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United States Hosts Forum to Advance Mongolia’s Food Security

Thursday, September 28 – The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and Development Solutions NGO, through the Business Excellence for Sustainability and Transparency (BEST) project, organized a forum to enhance Mongolia’s food security.  Focused on “Exploring New Financing Avenues for Agriculture,” the forum gathered diverse perspectives as representatives from the government, private sector and donor organizations discussed challenges and opportunities to apply innovative solutions and financing approaches.

U.S. Ambassador to Mongolia Richard Buangan delivered opening remarks along with Deputy Minister of Food, Agriculture and Light Industry M. Gankhuleg and Executive Director of the Mongolian Bankers Association L. Amar. They underscored the crucial role of partnerships to advance growth in the agricultural sector.  

“Mongolia’s agricultural sector faces unprecedented challenges, including disruptions in the supply of essential inputs, such as fertilizer, and market uncertainties,” Ambassador Buangan said. “The U.S. government has been working with our Mongolian counterparts through a myriad of activities to promote sustainable and resilient economic growth and food security.”

The forum highlighted the results of a survey on the need to expand access to finance for farmers, conducted by USAID’s BEST program, the Mongolian Bankers Association, and the Banking and Finance Academy Panel. Discussions centered on innovative financing strategies based on agricultural production contracts, adaptation of financial models that suit the unique needs of the sector, and the potential establishment of dedicated agricultural financing units within commercial banks. Since 2019, with USAID’s BEST assistance, over 4,000 small- and medium-sized enterprises have secured loans worth more than MNT 200 billion (approximately $62 million), which has helped them grow and expand their business, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.