Soybean is a non-native and a commercial legume. Thus, tropical introduction requires a solid understanding of many of the unique aspects from varietal adaptation and soil management to farmer adoption limitations. Soybean-specific scientific information across all disciplines is limited and often has not been vetted for scientific validity nor been organized for optimal accessibility.
The aim of the Tropical Soybean Information Portal (TSIP) is to support practitioners with high quality and accessible research data and scientific information. Doing so will improve recommendations, reduce the variability of outcomes, and subsequently augment the positive impacts of soybean on rural economies. The portal's audience includes national researchers, extension service providers, private sector firms, NGO practitioners, and USAID mission managers engaged in soybean research, development and outreach. The Tropical Soybean Information Portal directly addresses the problem soybean practitioners face accessing reliable and high-quality information to inform their decision making and practice. The TSIP provides users with the data critical for successfully developing and implementing tropical soybean development programs. The goal of the TSIP is to streamline existing and incoming data to provide an accessible platform for sharing and utilizing information.
The ability to access real-time, quantitative data and scientific information related to tropical soybean production will serve to improve program development, implementation, monitoring and evaluation efforts. The TSIP allows those involved with soybean development programs to house and share incoming data and information but also to access and utilize content produced by other organizations. In this way practitioners will better inform their research and extension programs, improve development program planning and be more confident deliverables are met. Soybean is a new crop to sub-Saharan Africa and many organizations. The goal of the TSIP is to simultaneously provide critical technical information while also serving as a community for discussion and learning for practitioners. NGOs, USAID missions, the private sector, and government ministries may not be familiar with the nuance of tropical soybean production and economics. The TSIP seeks to elevate the quality of information used in program planning. In doing so research investments in soybean scaling will be more robust, project impacts less variable, and findings and recommendations more generalizable.