Soybeans is a crop that is eaten all over the globe in one form on the other. If you like call it soybeans or soya beans it is still the same thing. Nigeria is the largest producers of soybeans in Africa. Producing about 500,000 Mt of soya beans yearly which is far from our demand rate. Soybeans farming is what Africa should consider expanding because of its growing demand in the International market,
This growing demand for soya beans in both local and international markets provides opportunity for farmers, investors and entrepreneur to embrace soybeans farming in other to close the gap.
Investing in soya beans business will not only make money for farmers but will also create jobs for the unemployed. Assuming we have soybeans milk companies scattered all over the country you can imagine the number of people who will be employed in this sector.
It is a warm weather plant and is mostly grown in the middle belt; Benue State being the highest producing State in Nigeria. Producing about 45% of soybeans every year. Soya beans have high quality protein of about 40% and an oil content of 20% only second to groundnut in the leguminous family.
Their growth is influenced by soil characteristics and climate. But there are new techniques to use for optimum growth. Such as land choice, planting system, seed dressing, seed rate, spacing these and more are well treated in this post.
Getting the right place to plant soybeans is very important. You can lease the land for soy beans farming because the crop can be harvested within a year or you buy. It shouldn’t be an isolated place if not you will waste your money to rodents and other pests attack.
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The land should be located where you can easily access it. You don’t plant and abandon the place and come back when you feel like. If not you are putting your money at risk. It is a leguminous plant as such can grow anywhere but the best soil for planting soybeans is a loosed and well-drained sandy-loam soil which is rich in organic matter.
The PH should be 6.0-7.0, avoid waterlog soil. Clear the land, remove grasses, shrubs and trees. Plough the land maybe twice if it is too had and harrow it once for a large expanse of land. Soybeans do well in soil rich in nitrogen.
The importance of seed selection is very important because it will determine the yield outcome. It should be gotten from IAR$T, National Seed Council or any registered seed company under them. They will keep an eye on the farm and then buy back the produce from you at a reasonable price when the time comes.
Plant soybeans when the rains are about to stop June in core North and July in the South. Try and prevent birds from picking the seeds after planting as the loved doing so, you can use scarecrow for that.
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There is nothing like nursery in soybeans farming for me. Plant them direct into the soil 2-3 inches apart in rows of 20ft by 24ft or 26ft x 30ft apart. Incase of limited space plant them in double rows. Sow them deep into the soil 1.5 inches (3.8cm) and 3 inches (7.6cm) apart. Water them very well after planting and again after 4 days if it doesn’t rain.
The plant need full sun to do well. Put 2-3 seeds in a hole and thin them if necessary. Replace lost or non germinated seeds within a week.
YIELD IN SOYBEANS FARMING
The yield depends on:
- The management practice you used
- The weather condition of your place
- Pest and disease control.
But the expected yield is between 1-7 tonnes for a hectare. If it gets so bad you may be left with 500kg in a hectare. That why it is very important you observe all the cultural practices and good management principle in other to get a bumper harvest. You can use soybeans legume inoculant to boost yield.
Use purpose fertilizer during planting; organic manure such as chicken dung is more preferable because it is high in nitrogen. Although soybeans plant add nutrients to the soil because they are nitrogen-fixing bacteria;; it will be ideal to add manure to plant at every stage of their germination. Add manure during shooting, flowering and fruiting.
WEEDING IN SOYBEANS FARMING
Weed on time and regularly if not over grown weeds will suppress the plant or choke them to death. But once soybeans have grown and cover the ground it will in turn be in a position to choke any sprouting weed.
Carry out the weeding manually by the use of hands or hoe.
Although soybean doesn’t accept too much water it is wise to give them adequate water. Too much watering is a problem it can destroy them and shortage of it is also a problem it will reduce their yield. Always keep the soil moist for optimum growth.
PEST/DISEASE CONTROL IN SOYBEANS FARMING
Soybeans farming has pest/disease challenges. Because the crops are seriously attacked by certain insects especially beethles (use sevin and other organic repellant like neem oil to treat them. Rabbits eat soybeans tender new leaves a lot.
Common diseases are bacterial and wilt it occurs as a result of heat and humidity before or during crop maturity. Use fungicides to attack them.
WHY YOU SHOULD DO SOYBEANS FARMING
It is high in demand due to population increase and awareness.
It has high profit. Check out both local an international prices. Assuming you were able to realise 5 tonnes in a hectare which you spend like #200,000 from planting to harvest; do the mathematics that’s how profitable it is.
Another way to make more money is by adding value to your soybean farming just like it is done in rice farming. In case you want to learn how to plant rice click here.
By adding value I mean you can process your soya beans into flour, soya milk, animal feeds etc. I don’t know about others but I can speak boldly about soya beans powder or flour business that I did. A very fast-moving product with serious gains. I was supplying to a nurse then.
Soybeans has several medicinal and nutritional benefits that will make it a sustainable business. Probably the more reason many people are finding solace in soya beans business.
Soybean farming is very simple to carry out. It doesn’t involve high techniques before planting.
Buyers are readily available to buy from you just immediately after harvest.
Soybeans mature within 3-4 months after planting (85 days). Timely harvesting is very important to checkmate excessive yield losses. Harvest them when the pods are full; the pods turn straw colour when matured.
For the non shattering variety harvest them when the pods are up to 85% brown and 80% for the shattering varieties. Another observation is when the seeds are at a hard-dough stage during this time the moisture content will vary between 14% – 16%.
You can also harvest them when the pods are green and the seeds are plump (well matured); the pod should be 5 – 8cm when matured. Don’t allow the pods to turn yellow if you are cooking for food.
Harvest them manually by plucking out the pods from the plant. Employ many hands to do this for you in a large farm.
Store them at a moisture content of 10% maximum. To determine if they are completely dried, use your teeth or fingernails on them if they are not dented that means they are fully dried.
Rats are a problem in storage watch out for them and prevent them from destroying your crops. But insects aren’t a problem.
Sell to market men and woman. There is just market for it any day any time because the rate of consumption is high. You can take a step further to sell directly to foreign buyers. Exporting sales higher. In Nigeria soybean is sold from #150,000 up.
VARIETIES OF SOYBEANS
There are many variety of soya beans;
- Edible green variety: it is good for eating in case you are one person that likes boiling soybeans like others beans for porridge or so..
- Yellow seeded variety: this is the variety that is mostly grown in Nigeria. They are very good for soya beans milk and powder
- Black variety: this is particularly good for drying.
- Non shattering variety and shattering variety
- Improve variety: IITA has come up with a new hybrid variety for low shattering which can resist diseases/pest, grows faster with a good yield.
STATES PRODUCING SOYA BEANS IN NIGERIA
Kogi, Nassarawa, Osun, Kwara, Ondo, Oyo, Kaduna, Niger, Bauchi, Ogun, Adamawa, Taraba, Anambra, Enugu, Jigawa, Abia, Plateau, Lagos, Ekiti, Abuja.
Soybeans farming can be grown anywhere in Nigeria with low funds if all the techniques listed here are observed.
Most of the soybeans produced today in our country are locally consumed. The opportunity to expand soybeans farming is large in other to start ane sustained exportation.
Most soybeans companies go to nearby countries to source for the product for their production
USES OF SOYBEANS
Soya beans farming is having a boost because of their many uses. It is cultivated mainly for their edible uses.
- They are used for the production of specially formulated food for children.
- Soybeans milk is nutritiously refreshing, it gives energy to the body
- It is used in weight gain in a healthy way
- It is good for diabetic patients etc.
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