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The Soy Project is aimed at reducing infant malnutrition and ameliorating soil fertility and deforestation. Initially started by a health volunteer who recognized the nutritional benefits of soy and encouraged local women to begin producing the crop, the project has grown in both popularity and scope. Now, local farmers are being taught the agricultural benefits of this versatile crop as a nitrogen-fixing plant, and a source of fodder for domesticated livestock.
While there is an ever-growing interest in the project, soy remains a rare commodity in the South where it is not widely understood nor appreciated. Presently, three PCVs working in the South wish to host a Regional Soy Conference.
This conference will provide an opportunity to both legitimize and expand the Soy Project. It will be a 3-day event covering topics like how to successfully grow soy, the understanding and prevention of malnutrition, marketing soy and techniques for social networking. The conference will be open to anyone interested, however, it will target women already working with soy who wish to augment production and enhance their understanding of this valuable crop.
As a model for capacity building, local soy producers will be trained by PCVs to extend their knowledge and experience to conference participants. It will be these local farmers who will provide the bulk of information while outside NGOs and government organizations such as the Ministry of Agriculture will offer further expertise.
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