Over at Ecosystem Marketplace, Steve Zwick has written a series called “Of Milk and Money” which takes a deep dive into the VCS Program-certified Kenya Agricultural Carbon Project. Currently in six installments, with more to come, the series weaves the narrative of this agroforestry project from inception to current day.
The project, spearheaded by VI Agroforestry, is working with farmers, big business donors and dairy cooperatives (hence the reference to milk in the title) to replant trees in an area deforested by sugarcane production, reducing flooding, restoring agricultural productivity and improving carbon stocks. The project uses VCS methodology VM0017 Adoption of Sustainable Agricultural Land Management, developed by Biocarbon Fund and the World Bank, for streamlined assessment of aboveground and organic soil carbon stocks. In fact, the project was the testing ground for this methodology.
The best news is that the project is working. Last year, an audit showed that over 2012-2014, carbon sequestration per farm was almost double the expected amount. Farmers do receive money from the carbon tonnes verified and sold, but that payment serves primarily as a bonus for participating in the program. The real benefit to farmers is the sustained income from higher, more consistent yields.
Read the full series or listen to the accompanying podcasts on Ecosystem Marketplace.