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Economy, agriculture and food security
In 2003 the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) was US$5.2 billion (current US$). Since achieving independence in 1968, Mauritius has had a practically continuous economic growth at an average rate of 5.2 percent/year (1992-2002). In 2003, agriculture accounted for 6 percent of the GDP. Sugar is the main crop and constitutes the principal agricultural commodity, with an annual production in 2003 of 5.2 million tonnes. Many planters with access to irrigation have diversified from sugar cane to food crops and vegetables, due to the expanded demand from tourism. Basic foodstuffs such as rice, flour and cereals are imported as the cultivation of such commodities is not economically viable in Mauritius.
About 56 000 people or 10 percent of the economically active population work in agriculture, of which 23 percent are women and 77 percent men. About 0.1 percent of adults are estimated to be infected with HIV/AIDS.