September 26, 2003



Philippines Program For Soybean

The Philippine Department of Agriculture plans to implement a soybean production development program this year to curb 20 billion pesos ($1=PHP55.14) of annual soybean imports.


Both the government and private sector will participate in the program, which is aimed at expanding the area planted in soybean to 100,000 hectares. The program involves seed production using imported seeds from Thailand. Government-owned breeding centers and institutions such as the Bureau of Plant Industry will produce the foundation seeds while the private sector will plant these commercially.


Mindoro province will be the likely spot for the first seed plantings. The seed production program involves importing 1,600 tons of soybean seeds for planting 32,000 hectares in soybeans in three years.


At 985 metric tons of soybeans a year on less acreage, Filipino soybean yields have shrunk significantly. Estimated land planted in soybean was at only 1,000 hectares in 2001, compared to 12,000 hectares in the mid 1970¡¯s.


The gradual reduction in the land planted soybean was attributed primarily to softer prices in the international market. Also, food manufacturers required high-grade soybeans that local growers found difficult to supply


The Philippines imports about 300,000 tons of whole soybean, 1.2 million tons of soymeal and 10,000 tons of soyoil annually.