Soybean: A Key Player for Global Food Security

Rahul Dilawari, Navneet Kaur, Nitesh Priyadarshi, Ish Prakash, Anupam Patra, Sahil Mehta, Baljinder Singh, Prateek Jain, Aminul A. Islama

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

2 Scopus citations


Currently, soybean (Glycine max (L.) Merrill), a Leguminosae family member, has become one of the main economical oilseed beans. It is being cultivated nowadays in all major areas of the world including China, Japan, Brazil, the USA, and Korea as well as in many South and Midwest countries for several uses. The reason lies in the introduction of multiple local varieties, efficient seed supply, and timely technology transfer, participation of the public sector as well as large international capital groups, and large-scale introduction of new soy foods. It is primarily being cultivated as a substitute for high-protein meat and a source of vegetable oil. Furthermore, the availability of many bioactive compounds has also increased the interest of various researchers toward this bean which originated from northeast China. As a result, it has emerged somewhere as one of the nutritious cum economical parts of the vegan diet. Due to its nutritive value, this “yellow meat of the field” is touted by many as a potential weapon against global hunger. Next to diet, soybean and related greater market value products are being employed either directly or as an ingredient in making cheese, spreads, paints, fertilizers, adhesives, fire extinguisher fluids, animal feed, etc. Due to all these applications, soybean was cultivated on nearly 125 million hectares of the area resulting in 348.7 million tons of harvest in the year 2018. This quantity of production is projected to increase in the near future with a parallel surge in purchasing demand of the every second increasing population. However, there are still many “yield limiters” that uneven the soybean production at both pilot and global scales by nearly 50%. In order to tackle all these soybean yield limiters in a highly efficient manner, various techniques including cross hybridization, molecular marker-assisted breeding, transgenic breeding, tilling, microbiome engineering, and genome editing are being employed by various research groups. Therefore, in the present chapter, the focus is solely on how with time the soybean has proved its strong candidature as a key player for global food security. Furthermore, the production trends at the world and Indian scale are also highlighted. Additionally, the present chapter is an attempt to provide a streamlined overview of all these soybean yield limiters and employed technologies, in brief, to pave the way for the readers for other chapters in the book.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationSoybean Improvement
Subtitle of host publicationPhysiological, Molecular and Genetic Perspectives
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
Number of pages46
ISBN (Electronic)9783031122323
ISBN (Print)9783031122316
StatePublished - Jan 1 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • China
  • Nutrition
  • Soybean
  • Yield
  • Yield limiters

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Engineering
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences


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