Soya - a rich source of protein, oil and income
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CTA. 2005. Soya - a rich source of protein, oil and income. Rural Radio Resource Pack 05/2. Wageningen, The Netherlands: CTA.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/57338
Linley Banda grows soya beans on her farm in southern Malawi. She likes the crop because it needs less inputs than maize. She sells most of her soya beans to food processors.
Soya - a rich source of protein, oil and income Cue: Soya beans are best known for being rich in two important foodstuffs: oil and protein. Much of the world?s cooking oil is derived from soya, and most of this is grown in the United States, Brazil, China and Argentina. Soya beans, also called soybeans, are widely eaten as a vegetable in East Asia, where the plant originates from, but less so in other parts of the world. One reason may be that the beans need a long period of soaking and cooking to make them edible. However, because of its high protein content, soya is an excellent food, particularly for those who cannot eat meat - whether for reasons of cost or because they are vegetarian. In Malawi, soya beans are used as an ingredient in phala, a nutritious porridge widely fed to babies. Mrs Linley Banda grows soya on her farm in Thyolo district, in southern Malawi. Patrick Mphaka went to visit her there, to find out more about this nutritious food and cash crop. IN: ?Yes it is easy to grow soya beans? OUT: ? I have benefited from the crop.? DUR?N 3?20? BACK ANNOUNCEMENT: Mrs Linley Banda from Thyolo in Malawi was talking to Patrick Mphaka. Transcript Banda Yes it is easy to grow soya beans compared to other cash crops. But it also has its own problems. The advantage of growing soya crops is that it does not require too many inputs compared to maize. The problems are that it is attacked by some pests and diseases and sometimes it is destroyed when the rains are prolonged. Mphaka So you do not need a lot of rains for soya beans? Banda The rains are required but not too much. Mphaka On the two hectares on which you have planted your soya beans this year, how many bags do you think you will realise from there? Banda As you have seen, this year we did not have enough rains. I am sure I will get about sixty bags of soya from this garden because last year I had about ninety 50kg bags of soya. Mphaka Can we talk about money, how much is that? Banda (Laughter) I am sure you are good at maths, you can calculate. Mphaka Do you just harvest it and take it to the market or just harvest it and have people come and buy? How do you do it with soya beans? Banda After harvesting the soya beans, we thresh it and winnow it. And thereafter, we check if there are some stones and some immature seed. After that we pack it in bags and it is ready for sale. Mphaka Do you put it in different grades or do you just sell it as one grade? Banda It is good to put it in grades so that you can fetch good price. I put in grades. Mphaka Tell me about the market. Banda There is a very good established market for soya. There is Rab Processors which is buying soya from us farmers. Transglobe is also buying soya from us. Other NGOs do fetch some seeds from us to give to other farmers so that they can start growing this crop. Mphaka So why do you sell it to the local market? Banda I sell to the local market because some farmers just come to my house to buy for their house use. So I cannot refuse to sell to them. Mphaka What do you think is the reason that not many farmers around here are growing soya beans, when given your experience, it is a very profitable crop? Banda The problem is that many farmers do not realize the importance of soya beans and the way to process and utilize it. They feel it is difficult to grow the soya beans. Mphaka Do you think people are used to eating soya or maybe they think that it is something which they do not know about as evidenced by their not growing it in large numbers? Banda As of now, I can say people are now learning the goodness of eating soya. Many farmers around this area are now coming to buy the crop for their house use. Through the radio and hospitals where the under-five children are going for scales, they are told to feed their children phala (porridge) with soya. Mphaka Given the two years that you have been growing it, are there any people who are showing interest to start to grow soya beans? Banda Yes there are so many that this year, around this area more farmers have now started planting this crop because they have seen what I have benefited from the crop. End of track.