B4FA Fellow Lominda Afedraru reports:
Soybean is a legume crop that fixes nitrogen into the soil adding to its fertility and the beans are rich in vegetable protein including bioactive food components and several important nutrients such as fibre and iron.
A report about soybean research in Uganda for the year 2002 – 2015 by Dr Phinehas Tukamauhabwa, and partners at Makerere University College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CAES), states that soybean originated from East Asia and was first domesticated in China in the second century BC.
It is ranked the number one most important oil crop in the world providing the cheapest source of protein for both human and livestock diets.
The protein content of soybean is the highest among legumes, averaging 40 per cent on dry matter basis.
The report further states that owing to the high nutritious status of soybean, the colonial government made deliberate attempts during the 1940s and 50s to encourage local production of soybean in order to combat protein malnutrition among soldiers and kwashiorkor among children as well as in the interest of crop diversification.
However, not very many farmers in the country are engaged in growing the crop and the adaptation rate has remained low.
Dr Tukamauhabwa is passionate in soybean breeding and has so far released a number of varieties namely Namsoy4M, Maksoy1N, Maksoy2N, Maksoy3N, Maksoy4N and Maksoy5N which are being grown by soybean farmers across the country. Read more