Soybean commonly referred to as soya bean is a species of legume that is native to East Asia. Soybean is usually cultivated for its edible bean which could be used for numerous purposes.
Estimates indicate that a hectare of land can give an average yield of 2.6 tonnes annually. However, in some countries, the yield is much larger and almost equal to 4.9 tonnes. This crop has a very old history; studies indicate that this crop was growing even before written records.
Some of the common soybean products are
- Soy milk
- Soy vegetable oil
- Soy sauce
- Fermented soybean paste
- Tofu skin etc.
Soybean has a high Vitamin B, dietary minerals, and phytic acids content. They are often used as a substitute for meat and dairy products. This crop requires 20o to 30o C temperature for optimum growth, one of the notable features is that this crop can grow on many types of soil; however, the best output was produced by the crops grown on alluvial soils with high organic content.
Soybean is grown in many countries; here is the list of world’s 10 largest soybean producers.
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Uruguay is the 10 largest producer of soybean in the world today. 60% of the total farmland in this country is used for soybean cultivation. Studies indicate that the production quantity has been increasing in the recent years and in 2013 the country earned almost $1.9 billion USD from soybean export. One of the key reasons for the increase in production quantity is because the farmers have started using certified seeds that are more suitable for the environmental condition in the country.
Annual production in million metric tonnes – 3.2
Bolivia is the 9th largest producer of soybean in the world. In Bolivia, soybean is considered as one of the most treasured crops. Estimates indicate that the country as almost 14,000 soybean producers with 45,000 workers directly involved with the production and has another 65,000 people employed in this sector. Income from the Soybean production and export accounts for 3% of GDP of the country.
Annual production in million metric tonnes – 3.3
Ukraine is the 8th largest producer of soybean in the world. This country is also the largest soybean producer in Europe. Estimates indicated that half of the soybean produced in this country is exported and the areas under cultivation have been increasing for the past few years. 65,000 hectares of land was under cultivation in the year 2000, and today. 2.1 million hectares of land is under soybean cultivation.
Annual production in million metric tonnes – 3.9
Canada is the 7th largest producer of soybean in the world today. About 2/3rd of the total soybean produced in Canada is exported either raw or processed to countries like Japan, U.S, Netherlands, Middle Eastern countries, and Europe. It is estimated that the previous year production and export has produced an income of $1 billion USD. Studies indicate that today in Canada, the production, and land under cultivation is increasing (5.5 million hectares).
Annual production in million metric tonnes – 6.0
Paraguay is the 6th largest producer of soybean in the world. This country accounts for almost 3% of the total soybean produced in the world. Studies have indicated that the land under cultivation is increasing on a 6% scale annually and hence the production quantity also. Today there are 3.1 million hectares of land under soybean cultivation and the land under cultivation would increase in the future.
Annual production in million metric tonnes – 10.0
India is the 5th largest producer of soybean in the world and is the 2nd largest soybean producer in the Asian continent. According to the reports from Statista, India accounts for about 3.9% of the total soybean production in the world. Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh are the two states in the country that accounts for 89% total soybean production in the country. Estimates indicate that this India has earned almost $2.3 billion USD in soybean export alone.
Annual production in million metric tonnes – 10.5
China is the 4th largest producer of soybean in the world today. This country accounts for more than almost 4% of total soybean production in the world. Majority of the production in this country comes from the region near the Russian border; estimates indicate that around 235 million hectares of land are under soybean cultivation here. One of the notable things about this country is that the soybeans produced in the country is not sufficient to meet the domestic demand, so the country imports a large quantity of soybean, therefore, making China one of the largest importers of soybean in the world.
Annual production in million metric tonnes – 12.2
Argentina is the 3rd largest producer of soybean in the world today. Unlike the countries listed above, the production in Argentina is almost more than double the quantity produced in China. In Argentina, almost 20.3 million hectares of land is under soybean cultivation and the country accounts for 18% of the world’s soybean production. One of the notable things about this country is that it exports only 7% of raw soybean, but is the largest exporter of soybean vegetable oil and meal.
Annual production in million metric tonnes – 53.4
Brazil is the world’s 2nd largest producer of soybean. This country accounts for 30% of the total soybean production in the world. Estimates indicate that around 29 million hectares of land in Brazil is under soybean cultivation. In the year 2013 alone, the country earned about $23 billion USD from soybean export.
Annual production in million metric tonnes – 86
The USA is the world largest producer of soybean. This country accounts for more than 43% of world’s total soybean production. The USA is also the world’s largest exporter of soybean and has about 34 million hectares of land under soybean cultivation.
One of the notable things about this country is that soybean oil is used as bio-diesel to run fuel combustion engines.
Annual production in million metric tonnes – 108
All the above-mentioned data’s were collected from several websites, the actual quantity of production might vary. The ranking was done only on the basis of the annual quantity of production.