Lonely Planet Writer

Fancy a new job? World's most remote inhabited island seeks farm adviser

A dream job has come up for the farmer who wants to get away from it all – as an agricultural adviser on the world’s remotest inhabited island.

Cow grazing on the world's remotest inhabited island, Tristan da Cunha. Image by: NFU/PA Wire.
Cow grazing on the world’s remotest inhabited island, Tristan da Cunha. Image by: NFU/PA Wire.

The government of Tristan da Cunha, a UK Overseas Territory in the South Atlantic, is advertising for an adviser with farming experience in the UK to help develop livestock and agriculture.

There is just one village – Edinburgh of the Seven Seas – on the wildlife-rich volcanic island, home to 265 people who are keen to cut down their dependence on imported food.

The job advert on the National Farmers’ Union website says: “The island has approximately 1000 acres of poor grazing land for 300 cattle and 500 sheep.

Enclosures on Tristan da Cunha. Image by: NFU/PA Wire.
Enclosures on Tristan da Cunha. Image by: NFU/PA Wire.

“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 applicant should be able to demonstrate expertise gained in the UK in areas including modern medication for livestock, arable crop rotation, creating and managing orchards, developing operations for growing legumes in greenhouses, and maintaining sheep and beef and dairy herds.

Sheep-shearing on Tristan da Cunha. Image by: NFU/PA Wire.
Sheep-shearing on Tristan da Cunha. Image by: NFU/PA Wire.

The island’s economy is based on subsistence farming and fishing, with an income from royalties from commercial lobster fishing, selling of postage stamps and coins and some tourism.

It is not without amenities. The government website describes the island as “far from the madding crowd”, but the village boasts facilities including a school, churches, supermarket, pub, cafe, hospital, museum and tourist centre.

It even has a golf course, although players are warned it doubles up as cattle pasture, has buildings for the scientific monitoring station and is strewn with volcanic rocks.

The territory is looking for someone who will train current agricultural staff, has experience of island life and who will fit into the island’s unique community.

Alan Brown, head of jobs.nfuonline.com, said: “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.

“It is important for the NFU that we provide a broad spectrum of employment opportunities and promote farming and agriculture as a career which is vital in keeping the industry moving forward.

“But that said, with 30 years of advertising and recruitment, even I was surprised by this one!”

The job, which comes with free accommodation and travel and a salary dependent on experience, would be for two years – subject to the shipping schedule, which this year will see just nine trips to Tristan da Cunha from South Africa.

(Press Association)