soybean field

USSEC India Participates in Soy Conference

USSEC India recently participated in a soy conference in Bhopal, India, during the second week of June.
Solidaridad’s national conference on sustainable soy was held in Bhopal, the capital city of Madhya Pradesh, which is a major soy growing and crushing hub. This program was supported by and participated in by major soy food companies including Ruchi Soya, Sonic Biochem, Vippy Soya Industries, Soya Oil Processors Association (SOPA) of India, ITC, in addition to other food processing and trade related organizations including ADM, Hindustan Unilever, Du Pont, LT Foods, Reliance Foundation, ICAR, NABARD (National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development), and Yes Bank, among others.

USSEC’s India Soy Food program director Dr. Ratan Sharma speaks at Solidaridad’s national conference on sustainable soy in Bhopal, India
USSEC’s India Soy Food program director Dr. Ratan Sharma speaks at Solidaridad’s national conference on sustainable soy in Bhopal, India

USSEC’s India Soy Food program director Dr. Ratan Sharma gave a presentation, “Soy Foods: A Sustainable Nutrition for the Food and Nutritional Security of India.” He discussed the U.S. Soybean Sustainability Assurance Protocol (SSAP) along with various health claims on soy, establishing the superiority of quality and quantity of soy protein over other sources and deliberating on cost effectiveness. Dr. Sharma explained the opportunities for domestic soy utilization in the country and emphasised that soy processors should work with USSEC to develop the domestic market for food and feed uses, rather than depending on the export of soybean meal and value-added soyfood products, which is no longer a lucrative business opportunity for India’s soy industry. Other speakers at the food and nutrition security session also highlighted the role of soy to overcome the poverty, hunger and malnutrition problems in the country.
Other topics at the conference included the growth and present status of soy in India, soy’s inportance in oil and the national economy, and soy’s role in providing food and nutritional security to India’s masses. Different aspects of soy including improved agricultural practices, storage, trading, processing, retailing, corporate social responsibilities and making soy a sustainable socio-economic development tool were also discussed.
USSEC is going to enter into an memorandum of undertanding (MOU) with Solidaridad to work on a common agenda for the mutual benefit of both organizations. This will include the formation of a task force to promote the concept of soyfoods in India and addressing related issues; initiating soyfood processing as a social enterprise; liaisoning with the government and other stakeholders for the promotion of soy in government feeding and social welfare programs; developing new soy products; and working on the soy-based sustainable nutrition program in India.
Solidaridad is a networking organization based in the Netherlands and has ten regional offices in South and Southeast Asia, Andes, South America, Southern Africa, East and Central Africa, West Africa, China, Central America, North America, and The Netherlands — each with its own specific expertise and focus. Solidaridad approaches small-scale producers with the intention of adding value to their contributions to the soy supply chain.