Yerba Mate (or Hierba Mate) is a caffeinated tea native to South America that has been used for centuries as a stimulant and health supplement. It was originally used by the indigenous Guaraní people of South America, but its use became common practice since the colonization of the Americas.
In the past years, Mate has become a popular beverage around the world. Although it’s traditionally consumed with a filter-straw (bombilla) from a small cup called a gourd, the “mainstreamization” of the tea has created an immense market. After Mate became available in tea bags, cans, energy drinks, and even supplements, it reached the public eye and became an optional replacement for caffeinated drinks such as green tea or coffee.
Production strategy is vital for developing and maintaining an effective and profitable Yerba Mate Plantation (Yerbale). Mate trees are a tropical (and subtropical) species that require soil and air humidity, high temperatures, and deep soil. But there are many other variables that affect the efficiency and sustainability of these Yerbales.
Much like coffee and avocados, early pruning practices can make or break Mate yields. Pruning guides the trees’ foliage capacity, which impacts future growth potential. Because it is a vegetative crop (as opposed to a fruiting crop), defoliation habits at harvests also impact yields in proceeding years. Soil longevity plays a vital role in the sustainability of Yerbales, as well. If proper intercropping, agroforestry, and soil management are not practiced, soils will degrade, causing harmful erosion and a lack of vital nutrients.
Luckily, Mind the Grow’s new MateMapper software solution accounts for the many variables that affect Mate production and yield. With MateMapper, Mate businesses are better equipped to perceive future trends and adopt practices that boost production and sustainability.
Yerba Mate, like all other crops, is also susceptible to the uncontrollable factors of pests and climate changes. Pests can wipe out entire fields; droughts and storms can devastate crops and inhibit production trends.
Although MateMapper cannot control these variables, it can account for their uncertainty and project this in models and simulations. MateMapper can also advise on Yerbale management practices that can reduce collateral damage if and when these factors are active.
In today’s health-trending society, Yerba Mate is a crop that has rooted its way into the market and the eyes of consumers. Due to its stimulating properties, various health benefits, and distinguished flavor, Mate will surely continue to grow. The Mate market is primed; Mind the Grow’s MateMapper will help your business compete.