Developing sustainable agriculture on St.Eustatius
The aim of the paper is to elaborate how St. Eustatius can develop its agricultural sector in an environmentally sustainable way, while simultaneously improving the livelihoods of St. Eustatius’ population. For theoretical grounding, the FAO framework of Sustainable Food Value Chain (SFVC) is applied to structure the qualitative research. By conducting semi-structured interviews with stakeholders and experts and utilizing a literature review, various issues in the environmental, social and economic dimension of the island's agricultural system are revealed. Core problems are the marginal food production on St. Eustatius, little marketing and non-existent value-adding. Moreover, unhealthy food patterns, soil issues, irrigational problems, a lack of educational opportunities and governmental challenges are disclosed.
Though, dependence on food imports is exacerbated, food prices are high and the quality of fresh produce is often poor. By the further application of the SFVC, crucial points of interference in the island’s agricultural system are examined to shape a pathway towards a sustainable agricultural sector on St. Eustatius. These points are water availability, use of agricultural land, horizontal and vertical integration of actors, education on all levels, the attitude towards farming and the small local market. In the case of their implementation, synergies and spillover effects arising from those intervention points are expected that obtain the potential to renovate further issues eventually.