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Extract of Sugarcane in machineIn the year 1638, the Dutch introduced sugar cane to Mauritius from Java in Indonesia, a move that would change the island’s destiny forever. However, the Dutch only used sugar cane to produce rum until their departure in 1710. It was under the French from 1715 onwards that sugar cane was cultivated in order to produce sugar. Today, after more than 300 years, sugar is still produced in Mauritius and accounts for 40% of all exports. However there are concerns for the future of the sugar industry following the lifting of EU quotas on domestic sugar production in late 2017 meaning that prices will come down and Mauritius will have to compete on the open market, but steps have been taken to diversify the sugar industry, including refining sugar for direct consumption and the production of speciality sugars, as well as energy production.