Mauritius Island, a tropical paradise
In an exotic environment of flamboyant and coconut trees, the scenic mountain peaks of the small land seem to stand out from a distant bluish horizon. This small land, which is now known as Mauritius, was named in 1598 by the Dutch, Maurice de Nassau, a stadtholder of Holland.
History of Mauritius
It is part of the Mascarene archipelago which was discovered by the Portugal navigator, Pedro Mascarenhas, in the early 15th century. However, it is proven that the Arabs already knew long before the existence of the islands chain. It was featured on a map of Cantino published in 1502, and was named Dina Robin.
Mauritius was highly prized and coveted by navigators. This is because of its welcoming ports and its lagoon which protects it from Indian Ocean storms. The island is a key route to the Indies and provided food and shelter to all merchant ships sailing the ocean. It became a British colony in 1810 and remained so until it gets its independence in 1968.
Mauritius and sugar, a great love story
Sugar cane farming in Mauritius began around 1638. The Dutch, who settled in Java and who were concerned about spice trade, sent a contingent there to exploit the natural resources and especially to prevent the British and the French from settling on the island
Their main settlement was named Grand Port around Fort Frederik Hendrik. They introduced sugar cane but had to abandon the island in 1710.
Thereafter, the French, Dufresne d’Arsel, reached the island in 1715, took possession of it and named it « Ile De France ». The first inhabitants faced difficulties in developing the island. They were struggling with famines, bad weathers, communication issues. As if that was not enough, the colony also had to fight the locusts and rats that were destroying the crops. Nevertheless, the island was ultimately covered with a beautiful light green colour, as sugar cane fields covered a large part of its land.
A land as generous as its sugar
The sun helped by sea winds blowing over this ‘pebble’ in the middle of the Indian Ocean, offers us this treasure: the whole cane sugar that ILANGA NATURE wants you to discover today.