Two examples in today’s newspaper inspire confidence in the island’s ability to grow more of its own food. That is important to become less dependent, keep the cost-of-living down and adopt healthier eating habits.
The Farm4You aquaponics project at Agrement requires less land and water than traditional soil planting. The facility is powered by solar energy, while tilapia naturally add nutrients to the water that the crops grow on and filter so it can be pumped back into the fish tank for a sustainable cycle.
In addition to a greenhouse where mint and basil are cultivated, the second one with four types of lettuce produces 1,900 heads per week and a planned expansion would increase this to 7,000. That probably can’t cover the entire demand of both residents and visitors, but it’s nevertheless an impressive number.
The other example is Cecil Christopher, who sells produce from his garden on Marigot Hill Road in St. Peters under an umbrella every Saturday along W.J.A. Nisbeth Road. Although this is obviously farming on a smaller scale, just imagine 100 similar initiatives and the significant impact of their combined efforts.
Mention was made of possible support with public funding in both cases, be it of a different magnitude. In general, lots of subsidy goes to all kinds of foundations and other non-government organisations on either side of the open border nowadays and applying a larger part of taxpayers’ money for promoting agriculture but also responsible fishing and livestock breeding certainly seems in order.
Those to whom this feels old-fashioned and like going back too much in time should think again. Quite the contrary, it is very quickly proving the way of the future.