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Soybean (Glycine max)-21st Century crop

Author(s): Chauhan GS, Joshi OP


Yellow Revolution that followed the Green Revolution has greatly supplemented the edible oil need of the ever-increasing population of the country. The production of oilseeds, which used to be just 5 million tonnes at the time of Independence, is more than 4 to 5 folds in past few years. The credit for this achievement goes to the concerted efforts made by the Government of India by launching research and development programmes under Technology Mission on Oilseeds in 1986 and ingenuity of farmers who responded to the need of time. Although the scope of this programme was further widened by bringing pulses in 1990 and maize (Zea mays L.) in 1995 under its umbrella to enhance yield of these basic crops to meet the nutritional requirement of the people. A revamped programme, Integrated Scheme on Oilseeds, Pulses, Oil Palm and Maize with mission mode approach is now in place from 2004-05 to promote the research and development of these crops in the country. Of the oilseeds contributed to Yellow Revolution, significant role has been played by introduction of soybean [Glycine max (L.)Merr.] and sunflower (Helianthusannuus L.) in late sixties for commercial cultivation. At present, soybean covers an area of nearly 7 million ha in the country and can be placed neck and neck to traditionally cultivated and established crops like groundnut (Arachis hypogaea L.) and rapeseed-mustard group of crops.

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