B. Food Security Through Agriculture: Creating Alternative Livelihoods


Coordinating Agencies: UNDP, FAO

Government Counterpart: Ministry of Agriculture & Industry

Implementing Partners: Experienced NGOs and NPAP

Location of Initiative: Dundgobi, Uvurkhangai, Tuv


B.1: Background and Context


Despite the many challenges to food production in Mongolia, significant potential exists and remains untapped. Vegetable production was not a major priority during the large-scale, mechanised farming era in Mongolia. The production and consumption of vegetables, therefore, has been relatively unfamiliar to most. However, in the past two years, especially as a result of the Green Revolution programme, there has been a surge of interest from rural and urban inhabitants alike, who see vegetable production as a means of improving their food availability, nutrition, and income. To promote vegetable production in a sustainable manner, the programme will use local varieties of nutritionally valuable vegetables suited for the Mongolian climate and market. The following vegetables have been prioritised – potato, onion, cabbage, carrot, turnip and cucumber.


The UN system in collaboration with the Government, the NPAP and NGOs is planning to implement food security activities to soften the impact of the natural disaster on the most vulnerable households in affected areas - particularly in Uvurkhangai, Dundgobi and Tuv aimags - to diversify food production systems.


B.2: Objective


The immediate relief objective is to provide the most vulnerable households in the dzud-affected areas with assistance to improve their food security and nutrition status. The aim is to initiate and support household and community gardening activities in the spring of 2000 through the provision of basic agricultural infrastructure (i.e. seeds and tools during the immediate relief phase May/June 2000 and potentially more intense farm land development in the rehabilitation stage). This will help generate food supplies and agricultural skills for families who otherwise would have very little resources as a result of losing livestock during the 1999/2000 dzud. The quick response effort during the spring of 2000 in household/community vegetable gardening will provide an alternative livelihood. This will contribute to social, economic, and physical stability in the affected rural areas.


B.3: Strategy for Implementation


Close on-going technical support will be required for the initial participating households to minimise the risks associated with farming in Mongolia’s erratic climate. Earlier technical partners from the green revolution effort (NGOs and NPAP) will play a key role in supporting the local level implementation.


The target group is only just emerging. For the purposes of planning, it is anticipated that a minimum of 1,200 affected herder households would participate with an overall project budget of around US$ 88,000. Implementation period: 1 year starting from April 1, 2000, with possibility of extending into a second year with an increase in the number of beneficiaries.


B.4: Budget for Implementation



Total cost


Vegetable seeds


Materials: Tools, Storage facilities, Infrastructure/well rehabilitation, land preparation




Technical support