Soybeans in Rwanda
Soybeans were introduced into Rwanda by INEAC (Institut National pour l’Etude Agronomique du Congo Belge) in the 1920s. Farmers started showing new interest in soybeans in the 1960s and by 1969 there were 550 ha in production, rising to 1,640 ha in 1973. Soybeans are one of the priority crops in Eastern province of Rwanda.
Varieties of soybean
The different varieties of soya available in Rwanda include the following;
- Tokyo yellow 902
- Mansoy 480
- Haberlandt 363
- Harbinsoy 327
Soya growing districts
The following are the soya growing districts;
- Kayonza district
- Nyagatare District
- Bugesera District
- Rwamagana District
The sofas have the following uses;
- Soybean is an important source of high quality protein 40% and oil 20%.
- Soya is a source of income for farmers.
- Soya is body building crop by contributing 35% of carbohydrates.
- The oil produced from soybean is highly digestible and contains no cholesterol.
- Soybean also improves soil fertility by adding nitrogen from the atmosphere.
- Soybeans provide an alternative nutrients formulation equivalent to meat products and are therefore cheaper substitute.
- Soybeans are used in human food formulations
- It is used in making animal and poultry feeds
The challenges facing the farmers include the following:
- Farmers do not have easy access to markets for their produce.
- The volume of soybean production is still low in Rwanda.
- The soybean rust fungus which attacks and destroys the leaves of the plant has not been fully contained.
- It is difficult to reach the farmers due to poor road infrastructure.
- There inadequate information to the farmers on how to process and use soya.
- Lack of improved quality seeds.
- Lack of skills and resources for value addition