Arkhangai, Dalanzadgad, and South Gobi - Commodity

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In traditional terms, Mongolia contains large reserves of mineral resources, livestock, agriculture, textiles and energy production materials. In addition, Mongolia contains large quantities of sunlight, wind, water, recycled materials, agriculture, livestock, buildings and ingenuity. As camel herder Bud described to us, the production of wool is so high and the market price is so low that herders are dumping it into the environment rather than bring it to market. However, value-add production and new uses for the wool could raise the market price and create local business opportunities. Some value-add uses include natural fiber rope used for animal husbandry or shelter construction, felt production for organic air filters, insulation, clothing, and blankets. Certain types of wool can also be put through a catabolic process and formed into carbon nanotubes, which are used in electronics for energy storage.

Due to the popularity of drinking vodka for cultural celebrations, empty glass bottles can be found throughout the countryside. This excess amount of glass could easily be recycled into building materials.

Milk and milk related products are highly nutritious and highly valued in the cities; however, distribution logistics from the herding camps to the city markets remains a barrier. Herders of sheep, camel, goat, yak, and cow will bring products such as Shar tos (Yak Milk Ye3llow Oil), Khailmag (Roo), Urom (bubble butter), Zhuukii (butter), Byaslag (cheese), and Tarag (yogurt) to the markets. The quality of the milk/milk products, particularly from the Arkhangai Aimag, is highly rated and the brand is valuable within Mongolia.

Animals (sheep, goats, dogs, yaks, cows, and horses) have significant commodity and money value. Livestock can be traded at markets and between herders and can be used to produce food or work. An intersection between commodity and money value manifests as a commonly understood social agreement in which; if an automobile driver hits and kills or injures a herder's animal, there is a set price that driver will pay to the herder.

Trees appear frequently in some highland regions and less frequently in others. In the Arkhangai aimag, pine trees are plentiful; however, due to a beetle infestation, many of the trees are dying and presenting a fire risk. Logging the dead trees for firewood, building materials, or fencing could improve forest health and provide a cheap feedstock for many processes. Forestation efforts in the Gobi Desert hope to expand the presence of Saksaul trees in the environment.

Large vacant buildings are also a commodity in Mongolia. During the historical Russian occupation, many larger over-engineered buildings were built. These sturdy buildings provide the location for various types of production facilities, especially facilities requiring temperature control.

Date Entered: July 2010