Initiating a New ‘Soy’ Revolution in India

By in blogs on May 5, 2014



Dear friends, Agriculture in India today is at the crossroads of history. Four decades after the onset of green revolution, the contribution of Agriculture and allied activities have once again pushed the GDP growth estimates upwards rather than pushing it down.

The Agricultural sector has kept pace with GDP growth rate despite sluggish growth in other sectors of the economy. It grew at 4.6% this years as compared to just 1.9% in the previous year. This shows that there is huge scope for development in the Agriculture and allied activities; However, need of the hour is to make this growth sustainable.  For ages agriculture in India has been a gamble of monsoon, this risk has to be mitigated by crop diversification and cultivation of efficient crops….. that do not drain precious natural resources like water and soil…..The case of Soybean cultivation is thus among the strongest.

Ruchi has pioneered soybean cultivation and its commercialization in India. My Father, Shri Mahadev Shahra and my elder brother Kailash bhai were the first to realize the huge potential of Soybean cultivation and the role it could play in ensuring nutritional security and self-reliance of India in terms of food production. Our role in converting Madhya Pradesh into the ‘Soy bowl of India’ is widely acknowledged. However it does not end here; Poor per acre yield of Soybean in India has been our concern for a very long time….Low-yield of Soy (1.1ton/acre) is often attributed to poorgermplasm base and resilienceof crops in India.

However instead of complaining about poor R&D and crop management practices in India, we decided to take things in our own hands….. We were not ready to fall for the trap of GMO lobby that has been pushing for introduction of GM soybean in India; we give highest regards to our commitment towards sustainability in agriculture and public health.

Our joint venture with D J Hendrick International Inc from Canada and KMDI International, Japan, will serve the cause of promoting soybean cultivation in India like never before…..
The modern Soybean seeds introduced will increase per acre yield up to 2.5 tons/acre and resilience of soybean crops in India by diversifying their genetic base. Through Hendrick’s leadership in Non-GMO research and KDMI’s experience in market penetration, we will be able to reach out to the last person in the value chain and bring about a positive change in his life.

“Signing of the Momentous Joint Venture”

The JV will introduce Soybean seeds that don’t have beany flavour, and don’t need the initial 20 minutes heat treatment as in case of Soybean available today. These constraints have been responsible for low popularity of Soybean cultivation in India since their introduction. An estimated yield of 2.5 tons per acre and high oil content in the seeds will help farmers derive huge commercial gains by cultivating Soybean.

India today depends heavily on imports for meeting its cooking oil consumption. More than 50% of cooking oil consumed in India is sourced internationally. This is shocking for a country that aspires to be a super power….. Dependency in food consumption can have implications in strategic and economic wellbeing of the country

Popularity of modern Soybean cultivation as result of this JV could pave way for self-reliance of India in terms of cooking oil production.  With all these benefits, there is every possibility that Soybean cultivation will be taken up in a big-way in India; initiating an all new Soy revolution.

Poor Irrigation and low NPK content in the soil has hampered agrarian development in India. Introduction of high yielding rice and wheat varieties have driven farmers away from low yielding traditional pulses. This has escalated the cost of dietary proteins many folds.

Despite huge stockpile of cereals in the country…. incidences of malnourishment are far from over….. Protein malnourishment is the key culprit here as well. A recent survey conducted by CII-McKinsey has predicted food consumption to double in next 20 years. This will further aggravate the problem. Rapid urbanization has reduced access to cultivable land in India. Efficient utilization of available land is thus the only solution.

Soybean is nature’s very own protein factory. It produces more usable protein per acre of farmland than any other form of complete protein. Further Soy uses far less water than other animal derived sources of protein like milk, egg & meat. Soybean can save more than 4 million gallons of water for each ton of soybean produced….. For a country struggling with mass-protein deficiency this could turn out to be a boon.

As is evident this joint venture can have wide ranging impact on the entire agricultural landscape of India.. At Ruchi we take pride in our commitment towards giving back to the society; this strategic initiative taken on Green Gold Day is in line with our commitment towards giving back to the society and nation at large…. Ruchi family is proud to be part of this revolutionary endeavor

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