Reference Date: 03-June-2015
FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT
Food production declines in 2014
Inflation eases at start of 2015
About 40 percent of the Mauritius’ Island surface is being used for cultivation, of which roughly 90 percent is sugar cane, the balance being tea, tobacco and few food crops.
Decrease in 2014 food production
Domestic food production in 2014, mainly vegetables and fruits, decreased by about 6 percent, despite a minor increase in the area planted. The production decline largely reflects unfavourable climatic conditions, with significant decreases in the outputs of onions (‑24 percent) and pineapples (‑32 percent). However, rice production, produced in relatively small amounts, increased by 84 percent to 1 186 tonnes.
Production of sugar cane, a significant export earner, rose by 6 percent in 2014, as higher yields more than offset a decrease in the area harvested. Historically, sugar cane cultivation was the main agricultural activity in Mauritius. Following a cut in the European Union's guaranteed sugar price (leading to a fall in sugar prices by 36 percent between 2005 and 2009), falling production levels and the global food price crisis, the Ministry of Agro-Industry and Food Security emphasized the need to diversify the agricultural sector.
Fruit production consists mainly of banana, pineapple, litchi and mango which meets just under 50 percent of the country's requirements. Livestock production produces about 5 percent of the requirements in meat and 2 percent in milk. The Government is working towards making the dairy sector more technological, upgrading small regional cow breeding cooperatives and attracting investment in animal feed production.
Inflation rate declines at start of 2015
The Consumer Price Index (CPI) eased during the first four months of 2015, declining by 1 percent between March and April. In April, the year-on-year rate stood at 2.2 percent, compared to 4 percent a year earlier. Relying on imports for about 70 percent of the country's food requirements, Mauritius is particularly vulnerable to rising global food prices. Since the 2008 global food price crisis, the Government has been pushing the agriculture sector to boost food production to increase the country's self-sufficiency. A reasonable level of success has already been achieved, with farmers producing almost 100 percent of the country's needs in fresh vegetables, 60 percent in potatoes and about one-third in onions.