Mongolia expects a good harvest of crops in 2014

With yet another bump in the harvest of crops, Mongolia's agricultural production has exceeded the domestic demand.
In 2014, cereal grains were planted on 293 thousand hectares of area, potatoes-on 13 thousand hectares, vegetables-on 7.9 thousand hectares, fodder-on 12 thousand hectares, oil plants-on 78.1 thousand hectares, fruits-on 495 thousand hectares and medical plants-on 950 hectares of area, the Ministry of Industry and Agriculture reported.
The preparation works for the autumn harvest is now underway provided with technical updates and maintenance, the related authorities said, Moreover, the Agriculture Production Support Fund is making efforts to support agrarian companies by granting soft loans and providing agricultural equipment and machineries at the discounted price.
Mongolia is expected to have a good harvest of crops in 2014. This summer, the weather conditions were pleasant, so, crops and vegetables are growing at satisfactory levels. The most important issue is the autumn harvest campaign. We must prevent from losing crops to frost, agricultural ministry officials said. In 2013, Mongolia harvested 387.0 thousand tons of cereal grains, 191.6 thousand tons of potatoes, 101.8 thousand tons of vegetables, 1,169.3 thousand tons of gross hay and 36.6 thousand tons of handmade fodder.
In 2008, Mongolia launched its third land reclamation campaign. The country's grain production has increased greatly since then.
Over the past five years, successive governments have had a considerable amount of success in achieving this objective. Largely as a result of three years of favorable agricultural conditions since 2010, in 2012 production had increased to the point when Mongolia was able to meet 100 percent of domestic potatoes and wheat demand, and between 50-70% of domestic vegetables and flour demand. Since 1945, Mongolia intensified its efforts to expand crop production by establishing more state farms, by reclaiming virgin lands for crop raising, by mechanizing farm operations and and by developing irrigation systems for farmlands. When Mongolia began to report statistics on arable land in 1960, there were 532,000 hectares of arable land, and sown crops covered 265,000 hectares of the 477,000 hectares of plow land. Mongolia's 25 state farms accounted for 77.5 percent of sown areas, and cooperatives-for 22.5 percent. In 1985, when 52 state farms and 17 fodder supply farms existed, there were about 1.2 million  hectares of arable land, and sown crops covered 789,600 hectares of the approximately 1 million hectares of plow land. The state sector accounted for 80.6 percent of sown areas, and cooperatives-for 19.4 percent. The development of virgin lands by state farms was responsible for most of the for most of the expansion of arable land and sown areas. Land reclamation started in the late 1950s and the early 1960s, when 530, 000 hectares were developed, and it continued throughout each five-year plan since then. During the Seventh Plan, 250,000 hectares were assimilated, and the Eightth Plan called for an additional 120,000-130,000 hectares to be reclaimed. 
Mechanization of farm operations commenced on a large scale in the 1950s with the Soviet  Union provided most agricultural machines, as well as advice and expertise in mechanization operations.State farms were more highly mechanized than cooperatives. For example, in 1985, 100 percent of potatoo growing and 84 percent of potato harvesting were mechanized on state farms, compared with 85 percent and  35 percent respectively in cooperatives. Beginning in the 1960s, state farms also pioneered the development of irrigation systems for crops. By By 1985 Mongolia had 85,200 hectares of available irrigated land, of which 81,600 hectares actually were irrigated.
Crop production initially concentrated on growing cereal grains. In 1941, cereal grains covered 95.1 percent of sown areas, while 3.4 percent was devoted to potatoes and 1.5 percent to vegetables. In 1960, Mongolia became self-sufficient as far as cereal grains were concerned. Cultivation of fodder crops began in the 1950s. In 1985, cereal grains covered 80.6 percent of sown areas, fodder crops 17.7 percent, potatoes 1.3 percent, and vegetables 0.4 percent.Mongolia's staple crops were wheat, barley, oats, potatoes, vegetables, hay, and silage crops. Since 1960, the agricultural performance as measured by gross output, per capital output, and crop yield was uneven. Although sown acreage expanded dramatically between 1960 and 1980, the output and crop yields remained stagnant and , in some cases, fell because of natural disasters and poor management. In addition to the staple crops mentioned above, Mongolia also produced small quantities of oil-yielding crops such as sunflowers and grapes, and fruits and vegetables, such as sea buckthorn, apples European black currants, watermelons, muskmelons, onions, and garlic. Small amounts of alfalfa, soybean, millet, and peas were also grown to provide protein fodder.


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