THE Bureau of Agricultural Research said that it projects about 15,000 hectares of land to be planted to soybean by 2019, from 700 hectares in 2011 and 10,000 currently.
“We will revive the soybean program of 2011,” Head of BAR Technology Commercialization Division Anthony B. Obligado told reporters on Monday.
He said the expansion in planting will be accompanied by the use of soybean in more products.
BAR Director Nicomedes P. Eleazar said in a news conference that BAR is using geotagging to determine the hectarage of the soybean crop, which is significantly higher than the Philippine Statistics Authority’s estimate of 5,000 hectares.
Mr. Eleazar said the priority is to address human consumption needs first, while soybean for animal feed will remain imported.
The Global Agricultural Information Network (GAIN) has reported that imports of soybean meal are expected to increase 5.45% to 2.9-million metric tons (MMT) this year, up from 2.75 MMT a year earlier, due to the expansion of the livestock and poultry sectors. GAIN said that the US will remain the top supplier of soybean meal to the Philippines. — Reicelene Joy N. Ignacio