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 […]

Reap as you sow: why more money is needed for farming

New investment is needed for farming on St Helena after decades of under-funding, says the Growing Forward paper on island farming. It says people have been discouraged from getting involved in agriculture because of a poor business environment – made worse by limited financial help. Now the industry needs a “rake-over” to improve its image […]

Food is the key to island life – and tackling its health crisis

A new body to promote food and healthy eating on St Helena is proposed in the island’s draft agriculture policy – even though it says food is already at the heart of island life. And it says the new organisation could “make a significant contribution” to tackling hypertension by encouraging healthy eating. The island has […]

Small-scale growers ‘have a role’ as farming goes pro

Farming on St Helena needs to get bigger, better and more business-like, says the island’s draft agricultural policy. But the document also recognises the role of small-scale producers – and their place in island life.  “Agricultural enterprise on a commercial basis is practically absent,” says the Growing Forward document. “The efficient management of resources, mechanisation, professional […]

After the dry spell, paper warns of climate swings

Sharp changes in St Helena’s climate are having an increasing impact on food crops on the island. The draft agriculture paper, Growing Forward, warns that swings in the weather could have several effects. They include: lower soil fertility more soil erosion a rise in some pests and diseases decline in wildlife habitat poorer water quality The […]

Old ways pose risk to island food plan

Stuck-in-the-mud growers have been cited as the main threat to plans for St Helena to produce more of its own food. “Inertia” and delay in changing ways of working are identified as a high risk to the island’s draft Growing Forward strategy – with a high potential impact. The paper says strong leadership is needed […]

Back to the land? School campaign promotes traditional jobs

A campaign is being launched to make traditional work such as fishing and farming more attractive to young people on St Helena. The Traditional Industries Campaign is to be tied in with teaching at Prince Andrew School. At the same time, a new policy to modernise apprenticeships is being developed by Enterprise St Helena (ESH). The campaign was prompted by […]

Falklands’ flying piglets land in wrong country

Five piglets that were being flown to the Falklands to refresh the island’s pig gene pool found themselves landing in Chile instead. Their flight was diverted because of snow, reports BBC News online. The Falkland Islands vet, Zoe Luxton, flew from the UK with the “very laid-back” piglets. Flight company director Jon Jeffery said: “They […]

Civil service versus the can-do culture: a governor’s view

In the third extract of an address to the Friends of St Helena, former governor Andrew Gurr reflects on the island’s emerging private sector, optimism and – just briefly – education. Read part one of his recollections here, and find part two here. On the private sector You have the private-versus-public tension, which is always […]

Roddy brings an end to egg imports (with 525 little helpers)

When he lived in the UK, Roddy Yon would feed his few hens and dream of returning home to start his own poultry farm. After 25 years away, he walked into the offices of the St Helena Development Agency with a business plan, and came out with a grant to help him buy 250 chickens. Now, […]