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2016: International Year of Pulses

The 68th General Assembly of the United Nations has declared 2016 the International Year of Pulses (IYP), and nominated the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) to help implement the Year’s activities.

Pulses are annual leguminous crops used for both human food and animal feed. The term “pulses” is limited to crops harvested solely for dry grain. Pulse crops such as lentils, beans, peas, and chickpeas are a critical part of the human diet.

According to FAO, pulses are valuable when eaten as part of a healthy diet to address obesity, and to prevent and help manage chronic diseases such as diabetes, coronary conditions, and cancer.

In addition, pulses have nitrogen-fixing properties which increase soil fertility and have a positive impact on the environment.

IYP 2016 aims to heighten public awareness of the nutritional benefits of pulses, to encourage the use of pulses in crop rotations, and address challenges in the global trade of pulses.

The IYP website is the main platform for sharing information, events, and resources. There is also a communication toolkit.

For further information, go to: http://www.fao.org/pulses-2016/en/ [1]