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The Soybean Innovation Lab at the
University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign
has partnered with the University of Ghana
(UG), Legon, and the West Africa Center
for Crop Improvement (WACCI) 
to establish a high-caliber Master of
Science degree program in Genetics
and Plant Breeding.

As soybean production in Sub-Saharan
Africa increases there is a growing need
for locally produced, low-cost, small-scale
threshers for smallholder farmers. These
trainings teach local blacksmiths how
to fabricate low-cost, small-scale crop
threshers. The blacksmiths learn not
only how to fabricate the threshers,
but also received business training,
and construct a working threshing machine.

The Soybean Innovation Lab
is assessing issues of gender
equity and the role of women
within sustainable soybean systems.
One of the goals is to understand
gender inequalities in the agriculture
sector to help transition rural women,
their families and communities toward
improved food security, health and
economic development.

The Soybean Innovation Lab
in collaboration with the Savanna
Agricultural Research Institute, is
developing the first testing lab in
northern Ghana capable of 
evaluating soil and water quality
for local farming communities.


The Soybean Innovation Lab
is collaborating directly with its
partners in the National Agricultural
Research System to develop high-yielding,
disease resistant, African-adapted soybean
varieties in an effort to improve the production
capacity of smallholder soybean farmers.

an online portal serving as a one-stop
shop for information, analytical tools
and related services to design and carry
out integrated breeding projects. The
Soybean Innovation Lab is collaborating
with CGIAR Generation Challenge
Programme to create a soybean-specific
module to support soybean breeders.
SIL offers support services for large-scale
companies interested in diversifying their
production lines to include soy ingredients
and soy-based foods. SIL brings food 
processing expertise in soybean oil, poultry
feed, textured soy protein, soymilk, soy
yogurt and soy flour production. 

There is great need in Africa
for low-cost, locally-produced
small-scale mechanization for
smallholder farmers to increase
their crop production. Researchers
with the Soybean Innovation Lab
recognized this need and developed
a locally-produced small-scale thresher
for smallholder soybean farmers. 

The Soybean Innovation Lab
works to understand how the
genetic components of the long
juvenile trait, maturity, and stem
architecture play a role in adapting
soybean to tropical climates and
how this can be applied to increasing
smallholder farmer yields.

The Soybean Innovation Lab leads
an effort to develop a new low-phosphorus 
soybean variety which will thrive in the
nutrient-poor soils in Sub-Saharan Africa.

The Soybean Innovation Lab
leads an effort to develop a new
low-processing soybean variety
that meet household and industry
demands for a high-quality, affordable
protein resource with minimal effort
in terms of processing. 


The Soybean Innovation Lab
partners with the Syngenta Foundation
for Sustainable Agriculture to implement
the first third-party testing of soybean
in Sub-Saharan Africa—more precisely,
coordinated soybean variety tests
across several countries.


The Soybean Innovation Lab
conducts pesticide trainings to
protect people and the environment.


The Soybean Innovation Lab
conducts socioeconomic research
focused on understanding the
economic impact of soybean
introduction at the smallholder
farmer level. 
SIL's Soy Food Bazaars bring together industry
partners including soy food producers,
soy processors, nutritionists, advocacy groups 
and government officials to highlight the role
soy can play in improving the nutritional profile
of African dishes and foods.
The soy food entrepreneur network is the
first of its kind working to connect soy
dairy operations throughout Africa to
enable entrepreneurs the ability to
share their gathered experience,
business practices, training, and
technological knowledge.
The Soybean Innovation Lab
developed a soy food recipe
database to support the growing
number of small scale food operations
across Africa. 
The Soybean Innovation Lab has created
the Soy Food School Lunch Caterer Training
to instruct caterers and school administrators on
how to create soy recipes for school lunches. 
SIL has organized Soybean Kick-Off Events
that bring together researchers, agricultural
development organizations, government
agencies, extension agents and private industries
to demonstrate SIL's work in each country and 
share evidence-based guidance, knowledge,
technologies and innovations. 

(Soybean Management with Appropriate 
Research & Technology) Farm is a
knowledge and technology hub,
providing farmers, practitioners,
agricultural development
organizations and governments
with evidence-based technical
guidance on soybean production.


To address malnutrition in
Sub-Saharan Africa, the
Soybean Innovation Lab developed
a soy-based complementary food
by combining soy and orange-fleshed
sweet potato. 

Dr. Glen Hartman collaborated
with the Soybean Innovation Lab
to develop a new diagnostic guide for
the identification of soybean diseases
and pests specifically designed for use
in Africa.
The Soybean Innovation Lab
develop the “Soybean Success Kit”, a
starter pack for smallholder
soy production including quality
seed, fertilizer, inoculum and
extension materials. 

No matter where you are
in the world people connect with food.  
Nina Furstenau is developing a cookbook
about the Women in Rotunda,
Mozambique and their favorite recipes.
The book will introduce Mozambique
families to new soy-enhanced dishes
while connecting on a personal level. 
The Soybean Innovation Lab provides
intensive village-level trainings and
workshops focused on soy processing,
soy nutrition and soy integration into local
cooking applications through interactive
and hands-on workshops.