ASUNCION, Paraguay – Paraguayan yerba mate producers say Uruguay's president is thirsty for more of the traditional tea for his country and is asking them to fill the need at a lower price.
The farmers say President Jose Mujica, a regular mate drinker, met with them during a recent visit and complained about the high prices that other regional countries charge for the commodity.
Farmer Nestor Goralewski said Thursday that Mujica told them the $10 that Brazil charges for about 2 pounds (1 kilogram) of the herb makes it too expensive for most Uruguayans. The same amount is sold in Paraguay for half the price.
Local growers say they have more than enough mate to satisfy Paraguayans and can increase exports to Uruguay.