Nepal has imported Rs 10.90 billion worth soybean oil in the last fiscal year.
Import of soybean oil has been increasing at the rate of 15 per cent to 20 per cent every year, according to the traders.
The rising disposable income and more health conscious population has been consuming the soybean, they said, during one-day workshop organised by Nimbus in collaboration with ICIMOD, RECAST and SADA.
The workshop also brainstormed on and possibilities for strengthening value chain of Soybean – scientific name Glycine max – in Baitadi and Darchula districts.
The initiative would organise and capacitate the farmers and producer groups on cash crop cultivation in mid-hills and contribute for sustainable agriculture business development service in pilot areas.
“Soybean has also been identified as one of the important legume crops in the country,” they said, adding that it helps to improve soil fertility too.
Nimbus has also started Soybean demo farming in Hetauda and Bara district and would increase the production capacity after testing the yield quality.
Nimbus has also assured buy-back guarantee to farmers which would encourage more farmers to produce Soybean in the near future.
Nimbus is willing to lease lands to produce Soybean in any part of the country. They are also open to an idea of capacitating farmer groups, co-operatives, NGOs willing to produce Soybean in the coming season.
“The consumption capacity of Soybean for their existing feed mill is already huge but their new oil refinery will further add to the requirement and what could be better for them than purchasing locally,” Nimbus said.
Soybean was grown in more than 27,000 hactor in Nepal with annual production of 28,270 tonnes, in 2013, according to FAO – stat 2013.
The yield potential of soybean in mid hills stands at 4.5 tonne per hactor – according to Nepal Agriculture Research Centre – whereas the average national yield is only about 1.0 tonne per hactor, the FAO 2013 data revealed.
The FAO data also revealed that in 2013, the country imported 100,000 tonnes of soybean, which was consumed by the poultry sector.
Nimbus has a capacity of crushing 90,000 tonnes per year of soybean whereas in 2070-71, it was able to crush only 34,963 tonnes.
Likewise, the workshop organised by SADA in Dhangadi helped to identify and recommend some possible areas of intervention to strengthen the value chain of soybean and to identify the range of activities required to bring soybean production to final consumers.
The workshop also helped identify the chain actors involved through the value chain which includes input suppliers like agro-vets and nursery, farmers, collectors, traders – at different levels – processors, transporters, wholesalers, retailers and final consumers including Nimbus.

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