Recent IFPRI Policy Note Offers Lessons from Kenya

Photo: CGIAR Climate

A recent IFPRI policy note, Agricultural Land Management: Capturing Synergies Among Climate Change Adaptation, Greenhouse Gas Mitigation & Agricultural Productivity, identifies win-win-win strategies among agriculture adaptation, mitigation, and profitability that are applicable to the IFAD-IFPRI case study countries Ghana, Morocco, and Mozambique.

Field surveys implemented by the Kenya Agriculture Research Institute and the International Food Policy Research Institute have shown that many land management practices used by farmers in Kenya contribute to adaptation to climate change and agriculture mitigation and increase crop and livestock productivity and profitability. However, Farmers are generally not aware of the link between agriculture practices and climate change.

Moreover, adaptation, mitigation, and profitability benefits vary significantly by agroecologicalzone (AEZ), crop and management practice, suggesting that particular strategies should be carefully selected to suit the location of soil nutrientmanagement – in particular, combinations of inorganic fertilizer, mulch, and manure – for enhancing crop yield, soil carbon stocks, and income from agricultural production.

Similarly, improved livestock feeding practices reduce methane production per liter of milk produced. When combined with destocking, overall emissions decline without sacrificing food production or food security. Moreover, improved feeding practices can increase crop productivity and profits by freeing up residues for application to farm land.

Table 1 (below) presents both net profits and potential income from carbon markets for two alternative land management practices for maize. Under improved soil nutrient management, annual carbon sequestration benefits for smallholders (assuming a carbon price of US$10 per ton of CO2 eq) would be US$8-22 for semi-arid areas, US$24 for temperate areas and US$13 for humid areas: together with a substantial increase in net profits when compared to a baseline without enhanced soil nutrient management. If soil and water conservation and rotation are added to the land management mix (Package 2) then carbon benefits remain basically the same, but net profits from crop production increase slightly. Soil and water conservation (or irrigation) techniques are essential for arid areas.

These results yield important insights for the partnership program: first, agricultural mitigation in Africa can provide both increase agricultural productivity and small, but now insignificant, income carbon markets; second, management practices need to be differentiated by AEZ; and third, there is a need for raising awareness among farmers of the adaptation and mitigation benefits of enhanced land and water management practices.

Table 1: Net revenues from carbon sequestration and maize production, alternative management practices, in Kenya, maize.

Package 1                      Package 2
___________________________________________________________

RES50, FERT, & MNR    RES50, FERT, MNR

SWC, & ROT
___________________________________________________________

Net                                  Net
Revenue      revenue      Revenue     revenue
from             from            from            from
carbon         yield            carbon         yield
AEZ                Soil             (US$/ha      (US$/ha)    (US$/ha)    (US$/ha)
___________________________________________________________

Arid                      Clay                    9               -195              15                 7
Arid                      Sand                   2               -221              10            241
Semi-arid            Loam                22                910              22          1072
Semi-arid            Sand                   8                 231                6            309
Semi-arid             Clay                 19               1626              19          1920

Temperate            Loam               24                816               23           910
Humid                   Loam                13              1431               12         1513
___________________________________________________________

RES50 = 50% residues left on the field; FERT = fertilizer; MNR = manure;
SWC = soil and water conservation; ROT = crop rotation

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About josheard

Josh Heard is an actor in Washington, DC.
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