The agricultural land of Mongolia covers 174.5 thous. Hectares, of which 159.0 thous. hectares is used for crop production. Crop production is understood to include wheat, barley for food and fodder, oats for fodder, maize for silage, sunflower, potatoes, 20 types of vegetables, silage, and annual and perennial leguminous crops. After privatization of the national herd, herders with small numbers of livestock did not have the resources to buy conserved fodder, relying more on the natural pastures to graze their livestock under the influence of kind weather conditions. During the socialist period, the State organized the production and distribution of over 200,000 tons of crops (barley and oats), nearly 300,000 tons of green fodder (annual and perennial plants) and 350,000 tons of silage (sunflower and maize). In the last 10 years, the cultivation of crops for fodder has been negligible.
Mongolia’s annual demand for vegetables is approximately 100,000 tons of potatoes and 160,000 tons of other vegetables. In 2005, there were 84,400 tons of potatoes and 62.500 tons of other vegetable produced supplying 70% and 50% respectively of domestic requirements. In reality, most herders living in rural areas are not used to eating vegetables nor do they have the facilities to store vegetables during winter, so actual consumption could be lower than this estimate. The estimated annual consumption of flour is 241,200 tons requiring 340,000 tons of wheat. A further 15,000 tons is needed in spirit production and some 70-75,000 tons of seed wheat is needed to produce the annual production of 425-430,000 tons of wheat. To produce this quantity of cereals and vegetables, it would require a non-irrigated area of about 350-400,000 ha for wheat, 8-10,000 ha and potatoes a similar area for vegetables. However, if wheat was grown under irrigated conditions, a yield of more than 3.5 tons/ha is possible, reducing the required planted area
Wheat flour and wheat products represent 46% of daily food consumption in urban households and 70% in rural households. As such, it is considered an essential food item and has been categorized as a “strategic food product” under the Mongolian Law on Food. As wheat comprises 84.5% of the cropped area and more than 90% of total crop production, it is crucially important in the agricultural sector. There is less investment in the production of potatoes, vegetables, and fruit and in fodder for livestock. There is also lower consumption of these compared with flour as a daily food source for humans.
Entry filed under: Crop Industry.