Papaya may pay as island tries to beat fruit fly pest

Growing fruits such as mango and papaya could be encouraged on St Helena because they can stand up to the fruit flies that plague the island.

The Growing Forward food report says fruit production should not be a priority alongside meat and vegetables, but there would be support for growing bananas and other pest-resistant products where it makes more sense than importing.

“The biggest challenge to establishing other local fruits relate to the prevalence of the fruit fly, which has increased significantly and proven difficult to control.

“Over the next three years fruit production will not be afforded the same priority as proposed for vegetable, meat and specialist production.

However, support will be targeted to larger-scale private sector initiatives, improving the competitive advantage we enjoy for banana production.”

The report also says there could be help for “encouraging seasonal fruits that we know thrive well against the backdrop of fruit fly prevalence.

“These species include avocado, pineapple, papaya and mango.”

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