Sri Lanka commodity futures exchange mooted

Dec 18, 2009 (LBO) – Sri Lanka should set up a commodity futures exchange and introduce forward contracts to make farmers more efficient and earn more, a policy advocacy group has suggested. “We must use information communications technology to give farmers information on weather, prices, costs and procurement of inputs.” “The forward sale contract system should be promoted across the country to help farmers pre-plan production and get a stable price for agricultural produce,” the Pathfinder Foundation said in a report on policy changes needed to accelerate economic growth.

“A futures commodity exchange should be established on a priority basis to handle forward and futures sales and help farmers discover future prices,” it said.

Charitha Ratwatte, a former government Treasury secretary, who presented the policy proposals at a public forum organised by the foundation, said it was necessary to create a policy environment that would prosperity.

“Primary producers and service providers at the bottom of the pyramid must be the drivers of the economy, not the (big conglomerates),” he said.

Commercialisation of agriculture was a critical need, he added, saying small farmers must