The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has been nominated to facilitate the implementation of the year in collaboration with governments, relevant organizations, nongovernmental organizations, and all other relevant stakeholders.
The IYP 2016 aims to heighten public awareness of the nutritional benefits of pulses as part of sustainable food production aimed at food security and nutrition. The year will 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.
What are pulses and why are they important?
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 animal 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 (based on the definition of “pulses and derived products” of FAO).
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 can impact the environment positively and have nitrogen-fixing properties that can contribute to increasing soil fertility.
The IYP website of the FAO will be the main platform to share information and relevant resources with different partners. However, you will find additional information and resources about the 2016 International Year of Pulses from the IYP site of the Global Pulse Confederation (GPC). Please visit these websites to know more about the exciting global activities related to the 2016 International Year of Pulses.