Greening the Desert with Agave

In Mexico, a group of farmers are regenerating their desert land with agaves, deep-rooted nitrogen-fixing companion trees and holistic grazing.

The Billion Agave Project takes advantage of the agave’s ability ‘to draw down and store above ground the dry-weight equivalent of 30-60 tons of CO2 per hectare per year’, its ability to thrive in arid conditions with little or no irrigation, and its use as inexpensive and nutritious fodder.

The system produces large amounts of agave leaf and root stem—up to one ton of biomass over the 8-10-year life of the plant. When chopped and fermented in closed containers, this plant material produces an excellent, inexpensive (two cents per pound) animal fodder. This agroforestry system reduces the pressure to overgraze brittle rangelands and improves soil health and water retention, while drawing down and storing massive amounts of atmospheric CO2.

Take a look at this short 15-minute video for a summary of the groundbreaking project…

Thanks to Janette Perrett for sharing this information from the Organic Consumers Assoc. newsletter.

Photo by Devon Rockola from Pexels

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