Experts discussed challenges in pulses production.
Photo: © ICARDA

International Conference on Pulses for Health, Nutrition and Sustainable Agriculture in Drylands

Challenges in pulses production were discussed at the International Conference on Pulses for Health, Nutrition and Sustainable Agriculture in Drylands in April 2016, concluding that improved policies and investments in pulses research and technology transfer could bridge the rising global gap between the demand and supply of pulses.

The 2016 International Conference on Pulses for Health, Nutrition and Sustainable Agriculture in Drylands took place in Marrakesh, Morocco from 18-20 April 2016. The conference included 350 participants from 35 countries, including policy- makers, agriculture research organisations, scientists, farmers, the private sector and donors.

Representatives from agricultural organisations, including the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), the International Centre for Agricultural Research in Dry Areas (ICARDA), the Institute National de la Recherche Agronomique (INRA - Morocco), the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the Global Pulses Confederation (GPC), the OCP Foundation and the CGIAR Grain-Legumes Research Program discussed the importance of pulses for global food and nutritional security and environmental sustainability.

Enhancing political and financial investment in sustainable intensification of pulse production

The conference resulted in a joint goal by all participants to work together to “enhance political and financial investment in sustainable intensification of pulse production to meet the growing global demand.”

Pulses, which are high in protein and the basis of diets of millions, would need an enabling policy environment to meet the current and future food and nutritional security challenges, as their consumption is estimated to increase by 23 per cent in the next 15 years.

Based on population estimates for the years 2020 and 2030, and on the last 10-year growth trend in global consumption, the demand for pulses for these two years would increase to 75.9 million tons in 2020, and 81.9 million tons in 2030, from the current level of a little over 70 million tons.

The conference participants concluded that “through improved policies and investments in pulses research and technology transfer, the rising global gap between the demand and supply of pulses could be bridged.”

The participants also discussed subsistence farming in developing countries versus a market-driven approach in developed countries, as well as climatic conditions and the level of infrastructure development, which have resulted in wide variation in yields across countries. Some of the major factors affecting yield are climate change, soil conditions, varieties and seed availability, investment in mechanisation, irrigation, pest management and other farming methods.

More Information at the Conference-Website: icarda

(ICARDA/ile)