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Statement by Mongolia to the Twenty-Eighth Session of the IFAD Governing Council

Statement, delivered by Mr. D. Terbishdagva, Member of the Parliament and Minister for Food and Agriculture of Mongolia

Mr. Chairman,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

First of all, I wish to congratulate to Mr. Lennart Båge for his appointment of the President of IFAD.

I would like to thank you for giving me the opportunity to deliver my speech at this 28th session of IFAD. Taking this opportunity, I want to briefly introduce to all of you, the current situation of Mongolia's agricultural sector, which accounts for major part of the country's economic production and the cooperation between the Government and IFAD.

Today, private ownership is dominating Mongolia's agricultural sector as a result of transitional economic and privatization policy, directed to a market economy. Privatization policy implementation has created a sound environment for increasing production and output.

We have now started to implement the new legislation on land ownership for economic and business purposes.

Arable land-leasing activities have taken extensively. Although some crop production levels are indicating decreased performances compared to 2003, this sector plays very important role in food security and supply to the population.

We have witnessed positive achievements in the livestock sector. By the end of 2004, the total number of livestock has reached 28 million heads, increasing by 2.5 million heads or 10% as compared to the last year. This increase of livestock production has also contributed to 10% growth of Mongolia's overall GDP in 2003.

But, food and agriculture sector has still required the introduction of intensified production management, based on modern scientific and technological advancements.

We think that this kind of measure will strengthen capability to react against negative natural factors that could result in considerable adverse effects in this sector.
To this regard, many important measures have been planned in the New Action Plan of the Mongolian Government that was formed upon the last year's political election. The main objective of our Government's 4-year action plan is directed to increase employment in all economic sectors and decrease Mongolia's poverty. We consider that food and agricultural sector must play an important role in the implementation of these objectives. Under these objectives, we are planning to undertake the following measures:

  • To increase the livestock sector's production by rearing local elite livestock breeds that are adapted to the country's climatic conditions, along with using high quality breeds from abroad and by introducing modern biotechnological techniques.

  • To support livestock and crop production businesses, and encourage the development of settled farming; to increase pastureland and hay production by solving issues related to the land ownership and utilization and to enhance capability to protect agricultural production from natural disasters such as drought and dzud /heavy snow blizzard/ based on the increased production of the livestock fodder.

  • To take measures and efforts, although it requires large investment, to improve pastureland water supply and pasture rodent control.

We haven't reached sufficient results yet, even though in the past few years the following measures were introduced such as locally adapted and new seed varieties; and modern soil tillage technology in order to rehabilitate and strengthen the crop production sector. Current results show that it is necessary to increase irrigated crop production in such a dry climate as Mongolia's. To this regard, we are working to cooperate with experienced countries such as Israel, China, and South Korea to replace old irrigation systems with new and not highly costed one.

In the globally changing climate, issues regarding of the preservation of natural environment, rehabilitating damaged areas, combating against desertification, eradicating food shortages, and reducing poverty have become not only Mongolia's problems, but also the world's problems. We are working to prevent from all sudden climatic changes and environmental disasters, while preparing to react against the unexpected disasters with less impact in case of occurrence.

To solve those issues, The Government of Mongolia believes that the International Fund of Agricultural Development will expand and strengthen the cooperation with its member countries. Mongolia has been successfully cooperating with the IFAD since 1995.

The IFAD funded "Arhangai and Huvsgul Rural Poverty Alleviation Project" which was implemented successfully in two provinces between 1996-2003. The total number of beneficiaries reached 7,800, which was 27 percent higher than expected. The promotion of household based vegetable production improved food security and family income. Even though the winter natural disaster (dzud) occurred during the project implementation period and caused negative impact on the restocking component of the project, valuable lessons were learned for future programs development and implementation. Currently, we are working with IFAD to relieve the debt burden on the back of herders, who lost much of their livestock because of the dzud.

In July, 2003, IFAD approved the new programme on the Rural Poverty Reduction for Mongolia, and its objectives and activities have corresponded with the Government's policies and strategies. The new programme promotes the winter preparedness of herders through rangeland management, fodder production and private veterinary services. Non-herders are supported with training and micro-credit for investments in economic activities. The programme activities such as the rehabilitation of rural school dormitories, hospitals and water points, have been appreciated by the rural communities.

On behalf of the Government of Mongolia, as an Executive Agency of the IFAD program, the Ministry of Food and Agriculture expresses it's full support for IFAD's new management policy "Performance Based Allocation System" and "Result and Impact Management System". Result and Impact Management System has been introduced in our programme implementation in order to improve the program's efficiency and final results.

Finally I would like to wish a success to the Session activities and I am confident that our mutual cooperation will be strengthened. Thank you for your attention.