Transformation of a pastoral economy: a local view from Arhangai and Dornogobi provinces
Policy Alternatives for Livestock Development in Mongolia (PALD) (Project)
MetadataShow full item record
Mongolia is embarking on the liberalisation of agriculture as part of its overall programme of economic transformation. The major part of the agricultural sector is extensive livestock husbandry or semi-nomadic pastoralism, organised principally through the agricultural cooperatives or negdels. The purpose of this joint Mongolia-UK policy research and training project is: (i) to build social science research capability in Mongolian research institutions; (ii) to provide a description, and analysis of the Mongolian pastoral livelihood system, focusing especially on production and distribution issues at household and local level; and (iii) to generate information and skills to facilitate policy choices to be made in the next five years, and monitor changes already underway. The three year project focuses mainly on the negdels, since they make up the largest part of the rural economy, although reference will also be made to other agricultural enterprises and economic sectors. The main research themes included in this project are: (i) household production and marketing strategies, and vulnerability; (ii) seasonality, animal nutrition and grazing management; (iii) land and natural resource tenure; and (iv) risk and risk management. Secondary research themes include: (v) raising productivity; (vi) livestock and livestock product marketing; and (vii) managing the economic transition. Important guiding principles behind this project are to consider the environmental sustainability of economic reforms; and their differential impacts between ecological zones, between richer and poorer households, and between different household members. The project is being carried out by a joint UK-Mongolian research team drawn from the three cooperating institutions: the Mongolian Research Institute of Animal Husbandry (RIAH), the Mongolian Institute of Agricultural Economics (IAE), and the Institute of Development Studies (IDS) at the University of Sussex, UK. This working paper documents the findings of the initial phase of fieldwork during July-August 1991. This phase included the training of Mongolian team members in fieldwork methodology, especially the techniques of participatory or rapid rural appraisal. The fieldwork was carried out in Arhangai province or aimag, representing the forest/mountain steppe ecological zone; and Dornogobi aimag in the Gobi zone. The research consisted primarily of case studies of two brigades, one in each aimag, with extensive semi-structured interviewing conducted at household level, and supplementary interviews at aimag and negdel levels. Of the research themes listed above, attention during this phase focused on the first four.