Farmer Wanted: But Could You Work On The World's Most Remote Inhabited Island?

Categories: Seeking

For those of you who are looking for adventure, what about a job in the city of Tristan da Cunha, which can only be reached by a week-long boat trip from South Africa, needs help to become more self-sufficient

Tristan da Cunha, in the South Atlantic, has a population of fewer than 300 people and its neighbours are more than 1,000 miles away

The world’s most remote inhabited island is searching for a British farmer to boost its food production and help maintain its independence.

Tristan da Cunha, which lies midway between Africa and South America, has a population of 265 people, and officials fear inhabitants aren't equipped with the necessary skills to keep it self-sufficient.

Local residents get to grips with potato farming

The island has around 1,000 acres of poor grazing land for 300 cattle and 500 sheep, and its biggest crop is potatoes. Officials are now searching for a farmer who can transform the land to harvest fruits, vegetables and other crops, to reduce its reliance on imported foodstuffs.

The advert has been listed on the jobs page of the National Farmers' Union, an organisation that represents 55,000 farmers across England and Wales. The salary has not been disclosed.

“This is the most interesting and unique opportunity that I have seen advertised on NFU Job Pages to date. I hope there is a UK farmer out there who seizes the opportunity to take on this unique challenge and bring a flavour of British farming to the world’s most remote inhabited island," said Alan Brown of the NFU.

Two lifeboats sit washed ashore amongst scrubland near to Calshot Harbour, Tristan da Cunha, in 2006  Photo: Jon Tonks

Tristan da Cunha is a British overseas territory, which is why the island is advertising for a farmer from the UK. The island's economy is made up from lobster exports, with limited revenue from tourism. The island only got itsown postcode 10 years ago.

Known by locals as Tristan, it has a north-to-south length of just seven miles and an area of 37.8 square miles.

Potential candidates will have to be content with their own company. The island is only accessible 60 days a year, limiting trips to and from the island. Even so, their nearest outside neighbours will be 1,511 miles away in South Africa and they will have to endure a six-day boat journey to get there.

But for whoever takes on the challenge, there is the promise of an island shop, a pub, cafe, dance hall, swimming pool and museum. Accommodation and transport to the island is free.


At one time Tristan was on the main trading route between Europe and the Indian Ocean  Photo: Alamy

All Tristan families are farmers, owning their own stock and tending potato patches and settlement gardens around houses built by themselves or their ancestors, according to the island's website.

The island was discovered in 1506 but remained uninhabited until it was used by US whalers in the late 1700s. The British navy stationed a garrison there during Napoleon's exile on St Helena and, when it was withdrawn, three men stayed behind and became the founders of the present settlement.

• MBE for man who represented remote Tristan da Cunha from his Birmingham bedroom

All land is communally owned, and stock numbers are strictly controlled to conserve pasture and to prevent better-off families accumulating wealth. Buying land is limited to outsiders.

Tristan da Cunha is 5337 miles from London and 1511 miles from Cape Town  Photo: Expeditions Online

This is what the advert says:

Agricultural Adviser
Full Time Permanent
Tristan da Cunha, TDCU 1ZZ, Saint Helena
Agricultural/Estate Management



Agricultural Adviser – required for Tristan da Cunha

Start date:  August 2016

Detail: Tristan da Cunha is a small isolated island in the South Atlantic and is currently seeking an Agricultural Adviser to assist with all aspects of the development of livestock and agriculture.  The island has approximately 1000 acres of poor grazing land for 300 cattle and 500 sheep.  The community produces potatoes in family run allotments, but intend to harvest fruits, vegetables and other crops to reduce its reliance on imported foodstuffs.

The successful candidate will be able to demonstrate expertise gained in the UK in the following areas:

  • AI and modern medication for livestock

  • Arable crop rotation

  • Orchard creation, management and development

  • Tending to legumes in Greenhouses - extensive experience of developing successful greenhouse operations.

  • Livestock maintenance (beef/dairy/sheep) and general animal husbandr

The individual will be expected to support, guide and train current Agriculture staff

Candidates must have proven leadership experience and experience of island life with an ability and willingness to integrate and adapt into the island’s unique community.

The Island: Tristan is one of the United Kingdom’s Overseas Territories and is the world’s remotest inhabited island. There is just one village where the population of 265 live. This is an opportunity to work in a unique community where you will have a chance to make a real and immediate difference. Visit for further information on the Island.

Terms: Attractive package available including free accommodation and travel. Salary negotiable dependant on experience and qualifications.

Duration: 2 years dependant on the shipping schedule

If interested – please send your CV and 250 word statement as to how you meet the requirements to – The Commercial Officer


 Tristan da Cunha is an Overseas Territory of the United Kingdom (UKOT). It is of volcanic origin and consists of four islands – Tristan (the main island), Nightingale and Inaccessible, which together form a group, and Gough Island which lies 200 miles to the south-east. Tristan is the only island with a permanent community: it has a population of around 260 people. It is the most remote inhabited island in the world, situated some 1750 miles south-west of Cape Town and only accessible by sea - seven days sailing away from Cape Town. A harbour allows for access to the island for approximately 60 days of the year. 

Tristan da Cunha offers expatriates opportunities for walking and occasionally visiting the nearby islands of Nightingale and Inaccessible. Of particular interest is the wildlife and it is possible to observe at very close quarters the beautiful Yellow Nosed Albatross and the Rockhopper Penguin. Fishing is a rewarding pastime both from the shore and at sea. The island people are fun loving, friendly, kind and generous and it is possible to enjoy a lively social life. In the village there is a pub, cafe, dance hall, swimming pool, museum and tourist centre. The island shop sells most essential items and there is always an abundant supply of potatoes, fish and locally produced beef and lamb. There are three television channels provided by British Forces Broadcasting Service that provide a wide variety of films, dramas, documentaries, sports and soaps as well as UK news. Although the island is very remote the telephone service is good and the internet is available.

Tristan da Cunha is internally self governing and is part of the UK Overseas Territory of St Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha. Constitutionally, executive authority rests with the Tristan Governor (resident on St Helena); in practice authority is delegated to an Administrator who is resident on Tristan and is the de facto Head of Government. The Administrator heads a locally elected Island Council, which is an advisory body on policy matters.  The Administrator and Council are supported by government departments. These include: Agriculture, Conservation, Education, Finance, Fishing, Medical, Post Office & Tourism, Public Works and Telecommunications.   

Tristan’s main resource is lobster fishing: product is exported to the US and Japanese markets, and a royalty agreement with the company that has exclusive fishing rights, generates income for Government. Tristan also earns limited income from the sale of stamps, coins and handicraft souvenirs.  Modest revenue also flows from tourism and visitor accommodation. The UK Government provides some financial support in specific areas (notably in the healthcare sector).

Tristan’s financial situation is problematic: more needs to be done to ensure Tristan can maintain its financial independence and avoid insolvency. The island would benefit from reducing its reliance on imported foodstuffs to become more self sufficient.  There is a small agricultural department but lacks any formal training in animal husbandry or agricultural development.  It would benefit from the introduction of knowledge and expertise to assist in increasing the production of fruit and vegetables and the development of livestock on the island.

via Telegraph


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