Mobile Livestock Keeping in Mongolia at the Beginning of the 21st Century

  • Jorg Janzen National University of Mongolia and Freie Universität Berlin
Keywords: Mobile Livestock Keeping, Pastoral Nomadism, Migration, Spatial Mobility, Survival Strategies, Rural Development, Transforming Country


Mongolia belongs to those countries where mobile livestock keeping still plays an important role. Since the end of socialism far-reaching changes have taken place in animal husbandry. The collectively-kept animals of the production cooperatives (negdel) were privatized and distributed to their members in the early 1990s. Many so-called 'new nomads' started mobile livestock keeping. Background and characteristics of the recent change as well as major problems of Mongolian mobile livestock keeping are highlighted. New forms of spatial and social organization arising from market-oriented conditions are discussed. It is concluded that a sustainable rural development can only be achieved by a holistic approach. The major goals are to keep the number of animals at a reasonable amount, introducing new legal regulations for securing a group-oriented ecologically-adapted pasture and water management, establishing small and medium enterprises processing animal raw materials as well as the improving the technical and social infrastructure. Implementation of these recommendations by the Mongolian government will contribute to a viable future of mobile livestock keeping in Mongolia.


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