FAO launches International Year of Pulses

Source:Xinhua Published: 2015-11-11 9:36:04

The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) on Tuesday launched the International Year of Pulses (IYP) in a bid to heighten public awareness of the nutritional benefits of pulse crops, UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric told reporters here Tuesday.

In a message for the day, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said that pulses can contribute significantly in addressing hunger, food security, malnutrition, environmental challenges and human health, Dujarric said at a daily news briefing here.

Ban said that the International Year is a great opportunity to raise awareness of the benefits of pulses as the world embarks on efforts to achieve the newly adopted Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), a blueprint for the global development efforts for the next 15 years.

In 2013, the 68th session of the UN General Assembly declared 2016 the International Year of Pulses.

FAO has been nominated to facilitate the implementation of the IYP in collaboration with governments, relevant organizations, non-governmental organizations and all other relevant stakeholders.

The IYP 2016 is expected to create a unique opportunity to encourage connections throughout the food chain that would better utilize pulse-based proteins, further global production of pulses, better utilize crop rotations and address the challenges in the trade of pulses.

Pulses are annual leguminous crops yielding between one and 12 grains or seeds of variable size, shape and color within a pod, used for both food and feed. The term "pulses" is limited to crops harvested solely for dry grain, thereby excluding crops harvested green for food, which are classified as vegetable crops, as well as those crops used mainly for oil extraction and leguminous crops that are used exclusively for sowing purposes.

Pulse crops such as lentils, beans, peas and chickpeas are a critical part of the general food basket. Pulses are a vital source of plant-based proteins and amino acids for people around the globe and should be eaten as part of a healthy diet to address obesity, as well as to prevent and help manage chronic diseases such as diabetes, coronary conditions and cancer; they are also an important source of plant-based protein for animals.

In addition, pulses are leguminous plants that have nitrogen-fixing properties which can contribute to increasing soil fertility and have a positive impact on the environment.

The IYP website will be the main platform to share information and relevant resources with different partners.

Posted in: Food

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