Soybean is one of the most popular grown legumes (fruit or seed of plants of the legume family, such as peas or beans which is edible) and is a native to East-Asia. It is grown almost everywhere and has multiple uses. Soybean is a Kharif crop that is sown from June to July and harvested from October to November. The major states for Soybean are Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, and Karnataka. It is a globally important crop, providing oil and protein. Soybean is high in protein quality and it is one of the few known plant foods to contain all the vital amino acids, similar to those found in meat. It is also high in fiber, saturated fat, cholesterol-free, and lactose-free, it is a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, a source of antioxidants.
According to the Ministry of Agriculture, the sowing acreage of Soybean as of July 23, 2021, was 102.52 lakh hectares (lh) down by 8.74% compared to 112.34 lh during the corresponding period. Soybean production was 134.14 LMT compared to the corresponding year which was 112.26 LMT, up by 19.49%. Soybean arrivals from all ten states across Indian local mandis, for June 2021 was 3.14 LMT. Buenos Aires Gain Exchange has kept the Argentina 2020-21 Soybean crop harvest estimate higher at 43.5 million metric tonnes (MMT) against previous years estimate of 43 MMT. USDA attaché has projected US MY 2021-22 Soybean production forecast at 119.88 MMT up by 6.52% from 112.54 MMT in 2020-21. Brazil’s National Supply Company (CONAB) has raised its estimate by 0.37% at 135.9 MMT for 2020-21 as compared to 135.4 MMT in May 2021 forecast. According to the recent USDA June 2021 report, Soybean production in the world is likely to increase by 6% to 386 MMT in the next season in expectation of higher crop size in the US and India. The same USDA report states that total crop size in India may stand higher by 7.18% to 11.20 MMT against 10.45 MMT in this season.
The Government had increased the Minimum Support Price (MSP) of Soybean by 1.80% to Rs. 3,950 per quintal for marketing year (MY) 2021-22 compared to Rs. 3,880 in 2020-21. Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar had launched a seed mini-kit program to enhance production and productivity of pulses and oilseeds by distributing high yielding varieties of seeds of oilseeds to farmers which are provided by the central agencies National Seeds Corporation (NCS), NAFED, and Gujarat State Seeds Corporation and wholly-funded by the Centre through the National Food Security Mission. The supply of mini-kit seeds was valid till June 15, 2021, so that the seeds could reach the farmers before the Kharif sowing starts. The government of India is likely to distribute more than 8 lakhs of Soybean seed mini-kits free of cost to farmers. This year we have witnessed a bullish trend in overall Soybean prices across India appreciating at almost 122% in value, crossing the Rs. 8,000 per quintal mark in comparison to Rs. 3,600 levels in the previous year.