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Effects of agroforestry and other sustainable practices in the Kenya Agricultural Carbon Project (KACP)

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With growing global demand for food, unsustainable farming practices and large greenhouse gas emissions, farming systems need to sequester more carbon than they emit, while also increasing productivity and food production. The Kenya Agricultural Carbon Project (KACP) recruited farmer groups committed to more Sustainable Agricultural Land Management (SALM) practices and provided these groups with initial advisory services on SALM, farm enterprise development and village savings and loan associations. Recommended SALM practices included agroforestry, cover crops, mulching, composting manure, terracing, reduced tillage and water harvesting. The effects of the KACP on the uptake of SALM practices, maize yield, perceived food self-sufficiency and savings during the initial four years were assessed comparing control and project farmers using interviews, field visits and measurements. Farmers participating in the KACP seemed to have increased uptake of most SALM practices and decreased the use of practices to be avoided under the KACP recommendations. Agroforestry and terraces showed positive effects on maize yield. During all four years, the KACP farms had higher maize yield than control farms, but yield differences were similar in 2009 and 2012 and there was no overall significant effect of the KACP. In 2012, the KACP farms had higher food self-sufficiency and tended to have higher monetary savings than control farms. © 2020 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

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