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FAO in Mongolia

FAO’s support for strengthening resilient livestock-based livelihoods


In Mongolia, the economy and peoples’ livelihoods are highly dependent on natural resources putting high pressure on ecosystems and causing the degradation of pasturelands, forest and water resources. Due to its geographic location and fragile ecosystems, Mongolia is highly vulnerable to climate change. In the past 70 years, the mean temperature has increased by 2.07°C, much faster than the global average.


Since the UN FAO and MoFALI joint fact finding mission in October 2015 that first described impact of drought including poor weight of animals, poor state of over-wintering pasture, high indebtedness and market collapse for animal and meat UN FAO allocated $2.1 million through UN Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) and internal technical cooperation programme (TCP) to launch a rapid humanitarian response and provide livestock survival assistance of the most vulnerable herder households.


As a result of these emergency projects, livestock-based livelihoods of 10,200 dzud affected most vulnerable herder households were supported, and the survival of their over 1.1 million heads of livestock was ensured. In addition, the survival of 53 flocks of state-owned 13 breeding centers of locally adapted breeds of livestock was supported. 


Within the framework of the emergency TCP project that was launched at the request of the MoFALI in April 2016, particular attention was given to providing livestock survival packages to 1750 vulnerable herder households in 35 soum of 10 aimag and 53 nucleus flocks of 13 state-owned pedigree animal breeding centers. These centers function as local branches of the National Center for Livestock Gene Bank under the MoFALI.  The main activity of these centers is breeding and selection of pedigree rams, bucks and bulls of locally adapted livestock breeds and providing them to local herder communities for genetic improvement of their herds.


A sufficiently prepared hay and forage for wintering is the key to ensuring the survival of livestock to overcome severe winter-spring months if access to pastures becomes difficult. Due to lack of agricultural machinery and equipment for fodder production, pedigree animal breeding centers cannot prepare enough hay and forage for their high breeding value animals.


Today, on Aug 16, 2017, under the emergency TCP project, FAO handed over to pedigree animal breeding centers agricultural machinery sets for fodder production which included 13 handheld hay cutters, 3 small-scale tractors equipped with hay mover, rake, trailer and baler and portable irrigation system for 1 hectare of crop field. 


FAO will continue to monitor how the equipment is being used to make vulnerable herder households more resilient to the effects of dzud.


During the hand-over event FAO Representative in Mongolia Mr. Quereshi Adnan was interviewed by five public TV channels.