Can agriculture support climate change adaptation, greenhouse gas mitigation and rural livelihoods? insights from Kenya
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Changes in the agriculture sector are essential to mitigate and adapt to climate change, meet growing food demands, and improve the livelihoods of poor smallholder producers. What agricultural strategies are needed to meet these challenges? To what extent are there synergies among these strategies? This paper examines these issues for smallholder producers in Kenya across several agroecological zones. Several practices emerge as triple wins, supporting climate adaptation, greenhouse gas mitigation, and profitability goals. In particular, integrated soil fertility management and improved livestock feeding are shown to provide multiple benefits across all agroecological zones examined. Triple wins of other agricultural practices are limited to specific agroecological zones. Irrigation and soil and water conservation, for example, are essential for adaptation, mitigation, and profitability in arid areas. The results suggest that agricultural investments targeted toward these triple-win strategies will have the greatest payoff in terms of increased resilience of farm and pastoralist households and global climate change mitigation. To reap the benefits of triple-win strategies will require that policymakers, researchers, and practitioners move away from isolated approaches focused on either adaptation or mitigation or rural income generation toward a more holistic assessment of joint strategies as well as their tradeoffs and synergies.
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