THE soya bean has been described as unquestionably the most important food plant in the world. It contains all the elements necessary for a balanced diet. Ground dry, it yields flour from which bread can be made; ground wet and curdled, it forms bean curd which may be substituted for meat; plucked green, it may be used as a vegetable, rich in vitamins; fermented, it yields sauces; pressed, it produces oil for use in cooking. The soya bean also is food for cattle, while the bean cake makes excellent fertilizer. In addition to its food properties, the bean and its by-products have a multitude of industrial uses ranging from an ingredient of paint to a substitute for rubber.
The soya bean is the principal crop in Manchuria. Under Japanese management its culture has been developed and its uses extended. It has had a dominant part in drawing 30,000,000 Chinese to Manchuria, and it has aided them in building there a prosperous community. The profit from its transport and sale has in large measure supported the Japanese adventures on the mainland of Asia. Thus it has been an important factor in determining the policies of Far Eastern countries in the regions where it is grown most successfully.
From the Far East, where it is indigenous, the soya bean has been introduced to other parts of the world and it can be successfully cultivated in many countries. Outside of Asia, the greatest progress in its development has been made in the United States. In Europe it is grown in Hungary and Czechoslovakia, and to some extent in Germany. Table I gives the figures for the principal producing countries.
Japan's predominant influence in Manchuria dates from the end of the Russo-Japanese War of 1905. In those days Manchuria had an unfavorable trade balance. By 1917 it had become favorable, and today this balance is as great as the total of imports into Manchuria. Table II shows the growth of Manchuria's trade and the favorable balance which she
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