“Green Pasture” Soft Loan Project to incentivize herders to adopt sustainable rangeland and herd management practices

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2020-02-06 14:39 GMT+8

The Green Gold and Animal Health Project of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation and XacBank have partnered with the Mongolian National Federation of Pasture User Groups in the implementation of Green Pasture Project-soft loan project in Chandmana soum of Hovd aimag.  The Project aims to promote responsible herding practices and reverse rangeland degradation through innovative financial incentives. To participate in the Green Pasture Project, herders are required to register with the “Responsible Nomads” Livestock Raw Material Traceability system developed by the Green Gold Animal Health Project of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, and operated by the Mongolian National Federation of Pasture User Groups. Monitoring and compliance operations for the Green Pasture Project are conducted through this system. The Responsible Nomads code of practices and its traceability system aim to encourage best practices of nomadic livestock herding to maintain sustainable rangeland and livestock management.

Responsible Nomads employs six key indicators that herders must comply with to continue involvement in the Green Pasture Project. These include: responsible actions of herders, maintenance and improvement of rangeland health, keeping up to date with animal health services, ensuring animal welfare, promoting environmental stewardship, and traceability of livestock. Each of these indicators are meticulously measured for each herder through a mobile phone application, recorded within the Responsible Nomads database system. At the same time, the traceability system developed for Responsible Nomads provides end-customers with a guarantee that raw materials have been produced by nomadic herders who maintain responsible rangeland and herd management practices and care for the wildlife sharing the rangelands.

RMTS – Raw Material Traceability System is a smart phone application which can be downloaded from Play Store and App Store

By clicking on the camera icon, the app allows you to scan the QR code on the product label which is originated from the ear tag code of a livestock

RMTS verifies that product is manufactured from raw materials, which meet above indicators

This project operates in the Chandmana soum of Hovd aimag and benefits 97 herder households. The Green Pasture Project saw promising results through the implementation process in 2019. The loan was successfully administered to all qualified participants and herders have largely complied with herd reduction requirements and sustainable rangeland management practices. On average, herders have sold 7694 livestock, which is 6 percent higher than the planned number. Green Gold Animal Health Project has been working in Chandmana soum of Hovd aimag since 2017. According to rangeland health monitoring system introduced with the support from the Project, the rangeland health has stabilized and heavily degraded rangelands showing signs of recovery in Chandmana soum. Herder families have been maintaining number of livestock at the same level in the past three years to manage grazing pressure and to avoid depleting the recovery capacity of rangelands heavily over grazed.  

Mongolian National Federation of PUGs and the Green Pasture Project team are now considering how to move forward in 2020 and beyond. The Responsible Nomads traceability system shows incredible promise in promoting and monitoring sustainable rangeland and livestock management. Managers will continue to monitor the progress through 2020 and will explore how the effect of financial incentives could be utilized in the future.

Ts. Anand
Mongolian National Federation of Pasture User Groups

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