This report finds that the decline in the tea sector in Mauritius is the result of uncoordinated institutional actions, the absence of comprehensive policy and national strategies, weak legislation and regulatory framework. The decline can be attributed to the low level of technology adoption, lack of organizational innovation in the business model, lack of action plans and strategies to navigate the declining global price of tea, rising costs of production, the continued pressure caused by the ageing tea growers and labour shortage. The over-dependency on government programmes and support for the development of the sector in the early days is also one of the causes.
The tea sector is currently facing unprecedented and unpredictable challenges for improving productivity, reducing the high costs of production, addressing the ageing of tea growers, shortage of labour and improving the quality of tea. A programmatic and innovative approach that includes a systems-based policy, legislation, and regulatory framework should be the guiding principle for reviving the sector. The proposed business model aims to make optimal use of innovation and digital solutions.
In sum, the proposed novel dimension could make an important contribution to carving a niche for Mauritian tea in the competitive global tea markets. Strong government engagement is a pre-requisite for its revival, given the fact that the internal market is satiated, and production is threatened. A holistic approach, from bush to cup is key to a successful transformation of the tea industry.