Yesterday’s blog post covered the topic of climate change adaptation. But agriculture also represents an important mitigation potential. A new report produced by the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) and EcoAgriculture Partners explores how climate funds to reduce greenhouse gas emissions can benefit smallholder farmers and help achieve development objectives.
In a detailed study of six African agricultural carbon projects, researchers found that communities are benefiting from a range of activities related to planting and managing trees on farms. The carbon projects include the Humbo Ethiopia Assisted Natural Regeneration Project, coordinated by World Vision, which was the first African forestry project to be registered under the Kyoto Protocol, and the Cocoa Carbon Initiative in Ghana, which is working to improve tree cover while enhancing sustainability of cocoa production, which many farmers rely on for income.
Researchers found that while direct carbon payments to farmers were low, projects successfully established systems for financial management, agricultural extension, and carbon monitoring involving a complex set of partnerships. They established institutional relationships with farmers through small farmers’ groups and clusters, which enables broad participation, efficient contracting, timely communication, provision of extension services, benefit-sharing, and gender-focused activities.
The study demonstrates the different channels through which communities could benefit from mitigation funds for agricultural development.
CCAFS Report 8: “Institutional innovations in African smallholder carbon projects“, by Seth Shames, Eva Wollenberg, Louise E. Buck, Patti Kristjanson, Moses Masiga and Byamukama Biryahwaho (Click to download)
Blog post is adapted from the post yesterday on the CCAFS blog. Photo credit: Neil Palm/CIAT