Mon­go­lian im­ports to quench for­age thirst

China Daily (Canada) - - LIFE - By ZHONGNANin Beijing and YUAN HUI in Xilin Gol, In­nerMon­go­lia

China will im­port more than 400,000 met­ric tons of for­age from Mon­go­lia next year to cope with the grow­ing de­mand for dairy and other high-pro­tein prod­ucts, of­fi­cials said onWed­nes­day.

Ship­ments have al­ready started with eight trucks car­ry­ing 200 tons of for­age reach­ing the Zu­unkha­davchi Land Port of Xilin Gol League in North China’s In­nerMon­go­lia au­ton­o­mous re­gion on Wed­nes­day. This is also the first time that China is im­port­ing for­age fromMon­go­lia.

Since Mon­go­lia’s east­ern re­gion is rich in stock­breed­ing re­sources, the gov­ern­ment of Xilin Gol League signed an agree­ment with three Mon­go­lian prov­inces — Omno­govi, Dornogovi and Suh­baatar — to im­port for­age.

China will im­port 100,000 tons of for­age from Mon­go­lia by the end of this year and the an­nual im­port vol­ume of for­age is ex­pected to ex­ceed 400,000 tons in 2016.

Lim­ited by its poor for­age crop pro­duc­tion, China used to im­port for­age from the United States and Aus­tralia to sup­port its stock­breed­ing in­dus­try. Ris­ing prices of im­ported for­age, al­falfa and corn silage have af­fected the na­tion’s rawmilk out­put in the past two years. Most of the Chi­nese dairy farms lack ac­cess to qual­ity feed for their cat­tle and cows.

“Since most of the farm­land in China is used for grow­ing grains and veg­eta­bles, the cul­ti­va­tion of for­age crops is far be­hind that of de­vel­oped coun­tries. The coun­try largely de­pends on im­ported for­age and al­falfa to sup­ply do­mes­tic dairy and cat­tle farms,” said Navchi­maa, deputy head of Dong Ujimqin Ban­ner of Xilin Gol League.

She said de­mand for milk, beef and mut­ton in China’s western re­gion, par­tic­u­larly in the Ningxia Hui and Xin­jiang Uygur au­ton­o­mous re­gions, and Qinghai and Gansu prov­inces, has grown in the past five years, as it is be­com­ing more ex­pen­sive to raise cat­tle and cows in western China, where the econ­omy and live­stock in­dus­try are less de­vel­oped than in the east­ern prov­inces.

Due to the lim­ited graz­ing lands and breed­ing cy­cle, China’s sheep breed­ing sec­tor has also lagged be­hind con­sumer de­mand, re­sult­ing in higher lamb prices over the past five years, ac­cord­ing to a re­port re­leased by Beijing-based Chi­nese Acad­emy of Agri­cul­tural Sci­ences in June.

Ea­ger to meet

do­mes­tic de­mand­for var­i­ous food­stuffs, the Chi­nese gov­ern­ment has in­creased in­ter­na­tional trade in food prod­ucts through trad­ing ar­range­ments such as free trade agree­ments or non-tar­iff deals for cer­tain agri­cul­tural prod­ucts with its trad­ing part­ners in Cen­tral Asia, Europe and South Amer­ica.

“As China has found it im­pos­si­ble to grow all of the food it needs and has con­se­quently formed closer ties with its trade part­ners, de­mand for dairy prod­ucts, beef and mut­ton will cer­tainly pro­vide many op­por­tu­ni­ties for for­age sup­pli­ers and other agri­cul­tural busi­nesses in Mon­go­lia,” said B Bayan­mag­nai, di­rec­tor of Mon­go­lia’s Bichigt Cus­tom dis­trict.

Un­der the agree­ment, Xilin Gol League andMon­go­lia will also start horse trad­ing in each other’s land ports. The two sides plan to trade 20,000 horses next year, as well as open more mar­ket chan­nels for breed­ing cat­tle and sheep.

Con­tact the writer at yuan­hui@chi­ and zhong­nan@chi­nadaily.

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