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Small Bean, Good Nutrition, July 11, 2023
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In Morogoro, Tanzania, a cup of soybean milk is triggering changes in nutrition.

In 2011, Professor Li Xiaoyun from China Agricultural University first set foot on Morogoro. In the following ten years, he and his colleagues worked with local technical partners to promote a reasonably higher maize plant density based on China's experience, causing the yields to triple over the period. A seemingly small technical advance eventually made a big difference.

However, experts from China Agricultural University found that protein deficiency was prevalent among local farmers who, relying on maize for income, could not afford meat and dairy products. Increasing farmers’ income and improving their living standards remained a huge challenge.

Over the past decade, China Agricultural University and Morogoro's technical team have worked closely to train a large number of agricultural technicians.

By June 2022, 109 people in four villages of Morogoro had received specialized training, and soybean yields grew over five times from about 100 kg to 533 kg per acre.

Soybean milk, invented in China about 2000 years ago, is an easy-to-make drink which is rich in vegetable protein and minerals.

Sprinkled with a local spice similar to cardamom, soybean milk becomes a popular substitute for milk. This is one of the ways of processing soybeans that are advocated among local villagers.

Since September 2022, the project team has worked with local farmers to produce soybean meal, flour, and other products. The team also provided guidance on how to transform small family-run businesses to large-scale food processing factories, so as to help develop a complete soybean industry chain.

Under the guidance of the team from China Agricultural University, soybeans grow well on the land of Tanzania, building a bridge towards nutrition and wealth for farmers.