On November 18, the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and the Ministry of Food and Agriculture held a conference on the topic of “How to increase the export of animal products”, while also reporting on the Green Gold/Animal Health Consolidation project implemented in Arkhangai, Zakhan, Govi- Altai, and Bayan-Ulgii provinces.
The SDC in Mongolia has been supporting the livestock sector for several years with two major projects, Green Gold project and Animal Health Consolidation. According to the SDC’s website, “Considering these promising results and the experiences made so far, and appreciation by the national partners and the herder families, SDC decided to merge the two projects in a new single-phase project with the aim to consolidate, upscale, institutionalize, and phase out this support, allowing the results to be sustained and the investment secured.”
The project team highlighted that Mongolia needed to bring veterinary hospitals up to international standards and enact a specific law on veterinary standards in order to increase the export of animal products. The SDC reported that they cooperated with Cabinet ministries to draft a new bill regarding veterinary hospitals. Officials stressed that if the bill is passed, it will decrease the outbreaks of disease amongst livestock and improve the standards of veterinary hospitals and services.
The country’s export of animal products has fallen recently due to high rates of disease outbreak. The most recent and significant impact of these conditions is the Chinese government’s decision to place a temporary ban on the import of animal products from Mongolia. Chinese officials stress that China will only resume importing animal products from Mongolia once health standards have been met.
The participants of the conference stated that the government did not need to finance animal health projects, as a decision by Parliament to not allow the sale of meat that is not up to standards will sort out the problem. Other participants pointed out that improving the export of animal products would help alleviate the country’s dependence on mining and further diversify the economy.