History of Soybeans and Soyfoods in the Indian Subcontinent - Part 2


by William Shurtleff and Akiko Aoyagi

 

A Chapter from the Unpublished Manuscript, History of Soybeans and
Soyfoods, 1100 B.C. to the 1980s

 

Copyright 2007 Soyinfo Center, Lafayette, California

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1970-1982 . If the 1960s was a decade of preparation and building firm foundations, the 1970s was a decade of rapid expansion, with the highest soybean production growth rates in Indian history and creative work with soyfoods.

In 1970 the Rockefeller Foundation published a special report on A Partnership to Improve Food Production in India (Streeter 1969). The soybean and soyfoods were seen as having great promise. Researchers in India were said to see no reason why soybeans there could not repeat the "miracle crop" success story they made in the US. "That could be the greatest good news for farmers and for all consumers, but particularly for India's tens of millions of babies and young children . . . The key (to the soybean's success) will be the development of food products that people find good to eat (not just `good for them') and a vigorous campaign to stimulate their use." The most exciting prospects were seen for soymilk. This prestigious support helped bring soybeans and soyfoods into the limelight in India.

In 1970 Dovring, Jindia, and Misra published Economic Production Possibilities of Soybeans in Northern India . They found that of all legume crops studied, soybeans were the most profitable based on the criteria of per rupee investment, per rupee return over labor costs, and net profit. "The inclusion of soybeans in the cropping system would increase the income of farmers by 88% without an increase in resources, mainly due to conversion of fallow land. Were cash resources to be increased by 50%, the increase in net returns would be 135% over present conditions." This and two later University of Illinois studies (Williams et al. 1974; Dovring 1974) showed that soybeans were best suited to India's two north central states of Madhya Pradesh (23*N latitude) and Uttar Pradesh (29*N). By 1968 average yields were almost 20% higher in Madhya Pradesh than in the more northerly Uttar Pradesh. Also in Madhya Pradesh 42% of the cropland was found to be idle during the rainy monsoon ( kharif ) season (June-Sept). Indeed Madhya Pradesh soon came to produce more than three-fourths of India's soybeans, with Uttar Pradesh producing most of the rest.

As the soybean crop continued its rapid expansion, the work begun in the late 1960s to develop new uses and markets for soybeans progressed nicely. New cookbooks appeared. In 1970 Mrs. Rajeshwari Singh, as part of a team of ten Indian housewives from different parts of India, working together at G.B. Pant University in Pantnagar wrote Soyahar: Indian Recipes of Soybean . Containing 216 pages and 221 Indian soyfoods recipes, it was one of the most imaginative, complete, and valuable soyfoods cookbooks published in any country. Also in 1970 Ms. S. Kanthamani, a home science extension specialist, wrote the 100-page Tasty Recipes from Soybean . Like the 1969 cookbook from Mysore, these two books used no meat. They drew on the long tradition of Indian lacto-vegetarian cuisine, one of the country's most advanced and refined cuisines, since the richest and most educated class, the Brahmins, are vegetarians.

In 1971 India's first systematic research on soyfoods development was started at G.B. Pant University of Agriculture and Technology, at Pantnagar, with the technical collaboration of both the University of Illinois and the Nave Technical Institute at Shahjahanpur. The two key figures in setting up the soyfoods pilot plant and laboratory were Professor A.I. Nelson and Dr. Surjan Singh. Singh, who had studied dairy and food technology for 4 years at the University of Illinois and earned a PhD there in 1968, went to G.B. Pant University in 1969 to head the Department of Food Science and Technology and the utilization lab there. Professor Nelson, from the Department of Food Science at the University of Illinois, first went to India and Pantnagar in 1969 for 3 months. At that time not much work was being done in the US on low technology soyfoods, except for soymilk. Before his trip, Nelson visited Cornell and the USDA NRRC at Peoria, Illinois. At Cornell, which had earlier developed a technique for making a suspended soymilk using the whole soybean, plans were drawn up for a soymilk processing plant in India. In 1969 in India, Nelson and Singh planned the project and drafted a grant proposal for more than $500,000 to the PL 480 program to establish a soyfood processing pilot plant. Returning to Illinois, Nelson fully realized the great need to develop simple methods for processing soyfoods suited to India. For the next 2 years Nelson, Wei, and Steinberg at Illinois worked on developing such foods. The first prototype of their suspended soymilk was ready in January 1970. They then developed a host of related products, including weaning and breakfast foods, all based on the simple whole-bean model (see Chapter 44). In the fall of 1971 Nelson returned to Pantnagar, loaded with samples of the new foods; he had accepted a 2-year assignment with USAID in the capacity of Advisor in Soybean Processing Technology. Nelson, Singh, and Indian co-workers then began to build the pilot plant, to develop new products and to work with Bob Nave at Bareilly. In 1972 James Spata, a graduate student from Illinois, worked in the lab for the year on soybean dal. The team developed a method for making quick-cooking dal and related products, which required only the simplest home processing and could be incorporated into widely used Indian foods and recipes (Spata, Nelson and Singh 1974). The researchers then developed a variety of other soyfoods products including (1) suspended soymilk based on the Illinois method; nearly one million bottles (500 ml capacity each) were made and marketed as part of a consumer acceptance study. A soymilk plant with a capacity of 50,000 bottles a day was established and this led to the marketing of a commercial soymilk brand-named Sipso (described later); (2) several soy-based weaning foods; (3) soy candy, soy yogurt or curd, soynuts, tofu (soy paneer), and a soy cheese spread; and (4) low-cost high-protein extrusion cooked soy products including Nutri Nugget, Protesnac, Protein Plus, Paustic Ahar, and Nutri Ahar. Some basic development work on many of the products in groups 1-3 had been done at the University of Illinois. At Pantnagar work was done to adapt all the foods to the Indian diet. By 1972 a number of the extrusion cooked products began to be manufactured commercially by the Soya Production and Research Association (SPRA) in Bareilly, a company formed as a joint venture of Nave Technical Institute and Pantnagar University. SPRA has played a key role in pioneering both soyfoods and soybean production in India (Singh 1978).

 

SPRA was founded by Robert W. Nave, an American who was born and raised in India and worked there as a missionary since the late 1950s. His interest in improving the well-being and economic status of low-income people in India led him in 196?? to establish the Nave Technical Institute (NTI), a Methodist missionary foundation and school at Shahjahanpur, Uttar Pradesh. In 1968 Nave and co-worker Peter Chowfin visited Dick Matsuura, director of the soy program at Pantnagar. Matsuura encouraged them to consider a church-sponsored program for producing soyfoods--since no private businesses were willing to take the risk and the work was clearly of real importance. In 1970 Nave founded a nonprofit, charitable organization called NTI Soya Products. Joe Wenger and his Wenger Manufacturing Company, old friends of Nave's parents, donated a Wenger X-25 extrusion cooker to the new organization to help in setting up a pilot project in India making textured soy protein foods. Soon additional funding was obtained from the USAID, Pant University, Bread for the World of West Germany, the Methodist Church, and Nave Technical Institute. Nave started building a factory at Bareilly, an industrial center 50 miles northwest of Shahjahanpur, in March 1971. Key people helping to start the new company were Prof. A.I. Nelson, Surjan Singh, Dick Matsuura, and Eldon Rice.

In early 1972, in order to raise additional funds and to cement ties with Pant University, Nave sold 20% of the stock in NTI Soya Products to the university; NTI owned the rest. At that point the company was renamed Soya Production and Research Association (SPRA) and converted to a profit making organization, but with all the profits to be used for socially beneficial activities. In July 1972 SPRA produced its first large run, 40 tons of a corn-soy blend to be used in an AID feeding program in Madras. Defatted soybean meal was especially made for SPRA by the Prag Ice and Oil Mills in Aligarh.

In the fall of 1972 SPRA started to make its first commercial product, an extruded/textured soy flour (TVP). Recipes were developed and the product was marketed at a low price in inexpensive packaging for the poor. But they wouldn't take it even when it was given to them. So SPRA took a new approach, marketing the product for the rich to reach the poor. The company chose a catchy name (Nutri Nugget), developed a fancy box written entirely in English for snob appeal, and introduced the product only in the finest stores, with demonstrations at colleges and for upper income women's groups. After much hard work, the product caught on. With which classes?? Its success was assured when Sikhs started using it at their wedding dinners to satisfy both vegetarian and nonvegetarian guests. Soon all TVP came to be referred to by the public as Nutri Nugget (or Soy Nugget or Nugget). During the first year SPRA sold about 10 tonnes of Nutri Nugget. In 1973 they added their next product, Protesnac, a soy-rice spiced snack, a fortified analog of the puffed rice which was popular, especially in Bengal, on festive occasions. By 1974 the company had introduced Protein Plus (a corn-soy weaning food), Nutri Ahar (a whole soy flour-wheat weaning food), Paustic Ahar (a sweetened ready-to-eat corn-soy blend), and an extrusion cooked whole (full-fat) soy flour (Singh 1978). By 1974 840 tonnes a year of these products were being produced, with about half being sold through the retail trade.

In 1974 SPRA, in cooperation with G.B. Pant University, introduced a soybean extension program in the plains of Rohilkhand Division of Uttar Pradesh, an area on the plains near Bareilly where soybeans had not been grown economically before. SPRA hoped to develop a closer, more reliable source of soybeans. Using a grant from the Central Agency of West Germany, SPRA worked with hundreds of farmers, providing certified seeds, fungicide, Rhizobium inoculum, and careful supervision, plus a guarantee to buy all soybeans produced at a predetermined price. R.N. Trikha of Pant University was head of the program, which conducted hundreds of demonstrations and established demonstration plots (40% of which had yields over 2,000 kg/ha or 29.6 bu/a), published a Soybean Technical Newsletter and other extension literature, had an advisory service, and conducted many training sessions, soybean field days, and crop yield competitions. As a result of all this important local work, yields and production increased markedly (Trikha and Nave 1979). This extension program was still active as of 1982. SPRA's later activities will be described below.

In late 1971 India and Pakistan had a small war. President Nixon, who had had personal differences with Indira Gandhi years before, now tilted in favor of Pakistan and supported sending Pakistan US arms. Because of this foreign policy conflict, the government of India asked AID to close out most of the technical assistance programs to Indian agricultural universities by the end of September 1972, except for five advisors at Pantnagar and one each at Ludhiana and Poona. This cut off most US involvement in the soybean program. Actually the Illinois contract at Jabalpur had already ended but work at Pantnagar was still in process. At the time of US withdrawal there were five main centers and 14 subcenters doing work on soybeans, and more than 6 million rupees ($750,000) had been spent on the soybean project. Encouraged by the results of the Indian experience, the University of Illinois decided to establish a similar but worldwide soybean program, INTSOY (see Chapter 44).

In addition, between 1952 and 1972 India had established nine new agricultural universities in a massive effort to redirect her system of higher education. AID had contributed $34 million, including 339 US advisors and funding for 1,018 Indian students to study at agricultural universities in the US (Read 1974).

After US withdrawal of technical advisors and funding in late 1972 interest in soybean production remained strong. The All-India Coordinated Soyabean Program continued its work very effectively (it was still active in 1982) and soybean production increased even more rapidly than before (Fig. 6.??). It jumped from 20,000 tonnes in 1972 to 36,000 tonnes in 1974, 150,000 tonnes in 1976, 220,000 tonnes in 1978, 450,000 tonnes in 1980, and 500,000 tonnes in 1981. From 1971-1981 soybean production increased at the remarkable average annual compound rate of 39.5% a year. (It should be noted that Indian government figures on soybean production are generally considered to be inflated; agricultural officers pad them to make their own efforts look more impressive). In 1981 76% of India's soybeans were produced in Madhya Pradesh (interestingly 50% of these were black seeded, since this type grew well there), 21% were grown in Uttar Pradesh, and the remaining 3% in Bihar, Himchal Pradesh, and Rajhasthan, all in northern India. Soybeans gave an average 78% higher yield than the best yielding traditional pulse, pigeonpea ( Arhar ) (Bhatnagar and Ram 1982), net national yields were still quite low, 818 kg/ha (12.1 bu/a). By 1981 India was the eighth largest soybean producing nation in the world.

Various marketing studies of soyfoods were done by Williams and Rathod (1974), von Oppen (1974), and Rathod (1976). They agreed the four most promising soyfoods for India were soy flour, soy oil, soymilk, and extruded/textured soy flour (TVP). Rathod predicted that by 1981 demand for food uses of soybeans could reach 7,000-10,000 tonnes a year. Let us take a brief look at the various soyfoods used in India during the 1970s and early 1980s, listed here in approximate order of their popularity. Details on each are given in their respective food chapters.

First made in India in 1972 by SPRA, TVP (extruded/textured soy flour) was India's most popular soyfood from the outset, and by 1981 five companies were making an estimated 4,000 tonnes a year. SPRA made about 50% of the total, followed by Ganesh Flour Mills in Delhi, Ruchi (owned by General Foods of Indore), and Mysore Snack Foods. All products were marketed (following SPRA's lead) in roughly the same way, not as a meat extender or substitute, but as a food in its own right, suggested for use in meatless curries, pilau (pilaf), and the like. It was generally sold as granules or chunks to de-emphasize its similarity to meat and some brands were advertised as "100% vegetarian." The potential market for this product is generally considered to be huge.

Soy flour (in its defatted form) is the least expensive protein source in India (see Chapter 29), yet the full-fat whole soy flour is probably more desirable nutritionally since it is rich in both calories and protein, both scarce in the diets of low-income Indians. Roughly 300 tons (tonnes??) a year of defatted soy flour were used in Bal-Ahar and Bal-Amul by the mid-1970s. Whole soy flour is not yet available because of the difficulties of packaging it at low cost; packing it in cans puts it out of reach of its key market. There is a potentially immense market for soy flour as a fortifier (at the 10-15% level) in wheat-flour chapatis and in bread, but as of 1982 this is virtually untapped.

Perhaps the largest potential market for the soybean in India is as a source of oil, especially for vanaspati. Yet as of 1980 India preferred to import its soy oil rather than to extract it in any of the country's many solvent extraction plants using Indian-grown soybeans, largely because imported oil, extracted in huge modern US and Brazilian plants, was less expensive than that made in small Indian plants--but also for other reasons explained in Chapter 26. Imports were immense, topping 366,000 tonnes by 1980. When India begins using its own soybeans as an oilseed this will provide a tremendous stimulus for expanding soybean production and using the defatted meal as foods, especially as flour and TVP.

The first soy dairy in India was opened by Seventh-day Adventists in 1972 at Spicer Memorial College in Poona. They made soymilk and related products. By 1976 the pilot plant connected with the Department of Food Science at G.B. Pant University was making and selling 600-700 liters of soymilk a day on campus. By 1978 they had made more than a million bottles. By 1979 a related plant, making Sipso brand soymilk, had been started in New Delhi, with a capacity of 50,000 bottles a day. In Nagpur someone (who??) who had been in the US for some time set up a private commercial soymilk plant with local distribution. By 1982, however, not much was happening with soymilk in India. The Pantnagar pilot plant had closed and Sipso was not doing well, largely because of management problems and initial undercapitalization to tide the companies through the initial 3-5 years of introducing the products and losing money.

Since at least the 1950s and probably since much earlier, tofu has been made in Chinese communities in India and served at Chinese restaurants. But it was not marketed outside the Chinese community. Julie Sahni (personal communication 1983), an Indian expert on Indian vegetarian cooking, has stated that by about 1962-63 many Indian women in urban homes (Calcutta, Bombay, Delhi) began to make tofu at home. They may have learned from Japanese, as there were no known Indian methods describing the process available at that early date. The earliest non-Chinese tofu shop in India was started in February 1978 by Westerners near Auroville, a large spiritual community in Tamil Nadu. Called Hannes Bakery, by 1980 it was making 120 cakes of tofu daily. A second shop was started in April 1982 at Dalhousie, H.P. at 7,000 feet up in India's western Himalayas, again by Westerners. Tofu is very similar to India's nonfermented cheese called paneer (or panir) and goes very nicely in pilau, curries, pakoras, and a host of sweets. The okara from tofu can be incorporated into chapatis. Because of its close resemblance to paneer, tofu would seem to have a very bright future in India. Its biggest drawback is its short shelf life.

Soya Production and Research Association (SPRA), whose early history we discussed above, expanded considerably during the late 1970s and early 1980s. In about 1977 a larger extrusion cooker, a Wenger X-155, replaced the original X-25. But as the products, especially the basic Nutri Nugget (plain TVP), grew in popularity, competitors sprang up on all sides, in most cases imitating almost exactly SPRA's product and marketing techniques. By 1981 SPRA had 50% of the Indian TVP market, but there was competition from four other companies. Still SPRA was able to sell all it could produce and was planning to double production. In May 1981 Nave established a new nonprofit corporation named Compatible Technology, Inc., which was registered and located in Minnesota. Though legally unrelated to SPRA, its funding was raised by Nave and its purpose was to transfer ideas and technology to India. Projects in 1981 included development of: low-cost packaging techniques for whole soy flour, 5-to-10 horsepower low-cost extrusion cookers, small soy oil extraction plants, a soy-based cookie for feeding programs (a soy-fortified flour would be sold to local bakers and institutions, which would bake the cookies for fresh local consumption), tempeh, and a soyfoods training center. In 1981 SPRA made and sold roughly 2,000 tonnes of Nutri Nuggets (TVP) plus 120 tonnes of Protein Plus for net sales of $2.5 million. SPRA has done pioneering work with soyfoods and soybeans in India, being the first company to interlink soyfoods research, product development, processing, and marketing with soybean crop extension.

The Future . As of 1982, there would seem to be few countries in the world where soybeans and soyfoods have a greater potential than in India. Indeed, they are catching on rapidly. Indian diet, culture, and agriculture offer unique challenges, which soybeans and soyfoods seem uniquely qualified to meet. While the potential is great, there are also serious obstacles to realizing that potential. The potential seems to lie in three main areas:

1. Source of Vegetable oil. As of 1982 India was the world's largest importer of vegetable oils. Domestically grown soybeans could reduce oil imports and save precious foreign exhange, while stimulating local agriculture and the Indian oilseed crushing industry. It may be, however, that soybeans can be imported to India less expensively than they can be grown domestically and the Indian land could be used to grow basic food crops.

2. Source of Protein and Employment for India's Villagers. Soyfoods are a high quality, low cost source of meatless protein, and they can be produced on a village level, in India's 600,000 villages, providing much-needed employment for both farmers and local craftspeople. With 100,000 new entrants into the Indian labor force each week during the 1970s and 1980s, employment is clearly a key question.

Soyfoods are fortunate in that they closely resemble very popular but more expensive traditional foods: tofu resembles paneer, soymilk resembles milk, soymilk yogurt resembles dahi, and soy flour resembles gram flour (from Bengal gram, chick-peas, or garbanzo beans). India's typical spicy seasonings will easily mask subtle differences in flavor. Soyfoods could help rectify the unbalanced overemphasis on cereal grains and calorie production and play a vital role in overcoming protein-calorie malnutrition among lower income groups.

3. Source of High-Protein Meal. There is already a fairly large demand for soybean meal in India's growing poultry industry, and to a less extent in the livestock industry (Bhatnagar and Ram 1982). Yet the vast majority of Indian consumers either cannot afford such products or they are vegetarians.

The obstacles seems smaller than the potential. Bhatnagar and Ram (1982) feel that the main problems in expanding soybeans production are the limited market and the uncertainty of financial return. There is also the proverbial conservatism of most rural Indians toward dietary changes.

A few specific programs could be of great help in realing the potential of soya in India. First, India is greatly in need of a soyfoods training center and a grass-roots soyfoods production and utilization training program of the type that has been so successful in Sri Lanka (see Chapter 54). Second, more imagination and innovation needs to be applied to introducing soyfoods to both urban consumers and rural villagers. To date, according to Bob Nave of SPRA, very little imagination has been demonstrated in these vital areas. It is essential to get the people involved, as has been done so successfully in the US and Sri Lanka, by helping them to understand that soyfoods represent one practical answer to many of their basic problems.

If a major commitment is made in India by the growing number of people at all levels--people in government, the food industry, agriculture, and education who understand the great potential of soybeans and soyfoods--and work is done to overcome lack of knowledge and conservative dietary patterns, India could soon be in the forefront of soybean and soyfoods development in the Third World.

HISTORY OF SOYA IN BANGLADESH

Originally a part of India called "East Bengal," this country became East Pakistan in 1947, then in 1971 became Bangladesh, an independent republic in the British Commonwealth.

Since soybeans have been grown for centuries in the Khasi Hills, the Naga Hills, and Manipur, all just to the east of today's Bangladesh, they probably entered this country at least several hundred years ago. The earliest known reference was by Watt, who stated in 1890 that soybeans were grown in Eastern Bengal.

According to Khaleque (1982), soybeans are a new crop in Bangladesh. They were introduced during the 1960s, but no attention was given to their improvement and expansion until 1974, when the Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute (BARI) began to study their feasibility and performance as a regular crop. The results were so promising that in 1975 the government launched the Bangladesh Coordinated Soybean Research Project (BCSRP) under the Bangladesh Agricultural Research Council (BARC), to study the introduction, cultivation, and use of soybeans in Bangladesh. Serious work in each of these areas, including varietal improvement and local cultural practices, began immediately.

The first main use of soyfoods in Bangladesh was in the form of cereal-soy blends such as CSM, WSB, etc. that were introduced during the late 1950s or early 1960s. In 1974, for example, 5,897 tonnes of these products were imported as part of PL 480 programs. In 1975, the year BCSRP was launched, the Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) began work with BCSRP to popularize soybeans and soyfoods in Bangladesh. In April 1975 the Mennonite Central Committee published Basic Soybean Cooking for Bangladesh by Ramona G. Smith, a home economist with the MCC. The 85-page book, containing numerous photographs, described how to use whole soybeans, cooked soybean paste, fresh green soybeans, soy flour, and soymilk in many traditional recipes, showed how to make soy flour and soymilk at home, and provided good nutritional information. Few farmers had grown soybeans before 1975, but with the introduction of short-season varieties, growing soybeans became more popular. By late 1980 only about 810 ha (2,000 acres) of soybeans were being grown, but a national target of 6,113 ha (15,000 acres) had been set for the second year plan. Average yields of 1,475 kg/ha were about 30% more than other legumes and 25% more than other oilseeds, except peanuts. Khair (in Judy and Jackobs 1981) expected that much of the soybeans would be grown by groups: the BARC, the Directorate of Agriculture (Extension and Management), the MCC, and the BCSRP. Annual reports by the BCSRP, starting in 1975-76 charted the new crop's progress. Prior to 1980 most of the country's soybeans were used directly as food, but oil extraction was planned. An important early researcher on soyfoods was Mohammed A. Khaleque, who in 1976 did work on soymilk and by 1980 was Oilseeds Project Director at BARI in Dacca.

HISTORY OF SOYA IN BHUTAN AND SIKKIM

In March 1982 the Project for the Mechanization of Agriculture in the Kingdom of Bhutan purchased a large mechanized tofu and soymilk production system from Takai Tofu & Soymilk Equipment Co. in Japan. It can produce 210 kg (460 lb) of soymilk per hour. Nothing else is known of soybeans or soyfoods in these mountain nations.

HISTORY OF SOYA IN NEPAL

Soybeans are an ancient crop in Nepal, where they have probably?? been grown for centuries (Panday in Whigham 1975; Chaudhary 1982), yet we know of no early records mentioning them. They are said to have long been grown only in the mid-hills at altitudes of from 915-1,525 meters (3,000-5,000 feet), but in the late 1970s they started to be grown in other parts of Nepal. Traditionally soybeans were intercropped with maize (corn), millet, rice, or pigeon peas, as were other legumes.

Panday reported that in 1971, realizing the importance of the soybean for food and feed, he and his co-workers started collecting local varieties and growing them at the Khumal farm. By 1974 they had 200 indigenous varieties in their collection. Nationwide production expanded steadily, from 10,824 tonnes (grown on 18,040 ha) in 1972 to 45,500 tonnes (grown on 70,000 ha) in 1977, for a compound growth rate of more than 33% a year.

Due to lack of marketing facilities, Nepalese farmers grow soybeans for their own food use, but leave a little to sell for food in local markets. Farmers also feed roasted soy flour to their cattle, especially cows and buffalo, during their lactating period in order to get more milk.

Traditionally, soybeans have been used in a number of different forms and recipes in Nepal. In the most popular preparation, a snack called Bhatmaas ani chiuraa (soybeans and beaten ?? rice), soybeans are dry roasted in a wok, dehulled and split into two cotyledons in a hand-turned stone mill, stir-fried with mustard oil, minced green onion, red chilis, gingerroot, and salt, then served while savory and crunchy over beaten?? rice with early afternoon tea. Roasted soybeans mixed with roasted corn are also served with the midday meal. Soy sprouts mixed with other sprouted pulses are used in a vegetable soup. Fresh green soybeans, grown around the edge of rice paddies, are steamed then served in the pods. A fermented soybean preparation called kinema , a relative of Japanese natto, has long been used to make a soup that is poured over rice, and as a trekking food (see Chapter 24). According to Panday (1975) some Nepalese had started preparing soymilk and soymilk yogurt. Rice cooked in soymilk with diced coconut was becoming popular and some people were using soy flour in their baby food. In 1981 HOVIPREP, the Home/Village Prepared Food Supplement Project, part of the Harvard/MIT International Nutrition Project, expanded the use of roasted soy flour on a home and village scale in Nepal and wrote a monograph on the project (Lockwood 1982 ??). By 1982 a British AID agricultural farm at Pakribas had developed soybean varieties suited for different terrains. And there was a small tofu shop in Kathmandu. (Name?? When start??) In Nepal, roasted soybeans are considered "hot" and boiled soybeans are considered "cold" in the traditional system of medicine and nutrition. This classification affects which foods are used in trying to cure certain diseases. As Nepal now has a serious deforestation and firewood crisis, soy sprouts and wok-roasted soybeans may hold future promise, since they require only 5 minutes of cooking. In any event, soybeans and soyfoods seem to have a bright future in Nepal.

HISTORY OF SOYA IN PAKISTAN

According to Khan and Qayyum (1982), soybeans were introduced to Pakistan in the early 1960s and their commercial production was established in the early 1970s. They are grown primarily as a source of edible oil, of which Pakistan has a deficit. Imported soy oil was first used to make vanaspati in Pakistan in the early 1960s and its use increased rapidly thereafter (see Chapter 27). Soybean production was 443 tonnes in 1974; it rose sharply after 1975, reaching 2,052 tonnes in 1979. Most of Pakistan's soybeans were grown in the northwestern part of the country in the Swat-Islamabad area.

HISTORY OF SOYA IN SRI LANKA

A detailed history of soybeans and soyfoods in Sri Lanka is given in Chapter 54.

 

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