Knowledge gap and lack of good agronomic practices have been attributed to the low rate of Soybean yield in Nigeria. The Director-General, Premier Agribusiness Academy (PAA), Mr. Toromade Francis, who said this during the institution’s first Nigerian Soy Excellence Centre (SEC) advisory council meeting, held at Protea Hotel, Lagos, said if there is proper training of farmers on soybean cultivation, the country will experience better yield.
To address this, PAA has reiterated its commitment towards the development of the crop, through its strategic partnership with U.S Soybean Export Council (USSOY), Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Federal Ministry of Health, Nutrition Society of Nigeria (NSN), Nigerian Soybean Association (NSA), Poultry Association of Nigeria (PAN), Nigerian Institute of Animal Science (NIAS), International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) and other stakeholders across the soybean value chain.
“If there is proper training on soybean production, farmers will know when and how to plant what, and how and when to apply what, which will result in better yield. Our agronomy practice is also a major reason for the deficiency which the SEC has developed a curriculum to address.”
Toromade explained that the country is challenged with high protein deficiency among children and adults, especially under-five children, adolescent girls, and women of reproductive age, which results in malnutrition and other health hazards like stunted growth, underweight, as well as infections.
While making reference to a research conducted in the United States of America, Toromade pointed out that, an average Nigerian consumes only 1kg of soybean per year whereas in the United States, it’s 55kg per person per year, which could explain the difference in life expectancy.
He further explained that the contribution of soybean to protein intake couldn’t be overstressed, as protein consumption is currently inadequate, as a result of low production, high cost of production and importation.
“High-quality protein such as soybeans should be available, affordable and accessible by the high and low-income classes in the country, especially to the vulnerable class who are mostly affected by protein deficiency and malnutrition.
“To overcome the challenge of protein deficiency and its accompanying health problems, USSOY and PAA, as well as other critical indigenous stakeholders across the soybean value chain have agreed that proper, strategic training is of importance.
“Also, farming will become attractive and more profitable, especially to the young ones because they would have been equipped and trained with the needed skills required to profit from the production of soybean through the guidance of all critical stakeholders and at a subsidised rate,” he said.