mongoliaMongolia is a landlocked country of Central Asia, located between China and Russia. It is geographically spread over about 1.5 million square kilometers but has the lowest population density in the world. The country’s population is about 2.8 million people (2011), and its capital is Ulaanbaatar, where about 40 percent of the population lives. A lot of Mongolians lead a nomadic, herder style of life.

Administratively, Mongolia is divided into 21 provinces (aimags). The provinces are sub-divided into 329 districts (soums). The topography of Mongolia is varied. The southern part is covered by the Gobi Desert, while the northern and western parts are covered by mountains. Mongolia’s climate comprises lengthy bitter cold winters, dry and hard summers, low precipitation, and drastic temperature fluctuations. The average temperature of the capital city remains around the freezing point throughout the year.

Context

Context

In Mongolia, the entire land is owned by the state. There is little private ownership of land if any as private landholders have either possession rights (leasable) or use rights (non-sellable). The agricultural sector comprises a large sub-sector of livestock and comparatively small sub-sector of crops, contributing about 37 percent of the national GDP. Mongolia has a history of state and collective farms. Arable land and permanent crops cover about 1.3 million hectares while permanent pastures cover about 117 million hectares. The livestock sub-sector provides about 90 percent of the agricultural GDP. Herd animals are goats, sheep, cattle and horses. Extreme winter weather (dzud) often causes high livestock mortality rate. The number of goats has been increasing for cashmere production, as Mongolia is the second biggest cashmere producer in the world. Main crops include corn, wheat, barley and potatoes. Besides fodder crops, sunflower, grapes, sea buckthorn, apples, European black currants, watermelons, muskmelons, onion and garlic are also grown. Mongolia has vast areas covered by forests. Freshwater fishing is also of economic importance. 

Key Statistics and Indicators

Indicator

Value

Year  

Agricultural land (sq km)

Agricultural land (% of land area)

Arable land (hectares)

Arable land (% of land area)

Arable land (hectares per person)

1,158,000

74.53

960,000

0.61

0.35

2009

2009

2009

2009

2009

Fertilizer consumption (kg per hectare of arable land)

7.88

2009

Agriculture, value added (% of GDP)

Food production index (2004-2006 = 100)

Food exports (% of merchandise exports)

Food imports (% of merchandise imports)

14.48

114.29

1.71

11.82

2011

2010

2007

2007

GNI per capita, Atlas method (current US$)

2310

2011

Literacy rate, adult total (% of people ages 15 and above)

Literacy rate, youth female (% of females ages 15-24)

Literacy rate, youth male (% of males ages 15-24)

Ratio of young literate females to males (% ages 15-24)

Ratio of female to male secondary enrollment (%)

97.40

97.35

94.36

103.16

105.65

2010

2010

2010

2010

2011

Mobile cellular subscriptions (per 100 people)

Internet users (per 100 people)

105.07

20

2011

2011

Population, total

Population density (people per sq. km of land area)

Rural population

Rural population (% of total population)

Agricultural population (% of total population)*

Total economically active population

Total economically active population in agriculture*

Total economically active population in agriculture (in %

    of total economically active population)

Female economically active population in agriculture (% of

     total economically active population in agriculture)*

2,800,114

1.77

883,206

31.54

17.60

1,183,147

493,000

41.66

47.94

2011

2011

2011

2011

2010

2010

2010

2010

2010

Sources: The World Bank; *Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations FAO

Acknowledgements

  • Authored by M. Kalim Qamar (February, 2013)
  • Edited by Burton E. Swanson

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