Beans are a type of legume grown for over 5000 years in East Asia but weren’t introduced to the West until the 20th century. They are a great source of protein and are used to make a wide variety of foods, including tofu, tempeh, shoyu, miso, and soy milk. In a Japanese dish called “edamame,” immature soybeans are also consumed fresh.
According to some studies, including soy in your diet may offer several health advantages. In today’s global economy, soybeans and the products made from them are essential commodities. This article will cover why soy production is important for a global market.
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Soybean Market Overview
By volume, soybeans are the world’s fourth most widely grown crop. While some of the produce is consumed directly, the majority is further processed into soybean meal and oil by crushing. Because soybean meal contains a lot of protein, it is frequently used as animal feed. Most uses for soybean oil are in food and, as many U.S. Soy articles claim, more recently, biodiesel.
With over 10% of the total value of agricultural trade in the world, soybeans and their derivative products are the most traded agricultural product. Since the early 1990s, the global trade in soy has multiplied. In 2008–2009, it surpassed the trade in wheat and all other coarse grains. The world trade in soybeans is anticipated to grow by 22%, soybean meal by 20%, and soybean oil by 30%, according to USDA Agricultural Projections to 2025.
The world’s rising demand for livestock products is primarily driven by population and income growth and policies adopted by the most prominent agricultural importers and exporters. These include national and international regulations that deal with soybeans, their products, and livestock.
Reasons Why Soy Production is Important for Global Market
- Soybeans are one of the most important sources of protein
Soybeans are among the healthiest food sources available because of their high protein content (over 35%), as well as their unsaturated fat content and fiber-rich carbohydrate content. Compared to cowpeas, beef, eggs, milk, and milk products, they are one of the least expensive protein sources.
Because soybeans can be successfully grown at a low cost of production and are used in both the food and animal feed sectors, soybean farmers can make a good profit.
- The production of soybeans might eventually reduce poverty
In the coming decades, national security will place a high priority on ensuring the security of both food and water, as both climate change and population growth will have an impact on global food production. Countries without sufficient access to basic food supplies to feed their expanding urban populations risk becoming a breeding ground for conflict, unrest, and terrorist activity.
Soybean technology is a first step in addressing the needs of poverty-stricken regions by supplying a modified crop that can meet multiple goals. At the same time, there are many solutions for food insecurity that should be addressed and considered by lawmakers, scientists, and farmers alike.
- Modifying soy can help with both food insecurity and climate change issues.
A super soybean has been sought after using computer models in a recent study conducted by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab (JPL). According to the study’s findings, it is possible to redesign soybean plants to produce a 7 percent greater crop without using more water. The study also showed that soybeans could be modified to use either 13 percent less water or 34 percent more light reflection back into space without reducing crop yields—beneficial for climate change and food security.
Altering annual crops is cheap and easy to implement compared to other geoengineering strategies for combating climate change. This is because geoengineering strategies include spraying sulphates into the upper atmosphere to block out sunlight or adding iron to the ocean to boost plankton photosynthesis.
- Soy Has Multiple Industrial uses
Despite soybean being an oilseed, producers, and processors have traditionally overlooked soybean oil. Researchers and other interested parties researched soybean oil for added value and found alternative uses for meal components.
With American consumers consuming over 2 billion gallons of soy oil as biodiesel in 2017, this fuel has seen the most significant growth. When combined with sustainable farming methods, current biodiesel production techniques can produce soy-based fuel with performance close to or equal to standard diesel fuels. This fuel has the potential to turn into a truly renewable resource.
Soybean is an important crop that is grown all over the world due to its numerous and diverse uses. Both traditional and conventional breeders have been working to reduce antinutritional elements while raising the protein and oil content. By introducing genes to enhance the protein and oil quality of the soybean and knocking out genes to eliminate antinutritional elements, genetic engineering and gene editing hold promise for helping to improve the crop.