Recognizing the challenges that interrelated fuel, environmental, and financial crises pose to the global food system, a range of actors have begun to explore possibilities for promoting the 'sustainable intensification of agriculture'. Specifically, and in acknowledgement of the risks for smallholding farmers entailed by global processes of large-scale land acquisitions, progressive organizations increasingly seek to do so in ways that ameliorate rather than exacerbate tenure insecurity. One such approach is increasingly known as 'agricultural carbon finance', or, in terms of its carbon offsetting methodology, as Sustainable Agricultural Land Management (SALM). Simply put, agricultural carbon finance refers to a broad suite of mechanisms for minimizing emissions of carbon dioxide from agricultural production in ways that increase or otherwise secure crop yields for smallholding farmers.
In this context, the overarching goal of this research project is to examine the potential for SALM methodologies to both improve the livelihoods of smallholding farmers and contribute to climate change mitigation through an analysis of the 'crucial case' of the World Bank-BioCarbon Fund's Kenya Agricultural Carbon Project (KACP). Unveiled in November 2010 by the World Bank, the Kenyan government, and the Swedish Cooperative Centre-Vi Agroforestry Programme (SCC-ViA), these actors currently promote the KACP as a shining example of the triple-win promise of SALM. In short, the project involves 60,000 famers and 45,000 hectares of land spread throughout the Kisumu, Siaya, and Bungoma districts of western Kenya. As of 2012, this methodology has received certification from the Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) agency, and, if successfully implemented, promises to provide an example of how agriculture might be linked with REDD+ under a broader 'landscape approach' to climate change mitigation and adaptation in the nascent 'Green Economy'.