Myanmar Soy Value Chain Development Project
To use technology, education and investment to create a soy value chain that will benefit local agriculture, women’s livelihoods, and children’s nutrition in Myanmar.
To feed 1 million in 5 cities by 2015 by providing them with protein rich soy milk and other soy products. Areas of focus will include Yangon, Irrawaddy Delta, Shan State, Mandalay and Karen State (Pa’an City).
This project involves using Vitagoat soy food processing machinery to create a value chain that extends from improved agriculture, soya value-added food production, marketing and distribution. Most children in Myanmar receive enough rice to keep their stomachs full, but they are protein malnourished. Protein malnourishment can lead to a variety of nutrition related disorders and diseases including stunted growth, brittle bone, hair loss, lethargy, poor behaviour, and poor learning skills.
Soya is locally available and is the best vegetable source protein and better than meat or dairy. It is also inexpensive and can be aquafied into milk, yogurt, and tofu to make it taste delicious and easy to consume. The byproduct of the aquafied soy (a fiber called Okara) can also be made into flour to fortify breads and cookies, used as meat substitute in soups or given to livestock. The China Study (the largest nutrition and epidemiological study ever conducted) has also advocated that diets rich in vegetable source protein are far less likely to contract heart disease, many cancers and diabetes.
Soy agriculture is also environmentally beneficial and helps to reduce global warming whereas dairy farming is an extremely inefficient form of land agricultural allocation and results in large amounts of methane released into the atmosphere.
The Vitagoat machinery is inexpensive to set up and can be run without any electricity. They can be set up in any setting (rural, urban, refugee camp, jungle etc). The machine can produce enough milk to provide 600 to 800 people a day with 15 to 20 grams of protein (and other nutrients) from soy milk. It creates livelihoods for as many as 5 people and a value chain that can create jobs for many more people. One Vitagoat machine can produce as much milk as 40 cows.