Tea in Mauritius: an industry with potential.

by Samuel  Bathilde and Anoushka Bhugaloo

(submitted as part of assignment for the module Digital Journalism)

02e254f8-0e03-47a7-8731-6fab1176f2e3 5e3f69de-c504-4908-81e4-6e6dd5ed3b59 c70c0877-1019-4992-9c6a-666429f8bc5d


Despite what many articles in Mauritius claim, the tea industry is not disappearing. Even though it is true we had a drastic cut from 1995 to 2000 in the amount of land covered by tea plantations, as from 2000 to 2015, the figures show that land cultivation under tea has been rather stable. Moreover, with the prices steadily rising, this remains a profitable sector for the country and a legacy for future generations.


The same applies to tea green leaf production even though we note a peak in 2010 at 7400 tonnes.


However, revenue from tea keeps increasing which shows a tendency in increase in pricing. Thus, with the re-opening of the Dubreuil factory as per the 2016/2017 budget, this revenue is still likely to thrive. Also, the 200 million rupees invested by the Chinese and the company KuanFu Tea which is going to manage the ex-Dubreuil factory seem to herald a new boost in the sector.


“The tea plants are too old and we need new varieties”


The tea plant (Camellia Sinensis) which is being used in Mauritius, has been introduced by Father Galloys more than 250 years ago. Mr Ramahotar, the Director of NAPRO, Mr Yannick Lenferna, Factory Director at Bois Cheri and a source from Kuanfu,  remarked that production is adversely affected by the age of the plants and they are waiting for the arrival of new tea varieties which will boost the tea production. Kuanfu Tea have already proposed the introduction of Oolong tea and will be producing both green and black tea.

“Not enough local workers for tea industry but there is the possibility of importing foreign labour  force”

NAPRO, Bois Cheri Tea Factory and Kuanfu Tea all deplored the lack of local labour force when it comes to tea cultivation. While they all agree that the local labour should be prioritized,  they are nevertheless exploring the possibilities of employing foreigners due to local labour shortage for the tea industry.

“Wooton tea plantation cut down partially to build roads”

Mr H. Ramahotar from the National Agricultural Regulatory Office (NAPRO) explained that the tea plantation at Wooton will be cut down partially to build road infrastructure, a work which has already started since a few years back but this is not likely to affect the production of tea. However, many people, especially the usual pilgrims to Grand Bassin fear the younger pilgrim generations will not be able to see the comforting green tea landscape.

Wooton is indeed an important place in the tea sector. For instance, in 1948, a Tea Research Station was set up there and it is also home to the Tea Board which replaced the Tea Control Board, through the Tea Industry Control Act 1975.


This act also included metayers from private estates under the current Tea Board which had the new powers to determine the price of green leaves for the metayers(those who cultivate lands that are not their own while benefitting from tools and a proportion of the income from the landlord) . For the period 2013 to 2014, there were 879 cultivators with 291 from six cooperatives and 453 metayers which produce 7,826 of green tea leaves.





So while some minor issues and topsy-turvy exist in the industry, there is still hope for the future. Indeed, we must wait and see the direction the industry takes in the next 10 years at least to see whether this is still a viable industry.



Ile Courts 2016 sur le campus


Le festival international du court métrage Ile Courts est de retour sur le campus de Réduit avec plein de projections, des débats, des ateliers professionnels et une session d’information sur l’industrie du cinéma.

Voici le programme (toutes les séances sont gratuites et ouvertes au public au Lecture Theatre 2)

Mardi 11 octobre 

12h30: Lancement de l’accord de coopération Université de Maurice/Porteurs d’Images pour 3 ans. Projection de documentaires engagés sur la sécurité alimentaire, les énergies renouvelables et le changement social. Débats sur les thématiques des documentaires.


15h: Shakespeare Animation


Mercredi 12 octobre 
12h30: L’amour à la française


15h: Courts Bouillon


Jeudi 13 octobre
12h30: Focus Afrique


15h: Rainbow et Belles. Débat sur les thématiques liées aux LGBT.


Vendredi 14 octobre
12h30: Une vague de folie


15h: Focus Mozambique


Samedi 15 octobre
10h-12h: Session d’information sur les métiers du cinéma
Pour plus d’information sur les projections, voir: http://www.porteursdimages.org/ilecourts/fr/les-projections-2016/

Public talk on data journalism


What can data do for you?
The power and practicality of data journalism: Inspiring examples from everyday basic news reporting all the way to interactive news apps.

  • Date and time:Tuesday 9th August at 10 a.m.
  • Venue: University of Mauritius – ELT2
  • Entrance: free and open to all

Anina Mumm is a science communication and digital media specialist at ScienceLink, a company she co-founded to help scientists connect with the world, particularly through the use of multi-media story-telling and other innovative digital tools. Anina is also the Chairperson of SciBraai, a proudly South African NPO dedicated to science journalism, communication and outreach, and she is an active member of the South African Science Journalists’ Association.

Ms Mumm will also conduct a special workshop for Journalism Yr 3 students on Tuesday 9th August which will be aimed at producing real data stories, followed by a half-day session on Thursday 18th August to designate the best student data stories. The public talk and workshop are sponsored by Mauritius Telecom.

Black Screen – Africa Film Festival 2016 by Australian High Commission

Blackscreen_Exp_160x250During the Black Screen Africa Film Festival organised by the Australian High Commission, there will be the screening of two films at the University of Mauritius on Saturday 2nd July at 2 pm in Lecture Theatre 2:

Short film: Plains Empty – 27 mins
Dir: Beck Cole – Prod: Kath Shelper – Writ: Beck Cole
A young woman, left largely to her own devices, is drawn into uncovering hidden stories of the past.

Feature film: Jandamarra’s War – 55 mins
Dir: Mitch Torres – Prod: Eileen Torres
Jandamarra’s War is a documentary film that recreates the life of the almost mythic hero from the Bunuba Aboriginal people who led the resistance against colonial power in the Kimberley in the latter part of the 19th century.

Those who still wish to register for the workshop with film director and producer Rachel Perkins, please fill in the form below:

Workshop with Australian film director and film screening

Emailing: 2977zip_31_com.jpg First Australians

The Australian High Commission has approached us for the organisation of the “Mauritius’ first ever Australian Indigenous Film Festival” which they are planning to hold from 30th June to 3rd July.

They will hold a free workshop with renowned film director and producer Rachel Perkins on Thursday 30th June at 1 pm in the Mediacom Studio at the University of Mauritius (2nd floor of Faculty of Agriculture buidling).

During the workshop, she will share her experience as a film director and screen writer and engage in a discussion with participants.

If you are interested to join in for this workshop, please fill in the form below. Seats will be booked on a first come, first served basis. Feel free to share this information as widely as possible.

There will also be a free screening of two films on Saturday 2nd July at 2 pm at the University. More to come soon.

Projection et débat autour du film Demain, César 2016

Demain-projection et debat
La projection et le débat autour du film Demain, c’est demain jeudi 23 juin à l’Auditorium Octave Wiéhé de l’Université de Maurice pour tous les jeunes et tous ceux qui sont dans le milieu éducatif!
Ce magnifique film de Cyril Dion et Mélanie Laurent, César 2016 du meilleur documentaire vous emmène à la rencontre de personnes réelles autour du monde, en France, en Inde, en Finlande, aux États-Unis, à l’Île de la Réunion.Il en lumière des initiatives positives et concrètes dans
l’agriculture, l’énergie, l’économie, la démocratie et l’éducation:

  • des potagers dans les villes (imaginez cueillir du thym devant le poste de police de votre localité!),
  • des fermes en permaculture biologique (donc, sans pesticides) ayant un rendement supérieur aux fermes traditionnelles,
  • des villes où les habitants participent aux prises de décision,
  • des écoles performantes avec des enfants heureux,
  • des villes avec leur propre monnaie locale,
  • des lieux autonomes en énergie renouvelables, etc.

La projection sera suivie d’un débat avec les panelistes suivants:
● Agnès MARDI, Coordinatrice projets – FORENA (Agriculture)
● Thierry LE BRETON, Consultant Responsabilité Sociale et Environnementale (Démocratie)
● Matthieu DISCOUR, Directeur pour Maurice, les Seychelles et la Commission de l’Océan Indien – AFD (Énergie)
● Kishen Renganaden PADAYACHI, Manager – Economic Analysis and Industry Division – MCCI (Économie)
● Sanjana BOWERS, Enseignante de Biologie et coordinatrice du projet EcoSchool (COI) au collège BPS (Éducation)

Modératrice: Christina Chan-Meetoo, Senior Lecturer & Head of Department of Social Studies

Projection de 9.30 à 11.30
Débat de 11.30 à 12.15
Un déjeuner sera servi aux jeunes.

Pour en savoir plus sur le film: https://www.demain-lefilm.com/