Launching C-GEM to the Grove Community with brief updates | Centre for Grower-Centric EcoValue Mechanisms

Dear all,

We would like to take this opportunity to share with you the updates on the progress made by the Centre for Grower-centric EcoValue Mechanisms ( over the past year.

About C-GEM: C-GEM accelerates climate mitigation and adaptation benefit to the local communities by scaling the adoption of agroecological practices at the grassroots level by leveraging climate, ecosystem, and carbon financing instruments. We are the only not-for-profit initiative in the world that focuses on growers and negotiates the market on their behalf.

We believe that farmers deserve to be paid fairly for the risks they take, the efforts they put in, and the benefits they provide to the ecosystem by transitioning to natural farming/agroecological principles. We achieve this by partnering with farmers and negotiating on their behalf in the Payment for Ecosystem Services market. This helps us onboard farmers at scale, making the transition process smoother and more accessible.

Our Objectives:

  1. Make ecosystem markets fair, accessible, and remunerative for smallholder farmers transitioning to sustainable farming practices.
  2. Increase Market transparency for public stakeholders by democratising - market understanding, insights and intelligence.
  3. Anchor critical communities of stakeholders around Ecosystem services and carbon credit markets to keep ourselves and the market accountable to communities.

We have divided the thread into quarterly segments and provided key updates and learnings for each quarter below.

Q1 (July to October)

  • Internal scoping study to identify geographies and activities to develop the first project.
  • Market research and launch of perception mapping study (results pending)
  • MoU with Soilify (GiZ and EarthAnalytics) to share data for Development and receive technical maps and expertise over their product.
  • Product strategy and market traction formulation.


  • Many shops are running banks on information asymmetry and trading of emission certificates
  • Not many domestic players disrupting dMRV protocols and systems aimed at reducing cost and time
  • Fickle businesses, risk premiums, and volatile commodity markets characterise current processes.

Q2 (November - January):

  • Shortlisted eight out of all the Indian project developers in the market for the first programme
  • Identified a project area with AKRSPI to pilot the carbon programme for regen agri
  • Launched a second version of our website ( with a curated knowledge repository and resource materials.
  • Launched Linkedin and Twitter channels


  • It takes 2.5 to 3 years for a project to deliver issuance
  • Each issuance is a product with its story and different prices for the same metric unit. Additionality, permanence, and co-benefits are the most valued.
  • There is a significant investment barrier to developing and implementing a project for three years before issuance. Need to find funding opportunities.

Q3 (February to April '23):

  • Selected two Project Developers based on their alignment with principles, values, and offerings.
  • Facilitated the paperwork and negotiations between Varaha and AKRSPI for a 30000 ha regenerative agri project in the cotton belt region of Saurashtra
  • First such project to talk about data protection and data sharing rights of farmers in writing.
  • Supporting facilitation between Gram Vikas Trust and Fair Climate Fund in Odisha for an agroforestry project.
  • Successfully Conducted a training programme for field managers’ of Shramjeevi NGO regarding the basic understanding of Carbon Markets and project nuances.
  • Key participant in an advocacy group anchored by Vikalp Sangam


  • An NGO’s reputational risk and implementation cost do not feature in conversations. The project development cost, investors’ capital risk, and buyers’ product risk take the limelight.
  • The volatile and feeble but growing market currently cannot offtake all the costs and risks of the farmers for a sustainable transition.

Since May '23 -

  • Planned meeting with RCRC, Sajjata Sangh, FoTF, and Gujarat NCNF members to orient them toward carbon markets, risks, and challenges
  • Official Carbon service representative for Sanjog NGO
  • Completed stakeholder consultations for the AKRSPI project
  • Planned Orientation workshop for Vikalp Sangam’s Advocacy group.

We have started the footwork to make community-centric climate financing a reality in this nation. We are ever so grateful for different people, including our mentors, our sponsor AKRSPI, and our funder Rainmatter Foundation for loving us, supporting us, and motivating us on this one-of-a-kind experimental journey.

We hope this update gives you an overview of our activities over the past year. We are committed to continuing our efforts to support the sustainable development of agriculture in the region and look forward to your continued support.

Best regards,
Srajesh Gupta
The Centre for Grower-centric EcoValue Mechanisms (


In our wishlist from continued discussions, we have identified niche solutions for some of the challenges in the broader market, like -

a. We would want to sequence a scheme-based fund to reduce the financial barriers for our implementing partners to unlock the power of small groups,
b. institute a grassroots, accessible fintech platform to disburse and track direct benefits to the farmers while protecting their data,
c. Study the pricing strategies and willingness to pay from a buyers perspective, etc

with which we would need all your help and collaboration. If any of this interests you or you want to know more about our work - Kindly reach out to me at [email protected] or my colleague at [email protected]


Dear all,

The last few months since my last update (July 2023) have been fulfilling as a community initiative. We have enlarged our focus from climate change mitigation through natural farming to large and small nature-based solutions, truly embracing the core of our work - Agroecology. The support and love from our communities and partners have kept us going.

About C-GEM: Centre for Grower-centric Eco-value Mechanisms, which we fondly call C-GEM. C-GEM is a farmer-centric non-profit platform incubated under AKRSPI’s Climate Change vertical, aiming to accelerate the adoption of agroecology by leveraging ecosystem markets (Carbon, water, biodiversity) for farmers who are transitioning toward agroecology. C-GEM aims to incentivise farmers to take up agroecological transformations while de-risking and supporting transitioning farmers by providing additional revenue streams to compensate for ecosystem services provided by such transition.

We Onboard, Handhold, and Negotiate climate market mechanisms for grassroots communities and maintain accountability and transparency in the carbon markets and other climate financing mechanisms for public stakeholders.
Learn more about us here -

Company updates -

  1. Awareness and Capacity Building -

a. Conducted online sessions for mid-level and upper-level leadership of Aga Khan Rural Support Programme (India) and Aga Khan Foundation on “Understanding Carbon: Markets, Risks, and Opportunities for Grassroots”. This was attended by 35 participants of nature, agri, and climate verticals

b. Conducted physical workshop on “Understanding and potential of climate projects in Kutch” for Kutch Navnirman Abhiyaan Partners in Bhuj. This was attended by 50+ participants from 6 CSOs, 12 Gram Panchayats, and 3 CSO networks.

c. Conducted physical Capacity building session for Gram Vikas, Odisha programme managers as part of our ongoing project advisory engagement.

  1. Project Partnerships and Update:

a. In our most recent partnership, We have Onboarded Bundelkhand Initiative of Water, Agriculture, and Livelihoods partners led by SRIJAN to support the development of a joint landscape-level Natural Farming and Horticulture program with 25,000 farmers.

b. Our Cotton-Groundnut Regen Ag programme in Saurashtra, with 23,500 farmers, received a listing on Verra and completed its aggregator survey in 3 districts with 150 farmers.

c. Gramvikas Odisha and C-GEM signed an agreement to leverage financing for social forestry, agroforestry programmes, and tribal hinterlands with 8500 farmers.

  1. Outreach:

a. Contributed to knowledge product “Demystifying carbon credits” by Environment Management Center as experts.

b. Interviewed by Yes Bank (FASAR) group for their study with FICCI, which will be released next month.

c. Contributed to the Common Grounds strategy development for market-based restoration mechanisms facilitated by Vrutti (CMS).

d. Through our ongoing efforts and public support, we have engaged with 9+ networks of civil society organisations and grassroots institutions.

e. In conversation with start-ups and knowledge institutions to develop courses and other knowledge products for different categories of market shareholders, facilitating empathy and cross-learning.

f. Participated as panellists in a webinar organised by Vikalp Sangam group on Green Credits. We are also members of an informal concerned parties group formed by the Vikalp Sangam of carbon and other market mechanisms.

Summary of Green Credit programme - C-GEM | Centre for Grower-centric Eco-value Mechanisms on LinkedIn: Highlights of the Green Credit Programme Notifications

g. Participated in Echo Network meet in partnership with TIGS, DTU, and Office of PSA GOI. We are senior and founding partners of the network and mentors to ambassadors of their flagship ambassadors programme.

h. Called in as volunteers and supporters to organise Agroecology Donor Convening 2023, organised by Bharat Agroecology Fund and led a breakout room on Payment for Ecosystem Services.

  1. Progress on the goals listed while onboarding

All objectives completed. We are going beyond what we thought we’d be able to achieve.

  1. Outcomes you are chasing for the next 6 months (these can remain the same if unchanged since the last update)

In the next six months,

  • We are looking to stabilise onboarding processes and standardise the services given to CSOs.
  • Create niche partnerships to innovate financial products, including ecosystem bonds, landscape transformation impact funds, Systematic clearing houses for multiple activities in a landscape, etc.
  • Launch V3 of with the dedicated portal for partner onboarding, project showcase, public forum, and newsletter.
  1. KPIs

Cumulatively, we have

  • reached 200+ CSOs,
  • completed 13+ training programmes,
  • Initiated 3 high impact programmes with 8 partners
  • The annual GHG mitigation potential of our portfolio is more than 1,50,000 tonnes CO2e
  • Positively Impacting the lives of 56000 farmers
  1. Can Rainmatter be of help with anything at all

Support us in the formulation of the platform and communication strategy.