Export of seabuckthorn berries to be promoted

Economy | Agriculture
2022-04-15 16:01:49

Ulaanbaatar /MONTSAME/ On the second day of the ‘Food supply and security – Crop farming’ forum, meetings of vegetable and fruit/berry farmers took place.

Minister of Food Agriculture and Light Industry Z.Mendsaikhan stressed that special emphasis is being placed on providing support and long-term investments in the sector as it takes fruits and berries at least 3 years to bear fruit and that the business requires many years of effort and investment and research-based technologies. “The government implemented the Seabuckthorn national program in 2010-2016, providing support in growing seedlings, conducting research, processing the fruits and berries, and boosting export in addition to making efforts to increase seabuckthorn berry production and giving 2.5 million seedlings to farmers on soft loans,” said the Minister, adding that further efforts will be made to promote export.

Vegetable farmers and crop storage facility operators also convened for a meeting on the same day, at which the Agriculture Minister gave information on the current state of the country’s potato and vegetable farming industry and government’s measures and other speakers gave speeches on global food supply, traceability system, and other topics.

There were 338 businesses and 2,511 self-employed people in the country’s fruit and berry farming industry as of 2021, the year when the total area of fruit and berry production reached 6,686 hectares and a record 3,760 tons of fruits and berries were harvested, which indicate a 4.4-fold increase in the production area and a 9.8-fold growth in harvest volume compared to 2009. However, the country could meet only about 2 percent of the domestic demand with such an amount and continues to import 20-24 thousand tons of fruits every year.

The Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Light Industry plans to increase the total area of fruit and berry production by 13.5 thousand hectares to 20 thousand hectares, plant 24 million fruit and berry trees, create agro-forestry businesses in rural areas and the capital city.

Even though the country is growing seabuckthorn and blackcurrant seedlings locally, 95 percent of seedlings of other fruits and berries including apples, plums, and cherries that can be grown in Mongolia are imported.

‘Uvs Chatsargana’, seabuckthorn berries from Uvs aimag, has been registered in the EU as the first Protected Geographical Indication from Mongolia in 2022, which enables to increase export of the berries.