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sugar thriving industrySugar is one of the most commonly used commodities in the world, with countries with suitable climates located in the tropics, some of the largest producers of it. The history of this particular island in the tropics has been bound with the epic story of sugar for 300 years. Yet over 1000 years ago, sugar was already well known to the Indians and Chinese. As a valuable commodity, sugar travelled from the Far and Middle East to the gates of the Mediterranean, transported by Greek and Arab conquerors and introduced to the West by the Crusaders and sold for the price of gold by Venetian merchants in the 19th century.

Under British occupation, the sugar industry thrived in Mauritius. The first governor, Robert Townsend Farquhar, brought about rapid social and economic change. Slavery was abolished on 1 February 1835 and the planters were compensated in the amount of two million pounds sterling for the loss of their slaves who had been imported from Africa and Madagascar during the period of French occupation. Sugar plantations increased, more sugar factories were built and were made more efficient with the introduction of new technology, as competition grew. Preferential prices for sugar exports to Britain were negotiated and sugar became a very important commodity.