The dried leaves and smaller twigs of mate (Paraguayan tea-hlex paraguayensis) are exported to the southern Spanish American republics, where (as in Rio Grande do Sul) the beverage is exceedingly popular.
Though the discord resulting between the states on account of this failure was subsequently allayed for a time by a treaty granting to Brazil the right to navigate the river, every obstacle was thrown in the way by the Paraguayan government, and indignities of all kinds were offered not only to Brazil but to the representatives of the Argentine and the United States.
The principal industries are the cultivation and preparation of yerba mate (Paraguayan tea), cattle-farming, fruitgrowing, tobacco-planting and timber-cutting.
Paraguayan tea is used in place of the ordinary tea or coffee in many parts of South America.
The staple diet of the Paraguayans is still, as when the Spaniards first came, maize and mandioca (the chief ingredient in the excellent chipa or, Paraguayan bread), varied, it may be, with the seeds of the Victoria regia, whose magnificent blossoms are the great feature of several of the lakes and rivers.