Meat train on the move

Trans. by B.DULGUUN

The Ministry of Food and Agriculture issued a meat export quota for eight companies on Wednesday, after a month’s delay in the tendering process for meat exporters.
The Head of the Department of Coordination for Food Production Policy Implementation at the Ministry of Industry and Agriculture, Ts.Nandinjargal, explained the reason behind the delay. “Companies, and even individuals who have no experience in exporting meat, applied for the tender. It took us a long time to verify their legitimacy,” she said.
The National Commission for Food Safety approved the exportation of 644,000 tons of meat and 2,000 tons of meat for importation in 2015, and the Ministry of Food and Agriculture organized a selection process among meat producers. Baatruud Tenger LLC, Makh Impex LLC, Mongol Makh Expo JSC, ANDM LLC, Mon-Tuva Factory, Bumnomin LLC, Sooton LLC, and EDGS Ltd have been chosen out of 36 companies that applied for the tender on December 12, 2014.
The tender considered adequate sanitary procedures at meat processing plants and appropriate storage of meat in refrigerated warehouses. The majority of the 36 companies didn’t meet these requirements.
In total, the selected eight companies received an export quota for 4,051 tons of meat; 1,676 tons for beef, 2,275 tons for horse meat, and 100 tons for chevon (goat meat). The ministry confirmed that this specified amount will be exported within the first half of the year.
The highest amount of meat exported by Mongolia has been 26,000 tons in a year. Experts noted that Mongolia isn’t capable of exporting 64,000 tons of meat a year as that sort of capacity isn’t currently available in the country. They’ve also affirmed that Mongolian livestock isn’t raised for meat purposes. According to the experts, Mongolia is expected to export meat equivalent to six percent of the amount approved by the National Commission for Food Safety in the first half of 2015.
Domestic meat processing plants did not announce their prices for export meat. On average, if we say one kg is exported for five USD, Mongolia will make over 20,000 USD from exporting meat in the first half of the year, which is approximately 38 million MNT. Other companies that failed in the previous tender selection process will get the chance to receive a share of this money by joining a new selection process, which the ministry said will take place in fall.
Opportunities for exporting meat are increasing as the population of livestock increases in Mongolia. This can be seen from the decision of the National Commission for Food Safety, which approved 64,400 tons of meat for exportation. Meat can become an important export product of Mongolia. Several experts have recommended focusing the policy towards improving the health of livestock, upgrading meat processing plants, and developing intensive livestock farming. Mongolia is known to have frequent foot-and-mouth disease (FMDV) outbreaks. This makes it difficult to export meat, particularly from eastern regions, where FMDV outbreaks occur regularly. This region has already become the focus of the World Veterinary Association.
Mongolia’s attempt to declare its central and western regions FMDV-free failed when the disease spread throughout Sagsai soum in Bayan-Ulgii Province last year. It’s said that Mongolia has resubmitted a request for recognizing western regions with FMDV-free status.
Head of the Veterinary and Animal Breading Department M.Galbadrakh reported, “Mongolia can declare FMDV-free status if technical meetings are held regularly. A technical meeting has been arranged for this month.”
It will become easier to export meat if western areas are recognized as FMDV-free. The Customs Union Regulatory bodies of Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus paid a visit to 12 Mongolian meat processing plants. They advised eight plants to upgrade their technology and improve their operations. Once these plants have enhanced their operations, they will be permitted to export meat to member countries of the Customs Union. Overall, Mongolia has over 30 meat processing plants. Operation and equipment of these few plants comply with global standards, according to related officials.
“Plants work at full capacity to export high-standard meat, which has to be processed with industrial methods. Ensuring this regulation increases profit, providing the opportunity to upgrade technology and equipment,” claimed an agriculture sector official.
Many experts in the field believe that development of meat processing plants should be supported through government policy. Intensified livestock farming is undeniably the key to increasing meat exportation. Livestock of Mongolia have small-sized bodies that have adapted to the extreme climate. Mongolian livestock is said to be unsuitable for industrial meat production because they are pastured, which develops their muscles, hardening their meat.
Russians prefer importing beef and horse meat from Mongolia. Statistics show that Mongolia has approximately three million horses and 3.4 million cattle. If around 200 kg of meat is extracted per cattle, Mongolia will have to slaughter 320,000 cattle to supply 64,000 tons of beef. It’s suitable for Mongolia to establish more cattle farms for meat purposes if it is to supply Russia with beef to accumulate much needed foreign currency. Export volume will increase only if cattle with high meat output are bred. Mongolia is capable of selling five million goats but there isn’t a market that can afford it or is willing to buy them. Mongolia will have to use its export quota for 100 tons of chevron wisely.

Source: Unuudur Daily (Issue No.016)

Short URL: http://ubpost.mongolnews.mn/?p=13175

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