Soybean, is a kharif or summer crop in India which has its native from China. China introduced Soybeans or Soya beans to North America. Since then the crop is widely cultivated in USA, China, Russia, Brazil, Argentina & India. As the consumption of Soybean is less in India, it was cultivated only to be an export crop. But with the rising awareness about various health benefits of this product, it seems to gain popularity in the local markets as well.
Soybeans are known to reduce the heart disease & cancer risk which is why it is known as a life enhancer. Soybeans are also known to contain ‘haemagglutinin’. This is a clot-promoting substance that causes red blood cells to clump together & known as growth inhibitor. Soy also contains ‘goitrogens’ — a substance that can depress thyroid function. Many other benefits as good amount of proteins, carbohydrates & good fats made Soybeans the complete balance meal food. As the evidence of soy’s health benefits kept accumulating, sales and consumption are skyrocketing across the globe today.
India is Asia’s second largest producer of soybeans, which accounts for 3.95 per cent of the global production. The Soybeans production in India is growing every year at the rate of 9.6 percent out of which the majority crop is exported. Thailand, Japan, Vietnam, Myanmar are amongst the key consumers of Indian soy meal, which is not genetically modified. 2016-17 marketing year in India saw a decline in the meal exports in most of the countries, but at the same time the Soybean consumption increased in Korea & Malaysia.
On the global front, US production of Soybean seems to be lesser to that recorded in 2016-17 & demand for this product remains the same. This scenario does not affect the pricing of Soybeans in India. However, production of soybeans in India is estimated to increase in the year 2017-18. The major reason is being application of different methods of cultivation which shows an increased yield. Also, the monsoon is predicted to be better in 2017, which shows the signs of increased potential yield. This indeed seems to be an opportunity for India against increased global demand for the product. Though it also means that there can be a serious rise in the product pricing! It definitely seems like a brighter future for Indian Soybeans in the global markets.