Kenya: Agricultural Carbon Project
This project involves the adoption of sustainable agricultural land management practices by small-holder farmer groups which result in increased crop yields, farm productivity and soil carbon sequestration (as well as above-ground carbon sequestration) on approximately 45,000 ha in the Nyanza Province and Western Province of Kenya.
The project developer is NGO Vi Agroforestry, who is promoting the adoption of these practices. ViA is well-known in the Lake Victoria Basin for participatory approaches leading to increased farm productivity and sustainable management of natural resources.
The project is targeting small-holder farmers and small-scale business entrepreneurs organized in farmer groups and primary level cooperatives. The expected outcomes from this project include that small-holder farmers in Kenya will be able to access the carbon market and receive an additional stream of carbon revenues through the adoption of productivity-enhancing practices and technologies that also contribute to the mitigation of greenhouse gases.
These include practices related to cropland management (i.e. cover crops, crops rotation, mulching, improved fallows, compost management, green manure, agroforestry, organic fertilizer, residue management) and rehabilitation of degraded land. Hence, economic benefits will be based on (i) increased yields and productivity; and (ii) additional income sources due to payment for environmental services. Additionally, an important co-benefit will be enhanced resilience to climate variability and change.
This is the first Emissions Reduction Purchase Agreement (ERPA) being signed for an African soil carbon project. The carbon revenues will result in direct additional income to the farmers as a payment for environmental services; at least 60% of the annual payments received by Vi Agroforestry will be directly transferred to participating farmer groups.
The project has formed the basis for developing one of the first methodologies for accounting emissions reductions from the application of sustainable agricultural land management (SALM) practices.