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Visit to Metropolitan France: the organic soya sector in Réunion continues to develop

07 Jul 2022

Recently, Armeflhor, which is in charge of experiments on the feasibility of soya in Réunion, and David Narayanin, an organic soyfood processor on the island, visited the Gers.

The aim of this visit was to encourage Réunionese actors (producers, processors, etc.) to organise themselves and to progress in their technical and economic mastery of the processes involved in setting up a soya sector in Réunion, thanks to meetings with producers and also storage organisations and processors. The trip was organised by Terres Univia and Terres Inovia with the participation of the Gers Chamber of Agriculture.

Lessons learned on production

The mission took place during the beginning of soybean growth. The exchanges were mainly on seeding densities and pre- and post-emergence weeding strategies on and between rows.

Organic farmers tend to densify the sowing on the row (500,000 plants/ha) in order to be able to make several passes of mechanical weeding in the inter-row but also on the row with harrows.

The high row density also allows the plants to stretch slightly and to have a slightly higher first pod, thus facilitating the harvest. The Isidor variety remains the reference.

The mechanical weeding demonstrations showed that the soybean plants resisted well to the passage of the harrow in full for a given tine tension and a sufficiently slow speed of advance.

Lessons on seed treatment and storage

The storage organisations we met, as well as the processor, emphasised the quality of the seed for soybeans intended for human consumption, hence the implementation of a quality charter.

Sorting, drying and storage are unavoidable aspects that require specific infrastructures and equipment, which are currently absent in Réunion.