Contact us

AMIS Secretariat
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)
Viale delle Terme di Caracalla
00153 Rome, Italy

Tel: (+39) 06 570 53539
Fax: (+39) 06 570 53152
Email: AMIS-Secretariat@fao.org

AMIS crops

The initial focus of AMIS is on four grains that are particularly important in international food markets, namely wheat, maize, rice and soybeans. Uniting G20 members (and Spain) plus seven major producers, consumers and exporters of agricultural commodities, AMIS participating countries represent a large share of global production, consumption and trade volumes of those four crops, typically in the range of 80-90 percent.

Soybeans

Soybeans are a legume classified by FAO as an oil crop. References to the crop have been found in China around 3,000 years ago. Soybeans were originally used for crop rotation, as a nitrogen fixing plant, and for the production of fermented food products. Until fairly recently, cultivation was limited largely to Asian countries and only gained popularity in the Americas and Europe in the early 1900s.

Although in some countries soybeans are transformed at the local level into food products for direct human consumption, much of today’s production is crushed at industrial scale to obtain soybean oil and soybean meal, which account for about one third and two thirds of the crop’s economic value respectively. Soy-oil and soy-meal are consumed worldwide as food and animal feedstuff respectively. In recent years, soybean oil also started to be used for the production of bio-diesel. Commercial production of genetically modified soybeans has increased fast in recent years, with important implications for consumption and trade.

Global soybean production is highly concentrated, with some 80 percent originating in three countries alone: the United States, Brazil and Argentina. As a group, AMIS countries account for about 95 percent of world production. Soybeans are also an important trade commodity, especially among AMIS countries who account for more than 90 percent of world ex- and imports.