roughly 100 to 120 pigs a week to retailers in South Africa.