Mauritius - Country Commercial Guide
Agricultural Sectors
Last published date:


Mauritius is a net food importer, with an overall self-sufficiency ratio of 25 percent.  Due to its limited size, the absence of economies of scale, and the comparative advantage of sugarcane in economic terms, Mauritius imports many of its essential food requirements.  In 2021, agricultural imports accounted for $1 billion, representing 19.9 percent of total Mauritian imports.  France was the leading source of Mauritian agricultural imports with a market share of 13.4 percent, followed by South Africa (10.0 percent), India (8.2 percent), Seychelles (6.3 percent), and New Zealand (5.7 percent).  Products imported included rice, meat and fish, certain fruits (oranges, mandarins, and grapes), pulses (grain legumes), milk and dairy products, fresh and frozen vegetables, coffee, tea, and spices, cereals, oil, beverages, wheat, and food preparations.  In 2021, Mauritius also imported items to produce animal feed, such as corn, oil cake, and solid residues from soybean oil extraction, mostly from Argentina.  Due to the current disruptions in the global agricultural supply chain, Mauritian importers are looking for alternative suppliers for several agricultural products and inputs, including edible oil, wheat, fertilizers, and corn for animal feed.

The government planned to reduce the dependency on imported food by promoting local crops and inputs, agro-processing, and smart agriculture.  In the 2022-2023 budget, the finance minister announced funding for an agro-processing park and a fruit processing cluster.  Several incentives were also announced to boost local production of fruits, vegetables, honey, and seeds.  These include a grant of 50 percent of costs up to a maximum of $11,000 for seed producers, leasing facilities of up to $556,000 at an annual interest rate of 3.5 percent, and an 8-year income tax holiday for planters engaged in sustainable agricultural practices among others.  A major issue in Mauritius is the excessive use of pesticides by farmers.  Over the past five years, the government has been supporting planters in a bid to promote Good Agricultural Practices and organic farming.




2021 (provisional)

2022 estimated

Total Local Production





Total Exports





Total Imports





Imports from the US





Total Market Size





Exchange Rates





(Total market size = (total local production + imports) - exports)
Units: $ thousands
Source: i) Bank of Mauritius, ii) Statistics Mauritius, iii) Embassy Estimates

Leading Sub-Sectors

  • Leading sub-sectors include:
  • Wheat
  • Crude edible oil
  • Corn and soybean residue for animal feed
  • Processed foods and inputs for organic farming
  • Agricultural processing technologies



In 2021, Mauritius imported 162,656 metric tons of unmilled and other wheat valued at $54 million from France (81 percent) and Germany (19 percent).  Mauritius imported 50,000 metric tons of wheat from the United States for the first time in 2007-2008 due to a poor crop in its traditional markets.  There may be future opportunities here, but U.S. exporters would need to compete with French and German wheat, particularly in terms of quality, price, and freight availability.  Les Moulins de la Concorde, the only flour mill in Mauritius, has expressed interest in U.S. wheat, particularly the Hard Red Spring and Hard White varieties.

Crude Edible Oil

Mauritius imports 100 percent of its edible oil requirements, traditionally from Argentina.  In 2021, Mauritius imported 32,766 metric tons of crude soybean oil, crude sunflower oil, and palm olein, worth $35 million.  Of this, crude soybean oil accounted for 76 percent, sunflower oil comprised 19 percent, and palm olein amounted to 5 percent.  There are two refineries for edible oil operating in Mauritius, which supply 90 percent of the market with refined edible oil.  The remaining 10 percent is supplied by importers of refined edible oil and sold directly to supermarkets.  The local refineries negotiate their purchase with large producers such as COFCO and Dreyfuss on a cash-against-documents basis.  To get a share of this market, U.S. suppliers must compete with Argentina and Southeast Asian countries, such as Malaysia and Indonesia, on price and freight availability.

Corn/Soybean Residue for Animal Feed

In 2021, Mauritius imported 96,805 metric tons of corn and 50,113 metric tons of oil cake and other solid residues resulting from the extraction of soybean oil as inputs for its livestock feed factories.  The total grain requirement, valued at $51 million, is imported mainly from Argentina and Paraguay.  The two animal feed factories in Mauritius have indicated that they would consider imports from the United States if they were competitive in terms of freight and price.  U.S. trade associations, such as the U.S. Grain Council, would need to undertake long-term market development efforts with the local animal feed manufacturers.

Processed Foods and Inputs for Organic Farming

Food habits of Mauritians have been changing over the past few years, with consumers placing more emphasis on quality and food safety.  Supermarkets are offering an expanding range of organic products and convenience foods.    Furthermore, concerns about pesticides are driving consumers to buy branded bio products.  This has led to a sharp increase in imports of processed foods.  There are thus opportunities for more U.S. processed food products to enter the market if they can compete with imports from South Africa, China, Malaysia, and Europe.  Prospects also exist for procurement of organic farming inputs, given the incentives offered by the Mauritian government to promote bio farming.

Agricultural Processing Technologies

As an upper-middle income economy looking to move into hi-tech and value-added activities, Mauritius has potential to tap into opportunities offered by agricultural processing technologies.  The government is focused on revamping the agricultural and manufacturing sectors and has identified specialty processed foods and superfoods as potential areas for export growth.  U.S. companies that manufacture agricultural equipment could find a market for their products and benefit from incentives like the investment tax credit of 15 percent over three years for investment in high-tech machinery.


Ministry of Agro-Industry and Food Security

Economic Development Board – Agro-Industry