The American Soybean Association’s World Initiative for Soy in Human Health (WISHH) program offers exciting updates on the world of soy nutrition and global development. For your convenience, this newsletter offers live links to useful resources.
See New Video: WISHH Wows Pakistan Aquaculture with Soy Fish Feed
WISHH’s FEEDing Pakistan project has proven that U.S. soybean meal is an important tool for Pakistan to meet the protein needs of the world’s sixth most populous country. At the same time, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS)-funded initiative is building a market for U.S. soybean meal in Asian aquaculture.
- Assessment of the Pakistan fish industry
- Feeding trials with U.S. soybean meal
- U.S. soy processing equipment purchase
- Technical assistance with Kansas State University
- Creation and distribution of a new aquaculture handbook
- Outreach to fish farmers and allied industry
- USDA Foreign Agricultural Service
- Pakistan Fisheries Development Board
- Pakistan Provincial Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries
- Pakistan fish farmers and feed millers
- Kansas State University
- Kansas Soybean Commission
USDA Cochran Fellow is Mozambique’s Minister of Science and Technology
Featured Speaker at World Soybean Research Conference
Thanks to U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Emerging Markets Program funding, WISHH brought Mozambique Minister of Science and Technology Louis Pelembe to share his knowledge of science and soy with the 500 attendees of the World Soybean Research Conference (WSRC) in February in South Africa.
Minister Pelembe holds a master’s degree in food technology and received soy processing training as a 2003 participant in WISHH-organized training funded by USDA’s Cochran Fellowship Program and held at Texas A&M. Soybean checkoff funding also allowed WISHH to further his expertise in soy processing at the University of Illinois and Kansas State.
Minister Pelembe’s presentation reported that the Mozambican government has enhanced science, technology and innovation to reduce poverty, increase economic growth and improving the social wellbeing of its population in Mozambique. He said agriculture will play a key role, with new Millennium Village Centers devoted to research, training and technology transfer. Mozambique is also developing a center for biotechnology research. The efforts by Mozambique’s government and the USDA to enable the environment for biotechnology will address critical food security and agricultural development objectives in the country.
“Minister Pelembe’s education and further technical training have given him considerable expertise in food science. Mozambique’s Ministry of Science and Technology is in good hands,” said Craig Gundersen, director of the National Soybean Research Laboratory, University of Illinois.
WISHH’s Cochran Program Assisted Central American Companies to Produce High-Protein Foods with U.S. Soy
WISHH has cultivated a relationship with Alimentos, S.A. in Guatemala City, Guatemala. USDA Foreign Agricultural Service personnel in Guatemala and Washington, D.C. have supported the initiation and maintenance of this important relationship with a company that processes between 12,000 and 13,000 metric tons of U.S. soy per year.
USDA’s Market Access Program (MAP) has funded technical assistance visits to Guatemala which have reached this large food processor. Through its partnership with Alimentos, WISHH has hosted technical trainings on the creation of snack foods utilizing U.S. soy products, and has participated with Alimentos in meetings on the use of soy in school lunch and public sector nutrition programs.
In 2012, Alimentos’ New Product Development Manager, Paola Escobar, attended WISHH’s Midwest Soy Protein Workshop entitled “Improving School Nutrition”, funded through USDA’s Cochran program. The University of Illinois’ National Soybean Research Laboratory hosted the workshop and gave participants the opportunity to explore new strategies to address improving school nutrition programs. Attendees of the conference represented private voluntary organizations, government officials, and international food companies – including processors from Africa and Central America.
Members of the Cochran delegation spent a week before the workshop in Washington, D.C. visiting a school lunch program at a D.C.-area public school, meeting with food and industry representatives from the private sector, attending a School Nutrition Advocacy and Administration workshop and attending a briefing at the U.S. Capitol on international school feedings.
Through the Cochran program, Escobar was introduced to Reinaldo Sanchez – the representative from the Fabretto Children’s Foundation’s Food Security and Nutrition Program in Nicaragua. The two discussed their organizations’ missions at the workshop and found synergies they had never before considered. Once they had returned to their respective countries, Fabretto invited Alimentos to participate in the National Food Security Expo in Managua, Nicaragua.
Alimentos buys U.S. soy flour, which they process into textured soy protein (TSP) at their plant in Guatemala and then sell throughout Central America. At the Food Security Expo, Alimentos hosted tasting of their TSP while Fabretto staff introduced them to representatives of the World Food Program, disaster relief organizations and others engaged in food security discussions in the country. Alimentos was able to offer their high-protein products (TSP and Incaparina – a micronutrient-fortified corn-soy blend also made with U.S. soy flour) to these organizations to help them meet the needs of the Nicaraguan people. USDA’s Cochran Program made these connections possible. These new relationships could have lasting impacts for Central America through the provision of locally made high-protein foods and beverages, as well as continue to increase U.S. soy exports.
In addition, when Escobar returned to Guatemala she was able to meet with members of Alimentos’ Sales and Nutrition Teams, which had drafted a proposal to the Guatemalan government for the country’s school feeding program. Paola was able to offer her team concrete ways to improve the proposal – skills she had learned at WISHH’s Midwest Soy Protein Workshop funded through the Cochran program.
The important relationships WISHH maintains, and which USDA funding supports, with local companies like Alimentos ensure that developing country partners have the technical support needed to continue to create products that address the regions protein needs in a commercially sustainable fashion, while also increasing U.S. soy export levels.
Michigan Soybean’s Ben Chaffin Meets WISHH’s African Marketing Partners
Meeting businessmen like Charles Nsubuga introduced Michigan Soybean Promotion Committee (MSPC) Vice President Ben Chaffin to the pioneers who partner with WISHH in in developing countries.
“The development side is key to the market growth,” says Chaffin who traveled to Senegal and South Africa in February. “You are dependent on building incomes to build demand.”
Development includes partnerships like WISHH’s work with Nsubuga who founded the SESACO company in Uganda. With training and other support from WISHH, Nsubuga uses U.S. textured soy protein, defatted soy flour and isolated soy protein to make nutritious and delicious foods in Africa. Checkoff funding from Michigan and other states is key to WISHH leveraging its resources with U.S. Department of Agriculture Foreign Agricultural Service (USDA FAS) and other government funds for trade and development.
For example, WISHH has used FAS funding to assist SESACO in marketing U.S. soy-based foods in supermarkets, street kitchens and even SMS Text marketing campaigns since mobile phones are very popular in Africa.
The result is a win-win for Africans and U.S. soybean farmers. For example, Chaffin visited bakers in the West African country of Senegal who are finding CHS soy flour is making their breads more nutritious as well as more profitable. The soy flour adds protein as well as increases the yield of the dough so the bakers get more profit. Bakers also report longer shelf life for the soy-based products, which is also an important economic benefit.
Chaffin also traveled with WISHH to join more than 500 attendees at the World Soybean Research Conference in Durban, South Africa. The conference theme was “From China to Africa—Can research close the gap between soy production and increasing global demand?”
Michigan and other state soybean organizations had seen similar projections when they founded WISHH in 2000.
SARAI Soybean Planting Underway in Afghanistan
Minnesota Soybean farmers met at Albert Lea Seed House on a cold February day to witness the final preparations of soybean seeds for a 7000-plus-mile journey to Afghanistan. U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) planes transported the 2,517 bushels of seeds to WISHH’s Soybeans for Agricultural Renewal in Afghanistan (SARAI) Project.
Thanks to these and many other efforts made possible by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food for Progress Program, approximately Afghan farmers started planting those seeds in June. WISHH and its partners have established Afghanistan’s first commercial soybean value chain project. Oilseed crops are key in Afghanistan’s economy for the production of animal feed as well as human foods. The Afghan farmers who receive the seeds agree to sell their soybeans to the processing facility that was also established through the three-year SARAI project. It uses both Afghan and U.S. soybeans to ensure a solid supply of soybeans, so the plant is a reliable source to its customers.
Central American Bakers Trained with Soy
WISHH is helping Central American bakers learn the power of soy through multiple 2013 training sessions led by Sergio Serna Saldivar. In May, 25 bakers and students attended his one-day seminar at INTECAP (Instituto Técnico de Capacitación y Productividad Guatemala C.A.) in Guatemala City. They learned how including defatted soy flour increases yields and improves the protein quality of their products.
Serna has also worked with WISHH’s long-time regional soy protein distributor Distribuidora del Caribe (DDC). “Bakery and More” in Guatemala City is an example of of a company that started buying from DDC as a result of Serna’s training. The bakery first began working with textured soy protein through a contract with the Guatemalan government to produce a cookie for the school feeding program in primary schools.