Transition Financing (DeiMeas)

To address the challenges of incentivising farmers on change of practice and ultimately facilitating the transition towards Regenerative Agriculture, DeiMeas (Golden Soil) functions as a financial mechanism to reward farmers for their investment into the production of ecosystem services and public goods. Therefore, within the framework of the project "Agroecology and Safe food System Transitions in South-East Asia" (ASSET, FFEM), SmartAgro, CIRAD and Swisscontact are currently working on a 3-year pilot of DeiMeas that will support the transition and bridge the financing gap by incentivizing smallholder farmers already in the first year of transition to foster the uptake of agroecological practices. DeiMeas will be under the steering of the Department of Agricultural Land Resources Management (DALRM).


Land degradation is an important issue for Cambodia as it can severely influence populations' livelihood by restricting people from vital ecosystem services (including food and water) and increasing the risk of poverty. However, there are mitigation and adaptation measures in place. Among those, land-based mitigation options rank among the most cost-effective opportunities to sequester carbon emissions.

Therefore, within the framework of the project "Agroecology and Safe food System Transitions in South-East Asia and Fonds français pour l'environnement mondial" (ASSET/FFEM), SmartAgro, CIRAD and Swisscontact proposed to implement a pilot project, called DeiMeas (golden soil in Khmer language) to support the transition and bridge the financing gap by incentivising smallholder farmers already in the first year of transition to foster the uptake of agroecological practices. DeiMeas will be under the steering of the Department of Agricultural Land Resources Management (DALRM). DeiMeas is supported by ASSET/FFEM, ISA and seeks other support.

Aims and Objectives

This initiative aims to i) incentivize smallholder farmers transition toward agroecological (AE) practices, ii) institutionalize the MetKasekor model within the PDAFFs towards the transition,  iii) empower the Union of Agricultural Cooperatives in identifying farmers, providing support to them during their transition, monitoring changes of practices and validating rewards, iv) quantify and verify the ecological impacts and co-benefits of this transition, in order v) recognize smallholder farmers as contributors of natural resources conservation and climate change adaptation and mitigation.

Institutionalization Vision

DeiMeas aims to be institutionalized within DALRM, and functions as a product of the government that effectively contributes to the RGC’s National Action Programme (NAP) (2018-2027), National Strategic Plan on Green Growth (2013-2030), National Forest Program (2010-2029), White Paper on Land (as of August 2015), and National Strategic Plan in Response to Climate Change (2014-2023) and commitments to UN’s 3 Rio Conventions, including Convention on Biological Diversity (UNCBD), Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) and the Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC).

DeiMeas in the making

Increasing interest in CA/SI in Cambodia
There was increasing interest of development partners in CA and the General Directorate of Agriculture (GDA) implemented the AFD-funded 5-year PADAC project (Projet d’Amélioration de l’Agriculture Cambodgienne) with technical support from CIRAD in 2009. The main target areas were in Kampong Cham and Battambang provinces with focus on design, promotion, and assessment of CA-based cropping systems for annual crop production in both upland and lowland areas. In addition, some other activities were also implemented in Battambang under the Sustainable Agricultural and Natural Resources Management - Collaborative Research Support Program (SANREM-CSRP) funded by United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in 2010-2014 under the partnership between Department of Agricultural Land Resources Management (DALRM) of GDA, CIRAD and North Carolina Agriculture and Technology State University (NC A&T).
UN’s Sustainable Development Goals announced
On 25 September 2015, at the United Nations, the World Leaders adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development which includes a set of 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and 169 associated targets. Within that framework, SDG 15 aims “To protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss”. In October 2015, UNCCD country Parties decided that striving to achieve SDG target 15.3 is a strong vehicle for driving the implementation of the Convention and requested the UNCCD secretariat and appropriate UNCCD bodies to take the initiative and invite other relevant agencies and stakeholders to cooperate on achieving SDG target 15.3.
Land degradation neutrality targets set
In April 2018, 116 countries made the commitment to translate the global goal of achieving LDN by 2030 into national action by setting national voluntary targets with the support of the LDN Target Setting Programme (LDN TSP). Cambodia was among the countries that have set a national voluntary LDN target, established an LDN baseline, and formulated associated measures[RP4] . The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) formulated the Land Degradation Neutrality Targets in 2018.
Carbon neutrality targets set
Under the commitment to UNFCC, Cambodia also designed and submitted its “Long-term strategy for Carbon Neutrality (LTS4CN)” to the UN in 2021. It outlines priority mitigation actions for each sector to achieve the country’s goal of a carbon neutral economy in 2050. The strategy largely builds on existing commitments of the Royal Government and proposes a trajectory consistent with the Updated Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) that was published in 2020​. It takes into consideration the balance between emissions reductions, economic growth, social justice, and climate resilience.
DeiMeas initiative piloted to provide transition finance
In 2022, the 3-year DeiMeas initiative was piloted to test the transition financing model for small holder farmers to facilitate transition towards agroecology practices. DeiMeas steering committee is being processed by CASIC. Four farmer rewarding events were also conducted at Raksmey Sangha (Upland) on September 30th, 2022, and distribution of the rewards for the first batch farmer (24 farmers) on October 14th, 2022.
DeiMeas officially launched
In 2023, the DeiMeas initiative aims to officially launch the pilot along with the steering committee. The initiative also aims to on board more farmers and reward approximately 150 SHFs in both Lowland and Upland of Battambang. DeiMeas initiative also plans to conduct 10 events for farmers to introduce rewards and open opportunities for new registered farmers. The draft version of the DeiMeas handbook is also planned to be published.

Resource Documents

Events & Articles

Addressing Agricultural Challenges Through Dei Meas: A Pathway to Sustainable Farming
Cambodia faces pressing challenges in its agricultural sector, exacerbated by factors such as climate change, soil degradation, and high-cost low production farming practices. With the global population projected to increase significantly by 2050, the demand for food is set to rise, placing additional strain on agricultural resources. In this context, transitioning to sustainable farming practices is imperative to ensure food security, environmental protection, and the livelihoods of smallholder farmers.
Empowering Farmers: A Rewarding Journey Towards Agroecology Practices through Dei Meas
The Royal Government of Cambodia (RGC) is committed to combating climate change and accelerating the transition to a climate-resilient, low-carbon sustainable mode of development. The Dei Meas initiative is currently making significant progress toward incentivizing smallholder farmers to transition toward agroecological practices and contribute to the efforts of the RGC, but ongoing efforts are needed to promote agroecological practices further.
Sustainable agriculture
DeiMeas farmers share their success stories on transitioning to Regenerative Agriculture 
DeiMeas is an initiative that functions as a financial mechanism to incentivize smallholder farmers to transition toward Regenerative Agricultural practices and contribute to the efforts of the Royal Government of Cambodia (RGC) in addressing national challenges such as deforestation, intensification of farming practices, soil degradation and more. By changing their practices towards Regenerative Agriculture, smallholder farmers are directly contributing to soil carbon sequestration and greenhouse gas emissions reduction, while enhancing a large set of ecosystem services and co-benefits.