Time for a rice futures market
In 2010, a taskforce led by the Asia Society and IRRI launched the report Never and empty bowl: sustaining food security in Asia to advance a comprehensive plan of action to address food insecurity and poverty in the region. One of their recommendations was the establishment of a rice futures and a spot exchange, which would include the actual buying and selling of rice for immediate delivery.
At the time IRRI came out strongly in support of this recommendation with the media release Singapore urged to host rice futures and spot exchange and we did some work in advocating the idea - which has not yet had much traction.
It seems timely, two years later, to share again our brochure on the topic - Singapore: home of an international rice futures market (pdf) - because today the Asian Development Bank's working paper - Commodities Exchange: Options for Addressing Price Risk and Price Volatility in Rice calls for the same thing. In their media release Regional rice exchange could help steady global prices they note the clear benefit: "A regional rice index and commodities exchange could help calm world rice price fluctuations and ensure farmers get a fair price for their rice".