Investing in climate-smart rice production to finance food and water security


Rice is one of the world's most important resources in the race for climate adaptation—investment in climate-smart rice production is the cornerstone of global food security and climate resilience.

Rice is the main staple food for 3.5 billion people, more than half of the world’s population, and it is critically exposed to the effects of climate change and water scarcity. Rice is grown by 150 million smallholder farmers who are mostly poor. It uses 40% of all irrigation water globally and is responsible for 10% of the world’s methane emissions.

A range of sustainable production practices exist, but due to the complexity of the global rice value chain and the fragmentation of smallholders living in poverty, moving capital towards sustainable rice production will require a series of ambitious, innovative financing solutions and the public-private partnerships to mobilize them into action.

Our Work

Earth Security Group is collaborating with a coalition of action partners—the UN Capital Development Fund (UNCDF), the Sustainable Rice Platform (SRP), the leading commodities trader Phoenix Group, the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC)—to catalyse innovative finance mechanisms that enable agribusinesses, global banks, sustainable investors, and global climate finance institutions to create new ways of harnessing private sector investment to scale up sustainable rice production.

The newly released report by ESG, ‘Financing Sustainable Rice for a Secure Future', ahead of COP25 UN Climate Summit, calls for investment in climate-smart rice production as the cornerstone of global food security and climate resilience, and outlines three innovative finance blueprints and the partnerships to put them into action:

  • 'Rice Bonds' that can provide upfront capital for climate-smart rice value chains and enable sustainable rice performance indicators developed by the Sustainable Rice Platform to be used in the design of new financial mechanisms.
  • Blended finance instruments that leverage global climate finance for sustainable agriculture as a catalyst to attract private sector investment in support of rice producing countries’ Paris Agreement climate mitigation and adaptation commitments.
  • A digital finance platform that enables technology providers, banks and sustainable rice companies to provide access to bundled financial services to smallholder farmers working towards climate-smart production.