In this drawn-to-scale chart, B is the fraction of Mauritius under sugar cane. A is the rest of our island. The corresponding squares in the lower half of the diagram are the contributions of these sectors to our economy: sugar is expected to account for only 1.4% of GDP in 2012.
And S which is barely greater than what we have under sugar cane is Singapore. I’ve put a question mark there to represent its off the charts economy – roughly twice the size of our passport.
Clearly there is way too much land under sugar cane. We could start by following Lalit’s advice of bizin plant manze lor later tablisman. This will make us more resilient because it will ease pressure off our trade relationship ( with the rest of the world and improve food security at the same time. And having more of A and less of B will significantly boost the rate at which decent jobs are created in Mauritius. Without the galloping inflation bean-counters are so fond of delivering.
We should also restore progressiveness in our tax laws so that the claim that our PM is a socialist starts to ring true. And to put our fiscal house back on a sustainable path ( Finally if we replace sugar cane with trees on a sufficient scale this could help us secure some extraordinary bragging rights: having the world’s best air quality. Which will provide Mauritius with a killer tagline: Go Ahead, Take a Deep Breath!