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The Center for the Development and Education of Traditional Erva-Mate Systems, CEDErva, is a collaborative network interested in traditional agroforestry production systems in which erva-mate is one of the key products. Our network is made up of small-scale rural producers from Paraná and Santa Catarina, family farming unions, municipal, state and federal institutions, as well as researchers from different fields of knowledge, from the natural sciences to the humanities, representatives of universities and scientific institutions.
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CEDErva members are directly and actively involved in the production, development and maintenance of traditional erva-mate cultivation systems, valuing the use of traditional knowledge combined with the conservation and sustainable economic use of the Araucaria Forest. In traditional systems, the trees of erva-mate (Ilex paraguariensis) are cultivated in the shade provided by the natural forest environment along with other agroforestry crops and forest products.


Currently, the growing pressure on farmers to deforest their lands for the implementation of commodity crop monocultures represents a threat to traditional farming systems, that have developed and been maintained for generations on family farming properties and in Traditional and Indigenous communities. As a result, deforestation rates in the region have increased dramatically and family farmers and communities face poverty, food insecurity, and the exodus of young people from the countryside to the city, in addition to the irreparable loss of traditional knowledge.


CEDErva sees traditional agroforestry systems focused on erva-mate as a possibility to address environmental and social issues faced by these communities, seeking the appreciation, recognition, and practical contribution to traditional erva-ate production systems, which, in addition to being fundamental in the maintenance of native forest species and connectivity corridors between forest fragments, represent sustainable and significant economic alternatives for the region where they occur.


Our goal is to gather and share information on traditional ways of life and develop a knowledge network to support local communities in sharing knowledge and practices on food and cultural heritage, developing sustainable practices that ensure the continuity of traditional food procurement systems, and support the maintenance of natural ecosystems.


Defending the culture of traditional shade-grown erva-mate production systems and assisting in the development and recovery of deforested areas, encouraging recognition of the value of erva-mate as a tool for economic and environmental sustainability, are some of the objectives of CEDErva. In the video below, some of our collaborators share information about the importance of agroforestry systems that include erva-mate, among other species, for the continuation and restoration of forests. The video, produced by the Agricultural Research and Rural Extension Company of Santa Catarina (EPAGRI), shows how researchers from EMBRAPA Forestry are engaged in this cause.

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