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Carbon sequestration and farm income in West Africa: Identifying best management practices for smallholder agricultural systems in northern Ghana

  • González-Estrada, Ernesto
  • Rodriguez, Luis C.
  • Walen, Valerie K.
  • Naab, Jesse B.
  • Koo, Jawoo
  • Jones, James W.
  • Herrero, Mario
  • Thornton, Philip K.

The interest in agricultural soils as global storage of carbon has increased in recent years, along with the prospect of farmers' participation in payment schemes under the Clean Development Mechanism of the Kyoto protocol. Thus, a better understanding of agricultural practices that can increase soil carbon and enhance the livelihoods of farmers is necessary, particularly in smallholder farming systems of West Africa. This study evaluates different crop management strategies both by their capacity to sequester carbon in agricultural soils and by their contribution to household income. A case study in Wa, Upper West Region of Ghana is used to test 48 different cropping strategies by means of a crop simulation model and a household-level multiple-criteria optimisation model. Each cropping strategy is evaluated after a 20-year simulation period by its capacity to accrue carbon in the soil, by its economic performance at the plot-level, and by its contribution to the farm income with and without carbon payments. A set of best management practices that concomitantly increase soil carbon and farm income are identified and classified by their cost of investment.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Ecological Economics.

Volume (Year): 67 (2008)
Issue (Month): 3 (October)
Pages: 492-502

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Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:67:y:2008:i:3:p:492-502
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/ecolecon

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  1. Tschakert, Petra, 2004. "The costs of soil carbon sequestration: an economic analysis for small-scale farming systems in Senegal," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 81(3), pages 227-253, September.
  2. Woldenhanna, T. & Oskam, A., 2001. "Income diversification and entry barriers: evidence from the Tigray region of northern Ethiopia," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 26(4), pages 351-365, August.
  3. repec:wbk:wboper:13409 is not listed on IDEAS
  4. John M. Antle & Bocar Diagana, 2003. "Creating Incentives for the Adoption of Sustainable Agricultural Practices in Developing Countries: The Role of Soil Carbon Sequestration," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 85(5), pages 1178-1184.
  5. Herrero, M. & Gonzalez-Estrada, E. & Thornton, P.K. & Quiros, C. & Waithaka, M.M. & Ruiz, R. & Hoogenboom, G., 2007. "IMPACT: Generic household-level databases and diagnostics tools for integrated crop-livestock systems analysis," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 92(1-3), pages 240-265, January.
  6. Thornton, P. K. & Herrero, M., 2001. "Integrated crop-livestock simulation models for scenario analysis and impact assessment," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 70(2-3), pages 581-602.
  7. Waithaka, M.M. & Thornton, P.K. & Herrero, M. & Shepherd, K.D., 2006. "Bio-economic evaluation of farmers' perceptions of viable farms in western Kenya," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 90(1-3), pages 243-271, October.
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