Children in danger from diet and poor exercise, warns medic

Young people on St Helena are being led into the grip of some of the medical world’s biggest killers, a departing doctor has warned. Dr Ahmad Risk delivered his warning after two months as a temporary “locum” medic in Jamestown – watching parents ply their children with sugary drinks and salty food that could be […]

Food imports keep rising after years of farming failures

Policy failures have been blamed for St Helena’s growing dependence on imported foods that could be raised in its own fields. A blueprint for island farming says: “The increasing demand for imported agricultural products is the result of under-investment in St Helena’s domestic agriculture. The Growing Forward paper also cites “the low priority afforded to […]

Farming syndicates face loss of land in efficiency drive

Groups of small-scale farmers may be prevented from using government land on St Helena under proposals in the island’s draft agriculture policy, it appears. It gives farming syndicates some of the blame for poor food production on St Helena. The draft blueprint¬†says a shortage of good farming land is an issue on the island – […]

Learn to fight pests and diseases, farmers are told

Farmers don’t know enough about how to combat livestock diseases and plant pests on St Helena, according to the draft agriculture policy for the island. But it also says they are not given advice quickly enough by the government – and there often aren’t enough resources to take action anyway. To improve livestock farming, the […]

Agriculture on St Helena needs to go hi-tech, says report

New technology and innovation are needed to meet St Helena’s demand for fresh food, says the Growing Forward paper on farming. And it could take the back-breaking pain out of food production, it says – making the job more attractive to newcomers. Incentives could be offered to increase the amount of crops being grown under […]

Young hopefuls urged to take a risk on farming

Younger farmers with a dash of flair are needed to make agriculture more dynamic, says the Growing Forward report on ways to boost food production on ¬†St Helena. And they need to be willing to take risks, it says. It calls for apprenticeships and placements to allow them to learn alongside the older people who […]

Sniff out the coffee grounds… and the bees

The forgotten coffee plantations of St Helena could be brought back to life to build on the island’s reputation for producing one of the best brews in the world. The draft agriculture blueprint for the island also recommends plotting all of its beehives on a map, to find room for more honey producers. But the […]

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 […]