Ulaanbaatar /MONTSAME/ Mongolia’s rich pastoral history, current livestock surplus, and geographic proximity to major markets, offer great potential for the country to become a competitive exporter of quality livestock and livestock-based products. Investor-friendly policies, combined with competiveness policy reforms, can transform the sector, international and Mongolian experts said at a workshop in Mongolia today, April 18.
The workshop on “The Future of the Agriculture Sector: Investment and Global Value Chains” was hosted by IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, the Ministry of Food, Agriculture, and Light Industry, and the National Development Agency. Industry experts, regulators, and business leaders discussed the competitiveness of Mongolia’s agribusiness industry, the opportunities, and the challenges faced by it to enter global value chains. Participants recommended that the government focus investment and export promotion on the most competitive sectors—cashmere, red meat and dairy products—with targeted investment policy and regulatory reforms over the next two to three years. MOFALI and NDA were requested to design effective intervention plans, including resources needed. Other sectors such as sea buckthorn, intensive vegetable farming, and poultry may offer longer term niche opportunities.
The livestock sector has long been a priority for investment, especially in cattle breeding, red-meat processing, dairy farming, dairy products, and cashmere processing. “Mongolia’s livestock sector is now at a pivotal point. Smart investment and upstream policies can support the sector’s transformation to an export-oriented one, creating opportunities for domestic and foreign investors, businesses, and herders,” said Bayarsaikhan Banzragch, Director General, National Development Agency. “This workshop offered all stakeholders a valuable platform to find practical solutions that the government can utilize to design and implement our future work to strengthen this important sector.”
In particular, the workshop provided new insights from a value-chain perspective on the global and Chinese market for red-meat products. The experts recommended a series of actions to be taken in the near term, beginning with passing critical legislation on animal health. They also pointed to the benefits of closer cooperation between suppliers and buyers. China imports over $3 billion worth beef and mutton annually. The government will need to continue to make progress on bilateral trade negotiations, trade facilitation, and veterinary services for Mongolia to capture some of the Chinese and other emerging markets for meat products. The private sector, meanwhile, will need to invest in market intelligence analysis and continue to improve managerial, marketing, and branding skills.
“Mongolia can effectively utilize foreign investments to leverage the knowhow and upgrade its livestock products, unleashing the country’s full export potential. Domestic reforms will also be needed to develop industry standards, certification schemes, and continuous implementation of risk-based inspections mechanisms,” said Mona Haddad, Practice Manager for East Asia and the Pacific in the World Bank Group’s Trade and Competitiveness Global Practice. “150,000 Mongolian families now rely on livestock sector for a living. The World Bank Group will continue to support the government of Mongolia in its efforts to create the market conditions for this sector to prosper and contribute to the country’s inclusive growth.”
Source: International Finance Corporation