Investments to improve livestock productivity and quality and boost market access helped reduce rural poverty and household food insecurity on a sustainable basis in Mongolia. The project supported 13,684 beneficiaries in total (6,083 female, 7,601 male) from 2014 to 2017.
Mongolia, a country with a population of 3 million, had more than 43 million livestock in 2010. Livestock-based agriculture has been a backbone of the Mongolian society and economy for years, providing livelihoods for around 35 percent of the country’s population. The livestock-based industry contributed to 10 percent of all export revenues in 2010, only next to mining.
However, the agricultural sector needed modernization – the transition from collective socialism to the market economy in 1990s caused long-lasting changes to agricultural production, food industry, and rural livelihoods, with disruptions in institutional mechanisms and service delivery systems. Underdeveloped agro-industries and poor market access left herders with low and insecure incomes. Around 33 percent of the rural population was living below the national poverty line in 2011. A strategic shift to market-led approaches was necessary to fix existing fragmentation in supply chains.
The World Bank’s Mongolia Livestock and Agricultural Marketing Project (LAMP) aimed to improve rural livelihoods and food security by improving productivity, market access, and diversification in livestock-based production systems.
The project, covering 15 soums (sub-provinces) in Arkhangai, Bayankhongor, Gobi-Altai, Zavkhan, and Khuvsgul provinces, helped create productive partnerships by linking herders to markets and supporting increases in productivity and quality of products. This was done by leveraging private investment, such as by linking local herders – who often found it difficult to market their livestock at remunerative prices – to a meat processing and exporting company or helping them establish partnerships with private veterinary and breeding services. Herders also received trainings on safety standards, horticulture, fodder nutrition, as well as improved breeding practices.
Matching grants provided through the project served as a catalyst for cooperatives and agribusinesses to leverage their private capital. Microgrants of up to $10,000 were also provided to the most vulnerable households to help them produce vegetables and fruits, thus diversifying their income sources and nutrition.
The project was successful in helping herder households substantially improve their earnings and livelihoods. Internal and external evaluations confirmed these project results achieved from 2014 to 2017:
- The program increased the income of beneficiary households by more than Mongolian Tugrik (MNT) 3.0 million (US$1,204) from livestock production and MNT 150,000 (US $60) from horticulture production – an increase of 80 and 900 percent to household incomes respectively.
- Agricultural products were increasingly marketed through contracts and established companies ranging between 30 percent to 53 percent for different livestock and horticulture products.
- Herders were able to improve both the quantity and quality of their livestock products. For example, a study by the Animal Nucleus Flock Breeding Center (ANFBC) showed that the amount of cashmere production in beneficiary households increased from 260 grams to 400 grams per goat. At the same time, the fineness of the cashmere improved from 16.5 microns to 14.8 microns thanks to the successful work in improving animal genetics. Milk production increased by 33.1 percent and wool by 21.6 percent.
- Besides increased consumption of key food items such as milk and meat, herder households’ diet became more diverse with regular intake of vegetables and introduction of berries and poultry. The LAMP household survey showed 14 percent and 11 percent increases in horse meat and milk consumption, while carrot and sea buckthorn berry consumption increased by 25 percent for the median household. The results for vulnerable households show an increase of 14 percent, 5.9 percent, 16.6 percent, and 10 percent, respectively.
- The project developed business models to improve animal nutrition and animal breeding services (nucleus flocks), contributing to overall improvement in productivity and quality of livestock. It also helped connect the dots between animal breeding, animal health, and animal nutrition activities within the same soums (rural districts), which informed the national policy and Animal Health Law and Animal Breeding Law enacted at the end of 2017.
- The project also upgraded veterinary divisions, units and laboratories in 5 aimags (provinces) and 15 soums; supported 40 private veterinary units (PVUs); and established cold chains for animal vaccines in 15 soums and 6 buffer zones check points. These investments helped improve animal disease surveillance infrastructure and laboratory services.
Bank Group Contribution
International Development Association (IDA) designed the project based on the available analytical and evidence base. Global Agriculture and Food Security Program (GAFSP) provided the funding for project implementation in the amount of $12.5 million.
The LAMP project was implemented by the Government of Mongolia and supervised by the World Bank with technical inputs through a smaller Integrated Livestock-Based Livelihood Support Project technical assistance project in the amount of $1.5 million implemented by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).
Several innovative interventions piloted under LAMP are being scaled-up through the IDA supported Livestock Commercialization Project , such as (i) veterinary service delivery with cold chain management for vaccines and veterinary drugs until the last mile, (i) enhancing livestock productivity, (iii) improved market access through productive partnerships, and diversification in livestock-based production systems by investing in core public goods that helps in achieving the policy priorities set by the Ministry of Food, Agriculture, and Light Industry of Mongolia, namely, increased livestock exports and enhanced sector competitiveness. Innovative project design using a value chain approach for livestock sector development has contributed to the national policy formulation and emerging legal framework, including the recently enacted Animal Health Law and Animal Breeding Law.
The project reached a total of 13,684 direct beneficiaries through a combination of investment, capacity-building, and information dissemination activities in 2014-2017. Below are some highlights:
“With investments and equipment provided by the project, our unit is now able to provide regular trainings to herders on animal health. We have trained 756 herders so far. We are also proud to be able to safely deliver and administer vaccines for animals. Thanks to better trained herders and speedy veterinary services, our soum has become a healthy region free of infectious zoonotic diseases,” – N. Enkhbold, Head of Veterinary and Breeding Unit, Bayantsagaan soum, Bayankhongor province.