When other ladies of her age prefer air-conditioned offices with resultant corporate attire, Nonny Wright has chosen farming overalls and is accustomed to cow dung smell. Hers is refreshing story of a woman who is determined to succeed in a difficult agriculture sector where even men fail. She already has a yoghurt brand to her name. KEITEBE KGOSIKEBATHO reports
At just 27, Nonny Penelope Wright is already taking head on the national crises that is food insecurity by opting for the not so glamorous trade of farming. Wright explains that she grew up in a farming family and as a result did not really have a tough time deciding whether or not to venture into it. “Both of my parents were farmers, so the passion is not really misplaced,” she says. According to Wright, despite its challenges farming it’s a rewarding vocation with tangible results when done right. Wright is an integrated farmer; she rears sheep and chicken and also ploughs lab lab, maize and sunflower. The yields from the crops, according to Wright, are also used as feeds for her livestock. Her other venture, she says, is dairy farming through which she produces a delicious drinking yoghurt called Sereledi. She has two farms; one in Polokabatho and one in Chanoga, which are situated a few kilometres outside the tourism town of Maun. According to Wright, her sheep and chicken farming projects are still small and intends to develop them with time to a point where she can supply nationwide or even export. As it is, she only supplies Maun businesses and hotels with lamb and chicken meat.
Local dairy production is yet to grow to the level where it can meet national demand. In fact Wright is one of the only two dairy farmers in Maun region. She currently produces yoghurt called Sereledi from the milk she produces in her dairy farm. Sereledi is currently supplied to businesses in Maun and Gumare. She also supplies other businesses in Maun with milk. It has not been an easy sail through for Wright though as she had to be funded by her parents to start up her farming enterprises. Funding from elsewhere, according to the young farmer, is not as forth coming as one would expect. “I have applied for the Youth Development Fund loan, and even now I am still waiting for their response,” she says. The only thing that is keeping her going, she says, is the support from her family and her deep rooted passion for farming. She in fact warns other people that for one to venture into farming and emerge with a successful story they need to be passionate and patient as a lot of things could go wrong. That is why she encourages all those who want to venture into farming to first research about what they want to do and then start small. “It is vital to know the ins and outs of the industry,” Wright said. The 27-year-old holds a Bachelor of Commerce Degree from University of South Africa (UNISA).