Norwegian-Mongolian cooperation on livestock genetics

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A delegation from Mongolia, including policy makers, experts, scientists and livestock industry leaders, on Wednesday February 3rd had talks with the Ministry of Agriculture and Food (MAF), represented by State Secretary Hanne Maren Blaafjelldal (FRP). The Mongolian visit is a return visit following the export campaign by Geno, formerly NRF (Norwegian Dairy Cattle Breeders), to Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia in October 2015, supported by MAF.

– It is interesting that a country like Mongolia wishes to learn more about Geno's operations, and is considering the option of using Norwegian cattle gene material, Ms Blaafjelldal said. Our perhaps leading export commodity is precisely the valuable traits of Norwegian livestock developed by generations of breeding, and here at MAF we are incredibly proud of our NRF breed, the Norwegian combination cattle.

It is Geno and Nibio (Norwegian Institute for Bio-economic Research) and their partners who have invited key individuals and agencies, which their delegation had met for talks in Mongolia, for a 3 day mini-symposium in Norway. The aim is to develop a draft of a joint action plan.

The Mongolian Delegation and State Secretary Hanne Blaafjelldal after today's meeting.
The Mongolian Delegation and State Secretary Hanne Blaafjelldal after today's meeting. Credit: Ministry of Agriculture and Food

The symposium covers topics such as implementation of Norwegian technology, and knowledge transfer in the genetics field to Mongolia, supporting Geno exports of NRF semen as well as sustainable dairy and meat production, and the opportunity for establishing research and industry partnership between the parties.

After visiting the Ministry, the delegation will meet 12 staff members from the National Veterinary Institute, the National Food Safety Authority and the Livestock Research Centre at the Norwegian University of Environment and Biology, NMBU. Day two is on Campus Aas with Nibio, Livestock Research Centre at NMBU, The Royal Norwegian Society for Development and the Norwegian Research Council. Day three the delegation will be visiting Geno in Hamar and relevant farms and industry enterprises.

Recent years has seen increased activity in Norwegian-Mongolian relations. Geno exports NRF semen to more than 25 countries, and now also to Mongolia. NRF cattle is among the best worldwide regarding properties such as fertility, health and longevity, combined with high dairy yield.