Over half of the world’s population depends on rice as their main staple food, making it a staple crop for 3.6 billion people. In addition, rice production is essential to the livelihood of over 1 billion people worldwide. However, global production is expected to fall by 15% by 2050 due to climate change and water scarcity, while current rice production remains directly linked to an array of negative environmental and social concerns, including accounting for 10% of total GHG emissions from agriculture, 12% of global methane emissions, and 40% of global irrigation water.
Financing the transition to sustainable rice production and value chains will require public-private cooperation and new financial delivery mechanisms that leverage global climate finance. Innovative financing instruments are available and can be used to mobilize private sector investments towards climate-smart rice production. However, rice is not a well-known or well-understood impact finance opportunity for investors. Sustainable rice, on the other hand, is a critical impact commodity.
This report, authored by Earth Security Group, in partnership with WBCSD, the Sustainable Rice Platform (SRP), and the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF), outlines three concrete Blueprints to scale finance for sustainable rice, while presenting the business case for shifting to sustainable rice production systems and value chains. Blueprint 1 is to create a digital finance platform for financing to reach smallholder farmers, Blueprint 2 is to issue a ‘rice bond’ to finance sustainable rice value chains, and Blueprint 3 is to leverage international climate finance to attract private sector investment for climate-smart rice production. The report's recommendations identify opportunities to adapt sustainable finance innovation to the rice sector's sustainable transition.
The report was developed by the Earth Security Group, together with WBCSD as one of the strategic partners collaborating on the design and implementation of the innovative finance partnerships presented.