As mentioned earlier, livestock is the main livelihood and source of wealth in Mongolia and the country’s economy substantially depends on the production and development of this sector. In 2005, 25 percent of GDP and one fourth of export sales are contributed by the agricultural sector. Approximately 50 percent of the total labour force is engaged in this sector.
The animal husbandry industry of Mongolia was responsible for 80% of national agricultural production in 2003, and so has a great impact on the economy. Herders are not the only beneficiaries of this industry but it affects the national food supply, the export industry and most of the domestic processing industry.
In 2005, there were 1391.5 thous. Heads of pure-breed livestock, 1608.5 thous. Heads of cross and local breed livestock in Mongolia. As a result of privatization processes some 99.5 percent of the total livestock is now privately owned. By the end of 2005, 236.2 thousand families owned livestock, some 72.9 percent of which (172.4 thousands households) are dependent solely on income generated from their livestock. Numbers of livestock per family differ significantly.
One of the indicators for evaluation of rural family wealth is the number of animals a family owns. According to the results of last year’s animal census 65.4 percent of herding families have less than 100 head of animals and 20.1 percent between 101 and 200 heads of animal. The average number of animals per household is 105.
After completion of livestock privatization, the number of livestock increased between 1993 and 1999 by 17.5%, reaching 33.6 million. But drought and zud over the last 3 years have killed a total of 11.1 million animals and by the end of 2002 there were only 23.9 million animals, devastating the economy and the livelihood of herders. As a result of livestock census of 2005, total animal number reached 30 million heads , which is 2.5 millions of head increase compared to the previous year. At the present agricultural exports consist mostly of raw materials of animal origin. 5.1% of Mongolia’s total exports were from the livestock industry at the end of 2002,
mostly exported to Russia and China. Also small animal intestines are exported to Holland, Germany and Turkey. Exports of raw materials of animal husbandry consist of meat, by-products, skins, hides, and washed and unwashed cashmere. The Mongolian Ggovernment is taking steps to restructure the policy for the development of the livestock industry and to develop legislation to reform the livestock industry in connection with drastic climate changes over the last few years.
In June 2003 Government of Mongolia has approved Programme on Supporting Intensified livestock production development. The Intensified Livestock Production Development Support Programme aims in the first turn to develop dairy and meat breed cattle and meat-wool sheep farming together with pork and poultry farms.
Current developments and the demands of the market dictate integration of intensified livestock and crop production near regional centers, rational use of the pasture resources and breeding high productivity animals in line with the Food and Agriculture Policy and Regional Development Concept.
Entry filed under: Livestock sector.