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Vegetable crops in Mayotte




Agriculture is directly linked to the climate in which it thrives and must adapt to it. The climate of Mayotte is of the humid tropical type with variations according to altitude. It is also under the oceanic, maritime influence.


Two major seasons are noticeable

  • “Kashkazi” (December to March) is the hot and rainy season with north/northwest monsoon winds;
  • The “kusi” (June to September) is the more temperate dry season with South/South-West winds, the trade winds.
  • The two intermediate and transitional seasons are “Myombeni” from April to May and “Matulahi” from October to November. Annual rainfall is around 1500 mm on average on the island: 1700 mm on Combani against 1000 mm in M'Tsamoudou. Annual and daily temperature variations are small. Average maximums are 32°C and minimums 21°C at night. Due to the latitude of the island, the lengths of days vary little during the year.


Vegetable crops thrive on the island's different major soil types

  • Ferralitic soils (red): old, deep, acid soils, made up of clay, low in potash and organic matter. These soils are found in particular on the plateaus of Combani, Bandrélé or Coconi. They are the subject of market gardening activities.
  • Brown soils are relatively rich in mineral elements and organic matter, but being steeply sloping, they are not recommended for market gardening.
  • Alluvial and colluvial embankment soils are found on all the coastal plains and valley bottoms. They are rich in organic matter and mineral elements. They are conducive to market gardening and the flat topography of their location makes them an additional asset.
  • Finally, the soils of Petite-Terre are soils resulting from more recent volcanism, they are little affected by market gardening.

Market gardening has been developing rapidly for several years in the territory. The vegetable surfaces occupied 43 ha in 2004 against 133 ha during the last census of 2010 and this, excluding pumpkin, taro, sweet potato or maize crops with which we would reach more than 700 ha! Protected crops are not to be outdone with 3.8 ha in 2013, i.e. an area tripled compared to 2005!


Relatively diverse cultures

  • Two types can be distinguished: species from hot regions well adapted to the climate (brèdes in general - mafane, nightshade -, certain cucurbitaceae - Dodoki, M'tango -, pepper, sweet potato, taro, aubergine, etc.) and d other species from temperate regions (tomato, lettuce, cucumber, bean or pepper). The latter are more often favored by producers for their commercial added value despite the certain interest of brèdes and other traditional vegetables.


A highly seasonal vegetable production from Mayotte

This situation is linked to the edaphoclimatic and topographic conditions of the island. Most of it is concentrated in the dry season, this activity is carried out in open field crops (covered or in the open air). In the rainy season, high temperatures, the small difference between day and night, the volume and intensity of precipitation, high air humidity, frequent cloud cover, the pressure of diseases and more important bio-aggressors are all constraining and penalizing factors for vegetable production.

The conditions of Mayotte and low-lying tropical areas also make it impossible or extremely difficult to produce certain vegetables that require significant cold or coolness to grow: artichokes, asparagus, strawberries, endive and Brussels sprouts.

The largest production basins are concentrated in the "high" areas of the island where the temperatures are more favourable. Low-altitude areas are also cultivated, but the conditions there are less favorable to certain crops due to the heat. Vegetable farms are also concentrated near water resources (rivers and hill reservoirs), the number of which is quite limited on the island. Although the market gardening sector is in full structuring and professionalization, it suffers from a glaring lack of infrastructure (hydraulics, roads, electrification), societal constraints, access to land for young people and existing but insufficient supervision. Agriculture and market gardening in particular constitute a real wealth for Mayotte and have a high potential which remains to be explored.


Significant land pressure and a particular social context that favor the development of vegetable crops

The population in Mayotte is growing, which generates significant land pressure and a reduction in arable land due to urbanization and the fragmentation of land which is often transmitted by joint ownership to descendants of the same family. In addition, part of the population practices agriculture informally on land they do not own. This poor visibility of farmers regarding land leads them to turn to cash crops such as vegetables, which are quickly recoverable on small surfaces. The forthcoming arrival of an observatory of agricultural plots, in connection with the public land establishment of Mayotte, should lift the veil on the surfaces that can be mobilized. In the medium term, this will improve land prospects for the many professionals on the island.


A sector in the process of professionalization and structuring

The market gardening sector is being professionalized in Mayotte. A growing number of "formal" producers are setting up and investing in the construction of shelters and equipment to produce more and better, particularly in the off-season (rainy season). Some of these farmers engage in direct sales marketing channels or cooperate within professional agricultural organizations (cooperatives, etc.) for sales in supermarkets.

Last change : 07/07/22
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