The Department of Science and Technology (DST) on Tuesday announced the funding of the implementation of the Soybean Research and Development (R&D) Program, which is also supported by the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development (PCAARRD) in a bid to strengthen the country’s soybean industry.

The program, which consists of four projects — Analysis of Supply Chain and Competitiveness, Productivity and Technical Efficiency of Soybean as Food (Project 1); Soybean for Higher Income and Enhanced Soil Health under Different Cropping Systems (Project 2); Enhancing the Sustainability of Informal Soybean Seed Sector (Project 3); and Soybean Variety Development for Large Seed Size, Higher Yields and Enhanced Functional Properties (Project 4) — has kicked off several activities including a semi-annual review and field visits in Regions 10, 11, and 13.

The activities were conducted by the monitoring and evaluation (M&E) team of the Crops Research Division-DOST-PCAARRD while the survey and interviews with soybean farmers in Regions 10, 11, and 13 were conducted by the Project 1 R&D team in conjunction with Project 3.

The two projects aim to improve the current seed enhancement mechanisms and the overall soybean supply chain in the Philippines.