UN declares 2016 as International Year of Pulses

The 68th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) has declared year 2016 as the International Year of Pulses (IYP).

It was launched under the slogan ‘nutritious seeds for a sustainable future’. The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of UN has been nominated to facilitate the implementation of the Year in collaboration with all stakeholders.

Aim of IYP 2016

  • To increase the public awareness about the nutritional protein power and health benefits of pulses as part of sustainable food production aimed towards food security and nutrition.
  • To boost their production and trade and encourage new and smarter uses throughout the food chain.

Some facts about Pulses

  • Pulses crops are major source of plant-based proteins and amino acids in a vegetarian diet and greatly benefit people’s health.
  • Being leguminous plant, they impact the environment positively due to their nitrogen-fixing properties, which increase soil fertility. So they are mainly grown on rotational basis with other crops.
  • They are important food crops for the food security of large proportions of populations, particularly in Latin America, Africa and Asia as it is part of their traditional diets.
  • They are often grown by small farmers and thus offer a great potential to lift farmers out of rural poverty.
  • India is largest producer and as well consumer of pulses in India. Major pulses grown in India are tur (arhar), urad, moong, masur, peas and gram.

Thus, pulses can significantly contribute in addressing hunger, food security, malnutrition, environmental challenges and human health.

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Categories: International Current Affairs 2017

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