On World Pulses Day, let’s recognize the pivotal role pulses play in global nutrition, sustainability, and food security, aligning with the United Nations General Assembly’s designation following the International Year of Pulses (IYP) in 2016 led by the Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO).
This designation acknowledges pulses’ potential to support the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, emphasizing their dual role in nourishing both the land and humanity.
Theme and Campaign: The #WorldPulsesDay campaign focuses on the theme “Pulses: nourishing soils and people.” Soil health is crucial for food production and human nutrition, preventing malnutrition and related illnesses. Pulses, by supporting soil health, not only provide food but also vital minerals, highlighting their multifaceted significance in achieving sustainable development goals.
Significance: Pulses are invaluable to farmers, serving both marketable crops and dietary staples, providing economic and food security benefits. Their resilience to drought and minimal water requirements offer stability amidst climate-related challenges, while their nitrogen-fixing abilities enhance soil fertility, elevating farmland productivity. World Pulses Day serves as a crucial day to promote awareness and global adoption of pulses.
Health Benefits: Pulses, rich in nutrients like potassium and protein and low in cholesterol, are recommended for managing conditions like diabetes and heart disease. Abundant in iron and folate, pulses combat malnutrition and support nervous system function, preventing fetal defects during pregnancy. Storing pulses for extended periods significantly enhances dietary diversity.
Environment: Pulses play a crucial role in sustainable agriculture, demanding fewer fertilizers compared to other crops. By minimizing dependence on synthetic fertilizers, pulses contribute to environmental preservation and ensure a healthier ecosystem for future generations. Additionally, pulses offer a protein source with minimal carbon and water footprints.
Farmers: Pulses play a vital role in farmers’ livelihoods, offering economic stability through sales and bolstering household food security. Their nitrogen-fixing abilities enrich soil fertility, supporting agricultural operations and ensuring consistent yields. Cultivating pulses provides farmers with economic security, soil enrichment, cost reduction, sustainable practices, and resilience against environmental adversities.