From Steppe to Global Demand: Mongolia's Halal Meat Export Industry Takes Off
Halal meat is a lucrative and rapidly expanding market. Mongolia's vast livestock population and commitment to halal slaughtering norms make it a promising player in the global halal meat market.
Mongolia has exported 500 tons of meat and by-products to Uzbekistan in the first 10 months of 2022.
During a virtual meeting with the Minister of Agriculture of Uzbekistan, the Minister of Food, Agriculture and Light Industry of Mongolia expressed that there is a good opportunity for Mongolia to increase exports to Uzbekistan in the future.
In December 2022, Uzbekistan gave permission for nine Mongolian enterprises to import meat and meat products, which has increased the number of enterprises that can export to the country to 26.
In 2019, the two countries agreed to work on joint projects and programs to further expand cooperation in animal husbandry and veterinary care, and they mutually agreed on veterinary certificates. This opened the possibility of exporting meat and meat products to Uzbekistan.
During the bilateral meeting, the two countries discussed the development of cooperation in the livestock sector and collaboration on a project to build a quarantine zone with a veterinary regimen implemented by the government.
The representatives of Uzbekistan also expressed a willingness to expand imports by establishing a joint farm in Mongolia. The parties agreed that it would be effective to cooperate in the "quarantine zone with a veterinary regimen" of the three western provinces of Mongolia.
Mongolian enterprises have been introducing Halal Slaughtering Norms in recent years, which creates an opportunity to supply Halal meats and meat to countries such as Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Iran, and Azerbaijan.
During the SCO summit in Samarkand, Uzbekistan in September 2022, the Presidents of the two countries met and agreed to establish an intergovernmental commission between Mongolia and Uzbekistan.
The first meeting of the intergovernmental commission is planned to be held in Uzbekistan in the first quarter of 2023 and will be chaired by the Ministers of Agriculture of the two countries.
The meat industry, particularly exports, is one of the most promising avenues for Mongolia to diversify its economy away from overreliance on extractive industries such as mining.
Mongolia now exports relatively small number compared to the national livestock herd of over 70 million animals.
Mongolia’s large ratio of livestock to its human population of about 3.4 million means the country has a lot of room to grow its meat exports.
Beyond Uzbekistan, Mongolia exports halal meat to Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Key challenges include phytosanitary standards and Mongolia's distance from key markets for halal meat.
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