The growth of canes is periodically affected by droughts which have a negative bearing on sugar production. The North and West sectors are more frequently affected by drought conditions.
CROP 1999 SEVERE DROUGHT
The exceptional drought during the 1999 crop year started with a deficit in rainfall as from July 1998 and lasted throughout the vegetative period up to May 1999, even in the super humid zone. The rainfall recorded was the lowest during the preceding 94 crop years, over which meteorological records exist.
Though Mauritius during the same crop year was visited by cyclone Davina, unusually very little rainfall accompanied this cyclone. The damage to cane growth early in the vegetative period considerably diminished the tolerance of cane plants to subsequent stress: several cane fields dried up and their stools were even categorised as “dead.”
The 1999 crop produced only 374,544 tonnes of sugar. This was the second lowest sugar production since the Fund was set up and represented a 47% crop reduction compared to 62% in 1960 when the island was swept by two devastating cyclones, Alix and Carol.
The Fund made a record general compensation payment of Rs2.23 billion to its insureds for the crop year 1999, an amount which is also the highest insurance payment in the history of Mauritius.