U.S. Government Hosts Forum to Advance Mongolia’s Food Security

2023-09-29 10:40:58

Thursday, September 28- The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and Development Solutions NGO, through its Business Excellence for Sustainability and Transparency (BEST) project, organized a forum to enhance Mongolia's food security.  Focused on “Exploring New Financing Avenues for Agriculture,” the forum gathered strategic perspectives as representatives from the government, private sector, and donor organizations discussed challenges and opportunities on innovative solutions and financing approaches in the country.

United States Ambassador to Mongolia, Richard Buangan, delivered opening remarks along with  Gankhuleg M., Deputy Minister of Food, Agriculture and Light Industry (MOFALI), and Amar L., Executive Director of Mongolian Bankers Association. They underscored the crucial role of partnerships to advance the growth of the agricultural sector.

“Mongolia’s agricultural sector faces unprecedented challenges, including disruptions in the supply of essential inputs, such as fertilizer, and market uncertainties,” Ambassador Buangan said. “The U.S. government has been working with our Mongolian counterparts through a myriad of activities aimed at promoting sustainable and resilient economic growth and food security.”

The forum highlighted the results of a survey conducted by USAID’s BEST program, the Mongolian Bankers Association, and the Banking and Finance Academy on the need to expand access to finance for farmers.  Panel discussions centered on innovative financing strategies based on agricultural production contracts, the adaptation of financial models that suit the unique needs of the sector, and the potential establishment of dedicated agricultural financing units within commercial banks.

Since 2019, with USAID’s BEST assistance, over 4,000 small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) secured loans of over MNT 200 billion (approximately US$62 million), which helped them grow and expand their business, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.