Soyabean is a major industrial and food crop grown in every continent and in many states of Nigeria as a result of its nutritional value, economic importance and diverse domestic usage. Soyabean may be presented as cream, green, black, brown and a mixture of these colours. Soyabean has an average protein content of 40% and is more protein-rich than any of the common food crops. Soybean seeds also contain about 20% oil on a dry matter basis. The soyabean oil is 85% unsaturated, which makes it heart-friendly.
Nigeria produced 600,000 tons of soyabean in 2020 and over 60 percent of this volume was produced in Benue, Nasarawa, Plateau, Niger, Kaduna, Kwara, Bauchi and Taraba States. In the last ten years, the growth of the poultry sector and vegetable oil milling companies the has tremendously increased the demand for soyabeans in Nigeria. This presents an opportunity for farmers to double their production and earn more income.
Soyabean is used to produce infant foods. The milk extracted from soyabean is fast becoming an excellent dietary beverage in Nigeria. Soyabean is useful for soil fertility improvement and control of parasitic weed called Striga hermonthical, while the residues and haulms generated after harvesting and shelling are used for feeding ruminants such as cattle, sheep and goats.