Released on 19 June 2006
21st Century Soybean developed
Hanoi – Vietnamese and Australian scientists have developed a new soybean variety that will help Vietnam meet its national target, which is to increase soybean production from 200 000 tonnes to a million tonnes per year by 2010.
A two day meeting involving soybean experts from all over Vietnam commenced today at the Vietnamese Academy of Agricultural Science in order to present research findings from a nearly eight years of research on adaptation and improvement of soybean varieties, an investment of more than AUD900 000 by the Australian Government’s agricultural research program.
Through funding from the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR), scientists from James Cook University, CSIRO Plant Industry, Thai Nguyen University and the Vietnamese Academy of Agricultural Science (VASS) were able to adapt some Australian soybean varieties to Vietnamese conditions with very good results. The most prominent variety is Line 95839, which was registered by VASS under the DT21 trademark, and is known as the “new variety for the 21st century”.
Soybean ranks third in Vietnam’s list of priorities for crop research after rice and maize because it is a major source of feed for Vietnam’s fast growing livestock industry and a valuable source of protein for human consumption. However at present Vietnam can only meet one fourth of the market demand and local soybean varieties often have low yield.
DT 21 has shown excellent yield potential as a winter variety in the Red River Delta region in place of corn or where land is idle after rice crops. Professor Bob Lawn said that “while the average yield produced by local varieties is nearly 1.0 ton -1.3tones per hectare, DT 21 can produce up to 2.5-3.0 tonnes per hectare in “best practice” conditions. It is also stronger and has a higher nitrogen fixation capacity”.
DT 21 is warmly welcomed by farmers in many Northern provinces in Vietnam. Seeds are being multiplied by VAAS in collaboration with local seed production cooperatives and farmers. It is making its way to the central and south regions of Vietnam.
“Farmers using these higher-yielding varieties stand to benefit through increased profit”, said Professor Tran Dinh Long from the Legume Research and Development Centre. “The introduction of more productive varieties will provide Vietnamese farmers with higher cash income and will reduce Vietnam’s reliance on soybean imports. It also allows the increased consumption of nutritious soybean”.
The project has recently received a two year extension to gain an understanding into how climate affects soybean adaptation and yields, in addition to continuing the research on crossing good Vietnamese and Australian varieties.
“The Vietnamese government aims to double the area for soybean plantation by 2010 so this project is a very timely and practical response from the Australian government. It is another good example of Vietnamese and Australian scientists working together to develop innovative solutions to the agricultural needs of Vietnam”, said Australian Ambassador Bill Tweddell.
For further information please contact:
Prof. Acad. Tran Dinh Long
Legumes Research and Development centre
Vietnam Academy of Agricultural Science
Tel: 844.8612128, Mobile: 0903288088
Nguyen Lan Phuong
ACIAR, Australian Embassy
8 Dao Tan, Ba Dinh, Hanoi
Phone: 84 4 831 7755 ext 265
Fax: 84 4 831 7707
Mobile: 0903 441 519