Soybean a bushy leguminous plant, Glycine max, of the family Leguminosae, probably originated in China. There are over 2,500 varieties in cultivation. In eastern Asia the young seeds are taken as vegetable and the dried seeds are eaten whole as pulses.
The matured seeds are processed to give soya-milk for infant feeding, and are made into curds and cheese. Soya-sauce is made from fermented seeds. The seeds yield edible semi-drying oil.
The cultivation of soybean in Bangladesh (mainly in Noakhali and Feni) started in 1978. It can be cultivated in any season and per hectare yield is 900-1300 kg. [Mostafa Kamal Pasha]