soybean field

USSEC Participates in Soy Workshop in India, Touts the Importance of Soy Protein for Human Consumption

USSEC recently participated in a brainstorming workshop in New Delhi, India.  The workshop, organized by the Trust for Advancement of Agricultural Sciences in collaboration with the Indian Council of Agricultural Research, focused on the role of the soybean in household nutrition security.  Soy protein is the least expensive and nutritionally most valuable protein compared to any other obtained from any other vegetarian or non-vegetarian source.

For maximum health benefits, experts recommend soybeans to be consumed directly as wholegrain or by mixing them with wheat flour or millets.  Soybeans can also be processed into products, such as roasted, fried or fermented snacks; sattu; soy milk; soy paneer; or tofu, et al.  In India, soybeans are counted among oilseeds and not as pulses, crops harvested solely for the dry seeds.  Barely 15 percent of the annual soybean production of 11 to 12 million tons is consumed as food with the bulk of it, nearly 75 percent, used for extracting oil and producing soymeal.
The program organizers invited USSEC to participate key speaker slot, discussing the importance of maximizing soy food and flour utilization in India.  India needs to promote soybean cultivation as part of a well-conceived strategy to combat rampant protein undernourishment, especially among the poor.  USSEC helped to draft the recommendations for soy utilization in the government feeding and welfare programs.
Currently, soybean cultivation is confined largely to the states of Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra, which together account for over 85 percent of the country’s total production, leaving tremendous untapped potential for expanding soybean acreage in states such as Rajasthan, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and even some northeastern states.  Area expansion, however, has to go hand in hand with the emergence of the soybean processing industry.