The FINANCIAL — The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Government of Mongolia today signed a $3 million grant to pilot community-based approaches to farming in the country’s central growing region of Tuv, Selenge, Darkhan-Uul, and Uvs aimags. The grant will improve livelihoods of smallholders involved in vegetable production.
Signing the agreement on behalf of the Government of Mongolia was Minister of Finance Ch. Khurelbaatar, while Country Director Yolanda Fernandez Lommen signed on behalf of ADB. First Secretary Hiroshi Fukasawa from the Embassy of Japan in Mongolia witnessed the event. Representative from the Ministry of Food, Agriculture, and Light Industry also participated, according to ADB.
“The project supports the Mongolian government’s efforts to improve agricultural productivity through inclusive value chains, climate change adaptation, and capacity building for farmers,” said Ms. Fernandez Lommen. “The broad scope of this project reflects the work of the government and ADB to target key regions, sectors, and beneficiaries for poverty alleviation, livelihoods, and the environment. The goal is that these pilot projects are sustainable and can be replicated and scaled up elsewhere in the country.”
The grant is funded by the Japanese government-financed Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction (JFPR), which over the past 18 years has supported projects in Mongolia focusing on poverty alleviation, community development, improving livelihoods, and safeguarding the environment.
Unlike livestock, vegetable farming remains an underdeveloped sector in Mongolia despite good potential for cropping. The project will introduce a community-farming model, applying improved climate-resilient farming practices and high-level greenhouse technology. It will strengthen farm-to-market linkages and integrate farming groups into inclusive agriculture value chains.
Vegetable farmers generally earn low incomes and the country is heavily reliant on imported products. The demand for good quality, locally-grown fresh produce is on the rise as people relocate to cities and citizens become more aware of the need to extend their diets beyond traditional meat staples.
The project is expected to directly benefit at least 180 farming households, many of them headed by women, representing about 500 farmers and seed producers. Indirect benefits will accrue to at least 45,000 people in target districts, or soums.