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“ProValue” project activities of 2019

11th - 13th October 2019: Third Sea Buckthorn Festival in Uvs
The administration of Uvs Aimak and the sea buckthorn cluster group of Uvs con-ducted the third Sea Buckthorn Festival in Ulaangom.

25th September - 04th October 2019: Training on innovative felt products and modern designs in Tsetserleg (Arkhangai)
This third training of German expert Mrs. Sigrid Bannier focused on thin felt products applicable for fine garments such as jackets and vests. She demonstrated that felt can be used to produce high-end clothes closely resembling cashmere and yak wool quali-ty.

25th September: Conduct of the forum “Quality of raw sheep wool and standards for the preparation of raw wool for processing” in Khotont Soum (Arkhangai Aimak)
The National Wool Association and ProValue have jointly conducted the forum “Quality of raw sheep wool and standards for the preparation of raw wool for pro-cessing” in Khotont Soum of Arkhangai Aimak. The event was attended by 110 repre-sentatives of the wool industry, various soums of the aimak as well as of the Depart-ment of Agriculture of the aimak administration. Topics discussed related to current developments related to the wool bonus, current developments of livestock produc-tion, the functioning of the Center for Sheep Shearing and Animal Hygiene in Erdenebulgan Soum, protection of animal health and factors impacting of the quality of raw wool. In addition the participant visited the wool washing plant in Khotont Soum and took part in a practical demonstration of electrical sheep shearing.

July 2019: Video on the Center for Sheep Shearing and Animal Hygiene in Erdenebulgan Soum
The branch office of MNCCI in Arkhangai coordinated the making of a video on the Center for Sheep Shearing and Animal Hygiene in Erdenebulgan Soum. It is available on YouTube following this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1_SIvVBsY2I
June and July 2019: Results from the Centre for Sheep Shearing and Animal Hy-giene, Erdenebulgan Soum, Arkhangai
The Centre for Sheep Shearing and Animal Hygiene was opened in Erdenebulgan Soum in June 2017. The center is managed by the “White Gold” cooperative. In the third year of its existence an increase in the use of its services was recorded. 7,800 sheep (4,565 in 2018) of 48 herder families (36 in 2018) were shorn and 4,300 sheep (3,500 in 2018) were dipped as a measure against parasite infection. 10 persons have worked in the center during shearing season in June and July.

19th - 25th June 2019: Training on innovative sea buckthorn products in Ulaan-gom, Uvs
Mr. Niklot Pagels, manufacturer of sea buckthorn products from Germany, conducted training on products from sea buckthorn new to most manufacturers in Uvs: various fruit spreads (marmalade), cocktails, sea buckthorn salt, vinegars and sea buckthorn milk shakes. The event counted with 20 participants who highly enjoyed the hands-on nature of the training.

June 2019: Felt producers from Arkhangai export first consignment of hat blanks to Germany
3 felt producers have exported a set of 100 hat blanks to Germany. The buyers were a group of female German felt producers who will develop fine hats from the blanks. The export was the result of previous trainings felt producers from Tsetserleg had tak-en part in, which focused on quality and innovation.

17th - 24th June 2019: Training in electrical shearing techniques jointly with UNIDO in Khovd
ProValue and UNIDO jointly conducted training in electrical shearing techniques in Khovd for 20 Mongolian shearers. The trainers were experts based in Australia and New Zealand. The event was conducted as part of ProValue’s efforts to disseminate successful models in the sheep wool and sea buckthorn industries nationwide.

20th - 24th May 2019: Training on sea buckthorn cultivation techniques and the GlobalGAP standard in Ulaangom, Uvs
Dr. Friedrich Höhne, agricultural researcher and Germany’s leading expert in sea buck-thorn cultivation, conducted training on sea buckthorn cultivation techniques and in-troduced sea buckthorn farmers into the requirements of the GlobalGAP standard. He also paid visits to various sites and gave practical hints for improvements. He reached out to 41 participants.

11th - 26th May 2019: Training on innovative felt products and modern designs in Tsetserleg (Arkhangai) 
German expert Mrs. Sigrid Bannier conducted a further of 8 felt producers from Tset-serleg and surrounding soums in systematic planning of the production of felt products as a means to ensuring replicability. It addition the work on modern designs contin-ued.

14th - 18th April 2019: Sea buckthorn cluster group Uvs’ participation in the Guangzhou Industrial Fair
7 members of the sea buckthorn cluster group in Uvs have taken part in the Guang-zhou Industrial Fair. As a result of the visit some members managed to establish con-tacts with potential suppliers of machinery, have requested price quotations, bought smaller devices and concluded purchase contracts.

March 2019: Formation of the Sea Buckthorn Cluster Cooperative in Ulaangom, Uvs
The sea buckthorn cluster group in Ulaangom formally established a sea buckthorn production co-operative. Its purpose is to develop a sea buckthorn plantation which is fully compliant with GlobalGAP standards.

26th - 31th March 2019: Training on the ISO 17025 standard on quality manage-ment of laboratories in Ulaangom, Uvs
Dr. Gerelchuluun Turmunkh, Director of the Food Research Center of the Mongolian University of Science and Technology, provided training on quality management of laboratories according to the ISO 17025:2017 standard. The event was directed at the staff of the laboratory of the Inspection Agency of Uvs aimak as well as laboratory staff of two local companies (20 participants in total).

21st March 2019: Conduct of the seminar “Value creation in wool processing” jointly with the National Wool Association in Ulaanbaatar
Approximately 90 representatives of the Mongolian wool industry as well as repre-sentatives of government organizations participated in the seminar “Value creation in wool processing”. The seminar was jointly organized by the National Wool Associa-tion and ProValue. Besides presenting the functioning of the Center for Sheep Shear-ing and Animal Hygiene established with ProValue support in Erdenebulgan Soum/Arkhangai Aimak, the topics discussed included processing techniques of Yak Wool, sustainability in cashmere production and processing as well as experiences of projects supported by the Asian Development Bank in promoting agricultural value chains.

March 2019: Publication of the brochure “Creating added value through sheep wool processing”
ProValue in collaboration with the National Wool Association published the brochure “Creating added value through sheep wool processing” with practical information on electrical sheep shearing, the functioning of the Centre for Sheep Shearing and Animal Hygiene in Erdenebulgan Soum and harvesting techniques of Yak wool.

“ProValue” project activities of 2018

12th – 15th October 2018: Second Sea Buckthorn Festival in Uvs
The administration of Uvs Aimak and the sea buckthorn cluster group of Uvs conducted the second Sea Buckthorn Festival. The Festival entailed various presentations on topics such as the strategy of the cluster group, innovations in sea buckthorn cultivation, pest control, job placement activities of the local labour office, financial products relevant for agriculture and up-to-date statistics on the sea buckthorn harvest. It also entailed an exposition of sea buckthorn products as well as cultural and social activities. With a total of 200 visitors the event was considered a great success.

June and July 2018: First results from the Centre for Sheep Shearing and Animal Hygiene, Arkhangai
In June 2017 the Centre for Sheep Shearing and Animal Hygiene was opened near Tsetserleg. Since the harvest of sheep wool takes place during a short time of only one month (mid-June up to mid-July each year), 2018 was the first year of “real” operations of the centre. In total, 4,565 sheep from 36 herder families were sheared and around 3,500 underwent bathing in order to protect them from parasites. The clustergroup in Arkhangai had initially expected higher figures. However these could not be reached due to the mouth and foot disease spreading during this period, which led authorities to restrict the freedom of movement of animals. Despite these constraints the center recorded an operational profit which impacts positively on its sustainability.

17th – 24th June 2018: Study tour of the Sea buckthorn cluster to Germany
12 representatives of the sea buckthorn cluster in Uvs, the local administration and MNCCI participated in a study tour to German sea buckthorn nurseries and processing companies. The study tour gave insights into fertilization and irrigation of sea buckthorn as well as the management of nurseries. It also demonstrated that even small companies can produce a large variety of products based on sea buckthorn (for instance vinegars, jams, salt, different juices, sweets etc.). The discussion with Germany’s Import Promotion Desk demonstrated the complexity of EU requirements for imported food products.

May 2018: Training on occupational safety and health in Sea buckthorn cultivation
Local expert Mrs. Nyamjav conducted a training on occupational safety and health in sea buckthorn cultivation in Ulaangom which counted with a participation of 48 sea buckthorn cultivators and processors.

April 2018: Evaluation of the first phase of ProValue
On behalf of sequa, the German implementing organization, and the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), Mrs. Sonja Ende conducted an evaluation of the first phase of ProValue. She held meetings with MNCCI, the cluster groups from Uvs and Arkhangai as well as representatives of Mongolian government institutions and international donor organizations. Her analysis revealed that the project was successful and attained its objectives. She recommended a second phase of the project which was accepted by BMZ in August 2018.

April 2018: Survey on income changes of female felt producers in Tsetserleg
A short survey conducted by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Arkhangai revealed that out of 8 felt producers interviewed, 7 of them recorded an increase in their gross income. The increases were in the range between 20% and 100%. This positive change can be attributed to their enhanced capacities through participation in training workshops offered by ProValue.

19th – 23rd March 2018: Training on innovative felt products and modern designs in Tsetserleg (Arkhangai)
German expert Mrs. Sigrid Bannier trained 17 felt producers from Tsetserleg and surrounding soums in planning methods (for instance weighing required felt amounts and documentation of the required amounts in order to ensure replication) and modern, partly abstract designs. The training contributed to widening the product range and to professionalize the production process.

19th – 23rd March 2018: Training on Sea buckthorn product development (Uvs)
German expert Mr. Axel Wähling conducted a further training, this time with a focus on product development. He introduced a total of 30 producers from the sea buckthorn cluster in Uvs into techniques to produce sea buckthorn wine, powder and juice with a lower sugar content.

07th -14th March 2018: Participation of the sea buckthorn cluster Uvs in the FoodEx Japan
The FoodEx is the largest food related trade fair in Asia. 2 representatives from the sea buckthorn cluster in Uvs took part in the event. The visit of the FoodEx was accompanied by presentations on Japanese import regulations, a B2B event and the visit of a food testing laboratory. During the B2B event 10 Japanese companies showed interest in sea buckthorn products from Uvs. An important learning is that Japanese importers place a lot of emphasis on compliance of import products with international standards. The participation of companies from Mongolia was facilitated by Mrs. Takumi Masuda, JICA consultant in the Cooperation Department of MNCCI.

22nd and 23rd of November 2017: Annual planning workshop of ProValue
ProValue staged its annual planning workshop for the year 2018 at MNCCI’s conference hall. It combined a look back at activities promoted in 2017, successes achieved and challenges confronted, with the planning for the third year of its existence. Besides the key project partners a range of further partners took part. Among them were representatives of the French Embassy, government administrations of Arkhangai and Uvs aimaks, the National Fruits and Berries Association, the National Wool Association, the Mongolian University of Science and Technology, the Food Research Centre and the Herders‘ Association of Arkhangai.

8th to 14th October 2017: Training and consultancy on environmentally friendly waste water treatment in textiles washing plants in Arkhangai
The Nekheesgui Edlel company opened a washing plant for sheep wool and other fabrics in Khotont soum of Arkhangai aimak. Mrs. Ira Grebing, a German engineering expert, trained the company technical staff in environmentally sound waste water treatment techniques.

April and September 2017: Trainings on felting techniques in Tsetserleg (Arkhangai)
A series of 3 trainings on felting techniques were conducted for female felt producers from Tsetserleg and surrounding soums. The purpose was to enhance the range of felting techniques applied by the women and introduce them into more modern designs. A total of 43 participants have taken part in the trainings which were conducted by Mongolian expert Mrs. Tsend-Ayush.

September 2017: Purchase of sea buckthorn seedlings (Uvs)
The sea buckthorn cluster group Uvs purchased 21.000 high quality seedlings at the Lisavenko Research Institute of Horticulture for Siberia, Barnaul. They acquired 8 varieties of seedlings with different characteristics such as larger berry size, pest resistance, easy harvesting (no thorns), short stature, faster maturity of berries and higher productivity.

31st July – 08th August 2017: Sea buckthorn Study Tour to Barnaul and Novosibirsk
23 members of the sea buckthorn cluster in Uvs as well as representatives from the Agricultural Research Institute in Uvs and the Mongolian Fruits and Berries Association conducted a study tour to the Lisavenko Research Institute of Horticulture for Siberia, Barnaul and to a research center in Novosibirsk. The purpose was to learn more about selection of appropriate sea buckthorn varieties, planting of seedlings, the management of greenhouses, irrigation and establishing trial plots.

29th May – 2nd June 2017: Training on sustainability in Sea buckthorn cultivation
A further training was conducted in Ulaangom by Mr. Axel Wähling, member of the Board of Directors of the German Sea Buckthorn Association, which counted with a total of 32 participants: He introduced sea buckthorn growers into methods of avoiding dioxin contamination, bird repellent techniques and the drip irrigation technology.

25th – 26th May 2017: Training on Sea buckthorn cultivation techniques
The Acting Director of the Lisavenko Research Institute of Horticulture for Siberia, Barnaul, Juri Zubarev conducted a training in Ulaangom, in which 71 growers of sea buckthorn took part. Topics: a) Soil preparation, b) planting seedlings, c) pest control and the sustainable use of pesticides, e) protecting berries against frost, f) use of fertilizers, g) appropriate varieties and h) harvesting techniques. The training included a practical part on sea buckthorn fields.