There is an ongoing effort to find alternative local sources of protein to reduce dependence on soybean meal imported by a handful of major exporters worldwide.
Fava beans belong to the Fabaceae family along with other well-known legumes like soybeans, peas, beans, alfalfa and peanuts. Obviously, all of these legumes have played a significant role in human nutrition, with references to fava beans dating their use at least to 6,000 B.C. and perhaps even before. Fava beans (Latin name, Vicia faba) are known as broad beans (human staple) or horse beans (animal feed), the latter being of a smaller size. Their origin is lost in time, but they are considered native in many places of the world like northern Africa, South America and southern Asia.