Socioeconomic potential of carbon sequestration through agroforestry in the West African Sahel

  • Asako Takimoto
  • P. K. Ramachandran Nair
  • Janaki R. R. Alavalapati
Original Article


The recognition of agroforestry as a greenhouse-gas mitigation strategy under the Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) offers an opportunity to agroforestry practitioners to benefit from the global Carbon (C) credit market. Our knowledge on this important topic from the semiarid regions such as the West African Sahel (WAS) is, however, very limited. In order to fill this gap, this study was undertaken in the Ségou region of Mali (annual temperature, 29°C; annual rainfall, 300–700 mm in 60 to 90 days), focusing on two improved agroforestry systems (live fence and fodder bank) along with traditional parkland agroforestry systems of the region. A cost–benefit analysis was conducted to assess the economic profitability and risks associated with the systems considering them as 25-year projects and their potential for participation in C credit market. The traditional systems had high C stock in their biomass and soil, but little potential for sequestering additional C; on the other hand, the improved systems had low C stock, but high sequestration potential. For the standard size live fence (291 m) and fodder bank (0.25 ha) projects, the estimated net present values (NPV) were $ 96.0 and $158.8 without C credit sale, and $109.9 and $179.3 with C sale, respectively. From the C sale perspective, live fence seemed less risky and more profitable than fodder bank. Carbon credit sale is likely to contribute to economic development of the subsistence farmers in the WAS.


Clean development mechanism (CDM) Cost–benefit analysis Fodder bank Live fence Risk analysis 



The financial support that the first author received for the study from the Fulbright Program, the Joint Japan/World Bank Graduate Scholarship Program (JJ/WBGSP), Center for Subtropical Agroforestry of the University of Florida (UF), and Tropical Conservation and Development Program of UF is greatly appreciated. We thank Dr. Bocary Kaya and other members of staff of the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) Sahel Regional Programme, Mali, for their cooperation and support for field research.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Asako Takimoto
    • 1
  • P. K. Ramachandran Nair
    • 1
  • Janaki R. R. Alavalapati
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Forest Resources and ConservationUniversity of FloridaGainesvilleUSA

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