Farmer's primer on growing soybean on riceland, A (English)
Soybean is a high-value crop in temperate zones where, with appropriate inputs, it is grown on a large scale. But soybean has been little exploited in the tropics because of constraints such as seed viability, free nodulation, and seed shattering. Other impediments are the lack of processing facilities and poor marketing structures.
Yet soybean has great potential — even for small farmers with limited resources — to fit into the rice-based cropping systems that dominate so much of the agricultural area in the tropics.
A soybean crop generates farm income in the off-season after the rice harvest. It enriches the soil and helps break the pest and disease cycle associated with continuous rice cropping. Nutritionally, soybean makes an excellent protein complement to the largely carbohydrate diets of farm families. Its unusually high oil content also puts soybean in demand both as a source of edible oil and as a raw material for the food and feed industries.