Soya protein management

Most plant based proteins are derived from the soya bean. Currently, the EU imports around 32 million tons of soya (mainly as processed soya meal) per year to feed its livestock. This makes the EU highly dependent on soya producing countries such as Brazil, Argentina and the US. Furthermore, the European production of legumes has been steadily declining over the last 50 years. The EU is thus increasingly dependent on other countries’ protein crops. It also has adverse effects on soil fertility, biodiversity and water quality due to over-farming with other crops and a shorter crop rotation.

This use case addresses the current lack of technological innovation in the cultivation and processing of protein plants. Through smart farming technologies, such as decision support systems and better sensor data to optimise machine task operations, this use case aims to reintroduce and increase soybean cultivation in the EU.


predicted increase in farmers' revenue




higher protein yields

Specific goals

  • Provide soybean producers with precise, highquality information on their crops;
  • Increase self-sufficiency of the EU in terms of protein crops; 
  • Increase feed/food security;
  • Reduce the distance between farm and table (food miles);
  • Increase the share of legumes in crop rotation;
  • Increase biodiversity and soil fertility;
  • Decrease water pollution;
  • Make soya cultivation more profitable through precision farming.

Expected results

  • Protein produced per water unit +30%
  • Farmer revenues on increased crop rotation +15%
  • Nitrogen leaching in drainage water -20%
  • Diversity in soil and environment +10-30%
  • Soil fertility +10-30%
  • Soya imports -10% (in 4 years time)

Additional material

  • Use case poster

  • Videos

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