Farmer to Farmer: Sustainable Animal Herding  

In 2017, DSI  launched Farmer to Farmer Program  and is collaborating with Department of Food and Agriculture of Uvurkhangai aimag, Mongolia to improve productivity and profitability of herders through targeted technical assistance and training by volunteers from Virginia and West Virginia.


In Mongolia, the size of the livestock is almost doubled in the last decade, and had reached 62M in 2016. The herders focused on increasing the quantity of animals rather than on quality in order to increase household income. This bigger and better strategy did not bring the expected results, rather it caused other challenges including increased pasture pressure, which led to soil degradation. Overgrazing resulted in gradual changes in the vegetation loss, with a consequent reduction in diversity.

Furthermore, during the transition to the market economy, the control of livestock management transferred from central government regulation to private - market based system. Increased livestock numbers combined with weakened traditional regulatory institutions during the transition period, and without any clear formal institutions to regulate the pasture use, led to different issues. The wells and water supply points were destroyed and large areas of pasture went unused. This resulted an excessive number of livestock around the remaining water points, increasing pasture pressure in the surrounding areas.


Development Solutions International’s Farmer to Farmer program helps herders and organizations of Uvurkhangai aimag, Mongolia to increase productivity and profitability of Mongolian herders by transferring readily employable business skills and livestock processing skills that will yield rapid sustainable economic results. Volunteers from Virginia and West Virginia will share their expertise on livestock, pasture land and animal health management and engage formal and informal training on innovative livestock methods and technologies for government officials, university students, cooperatives and individual herders in the agricultural sector.


Throughout the program, we will:

·       Train nearly 600 herders and their family members on issues relating to livestock management and business        

        skills. Engage women herders in Uvurkhangai aimag.  

·       Strengthen the capacity of 9 cooperatives and host organizations to improve productivity and profitability,          

        and access to markets.

·       Strengthen the capacity of professionals in agricultural sector by training 30 government officials and 16        



  - United States Agency for International Development (USAID)

  - Volunteers for Economic Growth Alliance (VEGA)

  - National University of Mongolia (NUM)

  - Mongolian University of Life Science (MULS)

  - Dem Ololt NGO

  - Virginia Tech College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

  - Office of International Research, Education, and Development

  - Virginia Cooperative Extension

  - West Virginia Shepherds Assosiation