Climate zone: Tropical – Dry – Temperate – Continental – Polar
This legume, native to East Asia, is a particularly versatile commodity. It is used for the production of food and beverages, such as soy milk, tofu, soy sauce or tempeh. Further, it is commonly utilized as animal feed due to its high protein content, as well as, for the production of chemicals. It is the word’s most important bean.
The plant is an annual, whilst the beans are actually its seeds. Unfortunately, its cultivation is still causing severe environmental damage through deforestation and land degradation, for example, in the Amazon. While research on soybean in agroforestry systems – a potential solution – is still in its infancy, first case studies suggest promising results, especially regarding increased climate resilience of the system, yield stability, and nitrogen fixation.