The Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA) is a non-profit organization established by the Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization (SEAMEO) in 1966.
The "new normal" conditions in Southeast Asia compels SEARCA and all of its key partners to initiate anew a paradigm shift towards accelerating transformation through agricultural innovation (ATTAIN).
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In Zamboanga Peninsula (Region IX), there are already many unbranded and branded baby food products made of cow’s milk being commercialized. However, several companies manufacturing baby food products suffered losses due to high handling and shipment costs alone. Hence, producing baby food products using locally available raw materials in the region is of greater advantage in terms of minimizing handling and shipment costs.
Soybean, adlay, and mungbean are abundantly grown in Zamboanga Peninsula and are now being grown in the region on a commercial scale because of the many uses and health benefits that can be derived from these crops. Soybean is a rich source of amino acid necessary for growth and tissue repair and is extremely beneficial for people suffering from lactose intolerance. One kilogram (kg) of cooked soybeans has as much protein as 10 boiled eggs or one-half kg of cooked beef. It contains about twice the protein and 10 times the fat of common beans (Fuji Oil Co.,LTD 2017). It is rich in vitamins such as thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, and folate and minerals like calcium zinc, magnesium, iron and selenium. It is also a good source of dietary fiber and contains anti-cancer (isoflavones) and anti-inflammatory (lunasin) factors, as well as essential fatty acids necessary for growing up babies. Moreover, soybean intake helps prevent degenerative diseases, reduces the risk of heart disease, and increases bone density.