Soybean consumption is soaring in most countries of sub-Saharan Africa, driven by a strong industrial demand in the areas of animal feed and vegetable oil production. However, yields soybean yields have been consistently lower than possible due to a variety of reasons such as limited resources, limited genetic varieties, and limited technical knowledge. For seed producers in Africa, there are only a limited number of varieties to multiply and distribute to local farmers. This leaves farmers with few options when trying to maximize yields in their local agro-ecological setting.
Apart from low levels of agronomic know-how at smallholder farmer level, one of the main reasons of such low productivity is the lack of smallholder access to quality seed of a range of adapted soybean varieties that perform well under tropical conditions. The Pan-African Variety Trial Program team works alongside local partners to implement formal trials across Africa. Local partners include the National Agricultural Research System of Africa; local seed companies; private and public sector breeders; farmer groups, processors and technical organizations specialized in variety screening; organizations with capacity to demonstrate new, improved crop varieties; organizations that link credit or savings to seed purchase; and seed producers and distributors.
The Pan-African Soybean Variety Trials provide 50+ soybean varieties from the Soybean Innovation Lab’s research and private sector partners across Africa, Central and South America, and from the U.S. Soybean Germplasm Collection for evaluation. The trial program also involves technical staff training; data collection, cleaning, analysis, and reporting; extension field days and associated materials; communication and promotion; and legal support for licensing and royalty payments.
Who is involved?
How does the program work?
Why are the trials innovative?
About the Trials