The consortium, officially named the Feed the Future Innovation Laboratory for Soybean Value Chain Research, will provide replicable research to identify, adapt and deploy soybean germplasm, educate current and future breeders, define best practices for production and seed management, and identify barriers to adoption, especially for women. The group will conduct its research in the sub-Saharan African countries of Ghana, Mozambique, Zambia, Malawi, and Ethiopia.
Because soy must be processed, one aspect of the research Goldsmith said will get a special focus is soy's value chainfinding ways to connect growers with processors and markets. Poor infrastructure and distance to markets plagues many regions of the developing world.
The USDA Soybean Germplasm Collection at the University of Illinois will be leveraged to identify new high-yielding soybean varieties that are adapted to low-latitude environments. Researchers will also work to develop cultivars that are resistant to rust and bacteria pustule, can more efficiently fix nitrogen, can better tolerate the low phosphorus commonly found in tropical soils, and can be easily processed for household as well as livestock consumption.
"There is a high demand for poultry and animal feed in developing countries," Goldsmith added. Soybean's primary use is as a high quality protein source for livestock. "That's another aspect of this research that fits the legacy of the University of Illinois. Illinois crop and animal scientists were instrumental in developing a nutritious corn/soy diet for pigs and poultry," he said.
Goldsmith said that poultry in these sub-Saharan regions
|Contact: Phyllis Picklesimer|
University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences