Vetiver Research for Pollution Mitigation and Soil Regeneration in Huasteca Mexico

Terra Advocati and Jess Mayes have played pivotal roles in helping Steven Lewis secure a Scientific Cooperation Research Program (SCRP) grant funded under the United States Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service. The grant will be administered with Texas State University as the primary grantee and Terra Advocati as the sub-grantee.


The research project will take place in East Central Mexico at the Huasteca Regenerative Agriculture Experimentation Center in El Chino, Tamasopo, San Luis Potosi.


One of the conditions for winning the grant was that the Center conduct hands-on research of benefit to the agricultural sectors of both Mexico and the United States. Research data collected and compiled under this grant will identify the manner and extent to which the use of vetiver can be scaled up regionally.


Experiments will be conducted adjacent to sugarcane fields from which agricultural chemicals wash into the riparian zone of the Gallinas River. Water from that river ultimately feeds into the Panuco River, which has emerged as a significant source of pollutants in the Gulf of Mexico. Of the 64 large marine ecosystems of the world, the Gulf of Mexico stands out for its unique inter-connectivity whether cultural, economic, or ecological, and as a result of its high multi-sectoral economic value.


Vetiver grass systems planted downslope from cane fields will serve to diminish agrochemical runoff into the river while regenerating soil microorganisms lost after chemical-intensive agricultural strategies were adopted for the region’s sugarcane monoculture. The vetiver plantings will serve as demonstration and education sites where farmers in the region can observe our climate-friendly vetiver system.


We would like to thank all of the wonderful people who collaborated with us to make this grant happen, including Dr. Bahram Asiabanpour and Texas State University, Steven Lewis, and Maria Guadalupe Vega Mendoza.


We would also like to thank Jim Smyle from The Vetiver Network International for inspiring us to work with Vetiver as a tool for environmental regeneration.


We will keep you up to date as this project develops.


Check out this video about how Vetiver Grass works!


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