The share of agriculture in the economy of Mauritius is gradually decreasing due to the active development of industry and services. Today, agriculture accounts for 3.4% of GDP and 5.1% of the employed population.

Low rates of urbanization, not typical for most developing countries, are a consequence of the high transport accessibility of financial centers due to the small area of the country and the availability of the necessary infrastructure, which explains the discrepancy between the share of the rural population and the contribution of the agricultural sector to the GDP and employment structure of Mauritius.

Most of the fertile lands of Mauritius are used for the cultivation of sugar cane. As a result, the country is a net importer of food products, since the production of other crops is not enough to meet domestic demand. In 2022, the volume of sugar cane grown amounted to 2,256.6 thousand tons, which is 15.5% less than in 2021. The production of this crop is gradually decreasing, as with the development of other sectors of the economy, including tourism and other infrastructure, the sugar industry is facing competition, and the acreage is becoming smaller. On average, in 2018-2022, the volume of grown products decreased by 8.0% per year.

In addition to sugar cane, Mauritius also grows vegetables, root crops and tubers. Most of this type of product is potatoes, the production of which in 2022 amounted to 14.5 thousand tons, which is 12.4% more than in 2021. Also, 7.6 thousand tons of onions and 7.4 thousand tons of tomatoes were grown in Mauritius. In the category of fruits and vegetables, the most common crops are pumpkins and zucchini, the production of which in 2022 amounted to about 22.5 thousand tons, as well as bananas (9.8 thousand tons) and pineapples (5.6 thousand tons).

The livestock sector of Mauritius is mainly represented by meat production. At the same time, most of the products produced fall on poultry farming — about 95% of meat production is poultry meat. In 2022, 55.7 thousand tons of poultry meat were produced, which is 13.4% more than in 2021. The remaining part falls on beef, pork and lamb. Dairy cattle breeding is poorly developed in the country. In 2022, the volume of production amounted to only 1 thousand tons, while the indicator has been steadily decreasing over the past decades.

The production of fish and seafood in Mauritius in 2022 amounted to 33.3 thousand tons, which is 15.6% more than in 2021. Aquaculture in the country is at the initial stage of development, most of the production is provided by catch.

Import of agricultural products

The country is a net importer of food. By the end of 2022, Mauritius imported agricultural products worth 1.43 billion US dollars, which is 26.6% higher than the level of 2021. For 2018-2022, the volume of imports of agricultural products of the country grew annually by an average of 4.2%.

In the structure of imports of agricultural products to Mauritius in value terms in 2022, the largest share fell on frozen fish (14.5%). The top 3 imported products also included milk powder (5.1%) and cigars and cigarettes (4.9%). In total, the top 10 goods accounted for 50.0% of imports of agricultural products to Mauritius.

In 2022, the most significant increase compared to 2021 was noticed in the supply of milk powder (+ 34.7% or +18.7 million US dollars), corn (+63.9% or +17.4 million US dollars), rice (+35.3% or +16.2 million US dollars) and frozen fish (+11.8% or USD 22.0 million).

In 2022, the main suppliers of agricultural products to Mauritius were France (10.0% of value imports), South Africa (9.9%), India (8.5%), Argentina (7.2%) and Australia (7.0%). In total, the top 10 countries accounted for 65.0% of the value of imports of agricultural products.

Exports of agricultural products from Australia (by 2 times or +49.9 million US dollars), Argentina (+53.1% or +35.6 million US dollars) and India (+38.3% or +45.8 million US dollars) increased most significantly in 2021-2022. Australia started supplying wheat ($31.5 million in 2022). Argentina increased supplies of corn (+64.1% or +17.4 million US dollars), soybean oil (+38.3% or +7.4 million US dollars) and soybean cake and meal (+50.3% or +5.5 million US dollars. USA). India has increased the supply of beet and cane sugar (by 24.7 times or +18.7 million US dollars).

Export of agricultural products

In 2022, the export of agricultural products from Mauritius amounted to 708.9 million US dollars, an increase of 15.4% relative to the level of 2021. For 2018-2022, the country's exports decreased annually by an average of 1.5%.

Canned fish (36.2%) and beet and cane sugar (27.7%) formed the basis of exports of agricultural products of Mauritius in 2022 — the two categories accounted for 63.9% of exports of agricultural products of Mauritius. In total, the top 10 products accounted for 91.4% of the country's exports in value.

Exports of animal feed products increased most significantly in 2022 (+87.3% or +9.8 million US dollars), frozen fish (+28.2 or +13.2 million US dollars), beet and cane sugar (+16.7% or +28.1 million US dollars) and canned fish products (+13.9% or +31.3 million US dollars).

The main importers of agricultural products from Mauritius in 2022 included: Spain (16.6% ), the United Kingdom (13.2%), the United States (8.4%), Kenya (7.5%) and the Netherlands (7.2%). In total, the ten largest importers accounted for 76.6% of the country's exports.

Relative to 2021, Spain (+59.5% or +44.0 million US dollars), Madagascar (2.3 times or +21.9 million US dollars) and the United Kingdom (+24.9% or +18.7 million US dollars) demonstrated the most significant increase in the volume of purchases of agricultural products from Mauritius.

Mauritius increased exports to Spain of products and canned fish by 2.2 times (+37.8 million US dollars) and frozen fish by 2.4 times (+7.6 million US dollars). Madagascar has increased purchases of animal feed products (by 2.2 times or +7.4 million US dollars) and sugar beet and cane (by 4.9 times or +9.2 million US dollars). The UK imported more products and canned fish (+27.4% or +15.3 million US dollars).

At the same time, Italy's imports decreased significantly (-25.2% or -16.2 million US dollars), the main reason was a decrease in purchases of canned fish (-39.2% or -16.9 million US dollars).