Mongolia Agriculture and Fishing Overview


Livestock management is traditionally Mongolia’s most important industry and employs about half the population. Sheep, goats, cows, horses, camels and yaks are the most common domestic animals. Many shepherd families live as nomads and are outside the monetary economy.

  • CountryAAH: Comprehensive import regulations of Mongolia. Covers import prohibitions and special documentation requirements for a list of prohibited items.

Four-fifths of the land can be used as pasture. Excessive grazing, especially of goats whose cloves also tear up the grass roots, however, destroys the soil and reduces grazing areas.

In the 1950s, the livestock managers were forced to join together in jointly owned collectives and the shepherds were then paid monthly by the collectives. The collectivization meant that the livestock population did not increase despite the population doubling in three decades. During democratization in 1990 private ownership was again allowed and thereafter the number of animals increased. For Mongolia defense and foreign policy, please check recipesinthebox.

During the transition from socialist planning economics to market economics in the 1990s, a number of industries were eliminated and many Mongols were forced to return to livestock management. As a result, agriculture’s share of gross domestic product (GDP) increased sharply. The stock of livestock has grown to include 40 million animals in 2012. It had then recovered after several difficult periods of recovery due to harsh winters, severe drought, floods and foot-and-mouth disease.

During the 2000s, the number of cattle families has decreased. Above all, it is young men who have chosen other means of livelihood.

From livestock management comes the most economically important agricultural product: the expensive cashmere wool. It comes from the cashmere goat and is combed by the animals when they fall in the spring. Mongolia is, after China, the world’s largest producer of cashmere wool. Most wool is exported unprocessed.

Only one percent of the land area is cultivated. Water is scarce in Mongolia and the growing season is short. Wheat, potatoes and vegetables are the most important crops.

Agriculture on a larger scale was first introduced during the communist era (1924-1990) and then in the form of large state-owned farms. When production was at its peak in the mid-1980s, the country was self-sufficient with grain. Thereafter, the harvest declined for climate reasons and because self-sufficient farmers could not afford to make investments. Mongolia has therefore become dependent on food aid from outside. However, over the past ten years, agricultural production has increased sharply, nearly quadrupling between 2002 and 2012.

Some fishing is carried out in the lakes, but the industry has no major economic significance for the country.

However, Mongolia has significant forestry and exports a lot of wood products.


Agriculture’s share of GDP

10.9 percent (2018)

Percentage of land used for agriculture

71.5 percent (2016)

  • Offers how the 3-letter acronym of MNG stands for the state of Mongolia in geography.



Demonstrations for the environment

Demonstrations against environmental degradation as a result of the expanding mining industry are being held outside Parliament. The protesters try to get into the parliament building, they are stopped by guards and gunfire occurs.


Enchbajar is pardoned

Imprisoned President Enchbajar is released after pardoning the incumbent president. Enchbajar is in poor health following a hunger strike and taken to hospital in South Korea.


First copper load completed

The first load of copper from the Ojuu Tolgoj mine is shipped to China, four years after work on constructing the mine began.

Public President installation

The presidential installation is being held for the first time in a public place at the Genghis Khan statue at Süchbaatar Square in Ulan Bator. The square was renamed shortly afterwards to Djingi’s Khan Square.


The president is re-elected

At the June 26 presidential election, incumbent President Elbegdorzj will be re-elected in the first round of elections, receiving 50.2 percent of the vote. His challenger Badmaanjambuugijn Bat-Erdene from MPP receives 42 percent of the vote, while former Health Minister Natsagijn Udval for MPRP receives 6.5 percent. The turnout is about 66.5 percent.


Cooperation agreement with the EU

A cooperation agreement between the EU and Mongolia is signed in conjunction with Mongolia hosting an international ministerial meeting.

The Supreme Legal Council is reorganized

President Tsachiagijn Elbegdorzj introduces a change in the composition of the country’s highest legal council through decree. Instead of being made up of, among others, the Chief Judge of the Supreme Court, the Prosecutor General and the Minister of Justice, the Council shall consist of three members and a chairman nominated by a legal association.


The President is forced to step down

The Speaker of Parliament and the former Minister of Finance (2008–2012), Sangajavyn Bajartsogt, resign after it was revealed that he was the owner of an offshore company and held a secret account in a Swiss bank. In Parliament, a broad majority votes for his departure.


Proposed monitoring is approved

The government approves the introduction of a unified system to monitor the use of the internet and mobile phones. A register of users should also be created.

Mongolia Agriculture and Fishing