In Taiwan, soybean is mainly used for extraction of cooking oil and feeds, some are used for the process of traditional Chinese food. In 2010, the acreage of soybean in Taiwan is only 115 ha, total yield is 204 tons, and among them, 30% was grain soybean. The insufficient soybeans were mainly imported from U.S.A. and Brazil. In 2010 Taiwan imported 2,540,000 tons and 80-90% was used for oil extraction and feed uses, the rest were used for processing of traditional Chinese food. Due to the food crisis, and the policy of re-vitalization of fallow lands, the government encouraged farmers to grow soybean. In 2012, the acreage in Taiwan increased to 168 ha, 2013 to 862 ha. Among them 30-40% were grain soybean, the average yield is ca 2 tons/ha. The major cultivation area is located in Kaohsiung, Pingtung, Yuinlin, Chiayi, Tainan, Hualien and Taitung. Tainan DARES is currently conducting the propagation and production of elite soybean seed, and is focused on the breeding of high yielding and high protein varieties to reduce the production cost.
Although their seed coats were all black in color, black soybean can be classified into yellow and green cotyledon ones, the former is mainly used for making soybean sauce, soymilk, etc, and the latter for medical use, bean sprout, bean tea, tofu, etc. Black soybean is not commonly grown in Taiwan, 6000~7000 tons/year were imported from China. The station has focused research on the characteristics of black soybean, and included them is the breeding objections of soybeans. Tainan DARES has released black soybean Tainan No.3 in 1998 for bean powder, soymilk, soy liquor, and Tainan No.5 in 1999 for soy sauce. Tainan No.8 and No.9 were released in 2009. They are powdery mildew resistant, high yielding and contain antioxidant. The cultivation area was 468 ha in 2012, and 862ha in 2013. They are mainly grown in southern and eastern Taiwan. Large seeds and green cotyledon black soybean also will be bred in the future.
Vegetable soybean is harvested before pod maturing and used as a vegetable. In 1971, frozen vegetable soybean pods were successfully exported to Japan. The acreage was rapidly increased year by year to 7000 ha plus by now. The exported volume is about 29,000 tons/year and valued US$ 5.6 million dollars. The station released Tainan selection No.1 in 2003 and Tainan ASVEG No.2 in 2005. They are all high yielding and large seeds, they can increase the competitiveness of vegetable soybean on the market.