Climate change threatens Kenyan agriculture and the environment, and jeopardizes people's livelihoods and food security. The 2017 Kenya Climate-Smart Agriculture Strategy claims to guide a transformation of Kenya's agricultural system through an integrated approach to agriculture, climate change, development, environment, and food security. By undertaking a longitudinal analysis of policy frames, this study temporally contextualizes climate-smart agriculture (CSA) policy adoption to understand whether CSA is a transformative tool versus business-as-usual. A policy frame analysis of the Ministries of Agriculture and Environment between 2002 and 2017, complemented with in-depth interviews addresses the question how policy frames for agriculture, climate change, development, environment and food security have evolved over time, and which factors contributed to policy frame development in Kenya. Findings demonstrate that (a) CSA in Kenya is an incremental shift away from existing policy frames rather than a radical transformation, (b) a discrepancy exists between Strategic Plans and sectoral policies; and (c) policy frames are influenced by donors, regional and global fora and personal networks. This study suggests that CSA's relevance is limited to those contexts that acknowledge a complex relationship between agriculture, climate change, development, environment, and food security prior to CSA policy adoption.