Benson Hill to acquire US soy crushing operation to scale plant-based protein ingredients

USA – Food tech company Benson Hill has agreed to purchase a soybean crushing facility from Indiana-based Rose Acre Farms, as it looks to expand its ingredients infrastructure. The investment is part of plans to scale the production of soybean products, including Ultra-High Protein soybean ingredients. The deal which is subject to customary closing conditions and is expected to close by the end of this month, will be funded through the expansion of Benson Hill’s debt facility with Western Technology Investment. Describing it as “a significant milestone,” Benson Hill revealed…

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Russia mulls soybean export tax reduction as global grain stocks to drop to five-year low

RUSSIA — Russia is examining a 20% reduction of its soybean export tax, but not to less than US$100 per tonne, starting July 1, Reuters reported. If approved, the tax would replace the current export tax which set at 30% with a minimum level of €165 ($199) per tonne until June 30, and is expected to be in place until September 2022. The tax reduction comes at a time when global grain stocks are forecast to finish the 2020-21 marketing year at a five-year low at 609 million tonnes, according…

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Canada invests $148m in sustainable agriculture practices as Protein Industries backs development of new soybean products

CANADA – Canada is boosting its sustainability efforts in Agriculture by committing to invest CAD 185 million (about US$148 million) over the next 10 years into developing and implementing farming practices to tackle climate change. The funds will be channelled into the Agricultural Climate Solutions (ACS) programme which aims to establish a Canada-wide network of regional collaborations led by farmers, with support from scientists and other sectoral stakeholders. Through the programme, stakeholders will work together to develop and share management practices that best store carbon and mitigate climate change. Practices…

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Zambia’s sunflower production rises by 47% while soya bean expected to increase by 6%

ZAMBIA – Zambia’s sunflower production increased by a staggering 47% in the 2019/2020 farming season compared to the 2018/2019 farming season. According to information by the Zambia’s statistics agency, Zamstats, sunflower production increased from 34,208 metric tonnes in the 2018/2019 farming season to 50,451 metric tonnes in the 2019/2020 farming season. Despite the aggressive rise, Zambian Business Times notes that local production still does not meet the national demand. “if local farmers are given the market information at the right time, they will be able to make good decisions concerning…

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China’s soybean production to reach 18MMT in 2020/2021 as demand rises

CHINA – Soybean production in China is forecasted to be 18 million metric tons (MMT) in 2020/2021 while imports are forecast at 95 MMT, according to estimates developed by FAS Beijing and reported by USDA. The increase in production is as a result of acreage expansion put under production, driven by continued government subsidies and relatively high soybean prices in the first months of 2020. The forecast area of production in 20/21 according to the report is 9.46 million hectares (MHa). Industry sources generally agree that soybean production will be…

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China seeks for soybean industry alliance with Russia strengthening cooperation

CHINA – The world’s largest soybean consumer, China has proposed a “soybean industry alliance” with Russia as it seeks to ensure an ample supply of soybeans in the foreseeable future. China’s Commerce Minister Zhong Shan has called upon both countries to “match up” production with that of major soybean production areas and build an industry alliance, reports South China Morning Post. Although Russia is not a major soybean producer, climate change is bringing more land into production in the country’s northern region, making a likely increase in output likely in…

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Danone partners with Brightseed to bring AI technology in plant-based foods

USA – Danone North America has partnered with San Fransisco-based biosciences company, Brightseed, to explore new health benefits in plants using artificial intelligence (AI) technology. Brightseed has developed the world’s first artificial intelligence to discover phytonutrients with high potential health impact. Through the partnership the plant-based food maker said that it will leverage Brightseed’s unique AI-powered approach to profile key plant sources for Danone North America to reveal previously unknown health and nutrition benefits. The companies said that the collaboration will pioneer a new era of scientific discovery of the…

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SNV implements US$2.1m project targeting East Africa’s agribusiness companies

EAST AFRICA – SNV Netherlands Development Organisation, a non-profit international development organisation is implementing a five year Climate Resilient Agribusiness for Tomorrow (Craft) project in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda worth 2 million Euros (US$2.1m). The project funded by Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs is undertaken in partnership with Wageningen University and Research (WUR), CGIAR’s Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS), Agriterra, and Rabo Partnerships. It is specifically targeting Agribusiness companies and farmers working in the sunflower, soybean, sesame, common beans, potato and sorghum value chains in…

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Corn, soybean growing areas in the United States hit hardest by COVID-19

USA – The Coronavirus pandemic has had far reaching impacts on different farming communities in the United States, even as the government ramps up efforts to ensure the pandemic doesn’t trigger consumer food shortages as meat packers shutter, dairy producers dump milk, and farmers struggle to find workers to harvest, plant and deliver crops. According to a report by agriculture data platform, Gro Intelligence, counties in the U.S. that primarily grow corn and soybeans have experienced much higher rates of COVID-19 cases compared to areas growing wheat, barley, and other…

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Cameroon seeks IDB’s US$106.9m financing to boost soybean and cotton seed processing

CAMEROON – The government of Cameroon is seeking XAF64.3 (US$106.9m) financing from The International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC), member of the Islamic Development Bank Group (IDB) for acquisition of soybean and cotton seed for processing. Through a presidential decree dated March 19, 2020, the Minister of Economy was authorized to sign a loan agreement and its post-renewal documents with the ITFC. The resources to be acquired will help relaunch the operations of industrial giants like Sodecoton, which failed to position its soybean oil and soya-meal in 2017. Cameroon’s yearly…

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