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The FADING Miracle of Madhya Pradesh – Soybean

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Soybean is an important leguminous crop also known as the “Miracle crop”. Soybean originated in South East Asia and was domesticated by the farmers of China around 1100 BC.

Although it belongs to leguminosae family, soybean is not used as a pulse but finds its use as an oilseed. Soybean is a major source of vegetable oil, animal feed and vegetarian protein.

Soybean contains 40% protein and 20% oil.  Its protein is called complete protein and soybean oil contains no cholesterol and almost none of the saturated fats. It also contains Lecithin which is essential for heart and liver functions.

Soybean truly justifies why it is called the “MIRACLE CROP”.

Rise of Soybean

India launched soybean development programme in 1960’s and it expanded rapidly in 1972-1984. Production increased by 21% to 583000 million ton.

The State of Madhya Pradesh experienced 38 folds increase in area (615800 ha in 1983) and similar increase in production (to 440300 MT in 1983). Out of 814 thousand hectare area under soybean in the country during 1983-1984, about 616 thousand hectares were in Madhya Pradesh and M.P. came to be known as “The Soy State”.

The Down Fall

Although soybean soared in terms of production throughout the years, a negative trend have been observed since the last couple of years .Both the production and the area under cultivation has declined considerably.

SOPA (Soybean Processors Association) estimated that Soybean output would decline by 24% due to lower average and crop damage. Production in 2017-2018 was 8.35 million tonnes that is 24% lower than 10.9 million tonnes reported in the previous years .

Similar trends has been observed in Madhya Pradesh as the farmers shifted to other crops(tuar and urad) because of poor returns last year and another reason being yellow mosaic and tobacco mosaic that plagued soybean.

Soybean is grown in kharif and still treated as a rainfed crop. Prolonged dry spells in July and August specially during the critical stages of flowering and pod formation reduces the yield drastically. Thus it could be contemplated that environmental stress plays a pivotal role in deciding soybean output .

Factors acting as constraints are as follows :

  • Inadequate training to farmers
  • Insufficient working capital
  • Low soil fertility
  • Poor pricing of produce
  • Lack of access to labour saving technologies
  • Unavailability of farm labour
  • Poor market infrastructure
  • Incidence of insect/pest and disease attack
  • Poor extension activities of related institutes
  • Low availability of disease resistant varieties and unavailability of certified seeds
  • Preponderance of obsolete varieties

All these factors can be summed up in three categories

  1. Production problem
  2. Linkage problem
  3. Marketing problem

These are the reason that soybean lost its sheen.


Rapid growth of soybean has taken place under a situation of decline in yield. A multifaceted situation has jeopardised the position of soybean in Madhya Pradesh.

Steps to eradicate these constraints and maximize the positive steps and minimize the negative interactions will help to improve the present situation.

Sunny Thakur

Email:; Education: M.Sc. (Agriculture) in Plant breeding and Genetics, College of Agriculture, JNKVV, Jabalpur (Madhya Pradesh, India)

7 thoughts on “The FADING Miracle of Madhya Pradesh – Soybean

  1. Nice post. I found this interesting: “Blogging was related to a love of science and a love of writing. […] No mention was made, however, of communicating science to promote scientific literacy, awareness of science, science engagement or some other institutional, governmental or societal agenda related to science.”

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