2016 is the International Year of Pulses. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) launched the International Year of Pulses: nutritious seeds for a sustainable future (IYP) in November 2015.
Popular pulses include all varieties of dried beans, such as kidney beans, lima beans, butter beans and broad beans. But also chick peas, cowpeas, black-eyed peas and pigeon peas.
Low in fat and rich in nutrients and soluble fibre, pulses are considered excellent for managing cholesterol and digestive health. They are a vital source of proteins and amino acids and an affordable alternative to more expensive animal-based protein in many parts of the world. Pulses are a key ingredient in healthy diets to address obesity and to prevent and manage chronic diseases such as diabetes, coronary conditions and cancer.
The International Year of Pulses 2016 will encourage better use of pulse-based proteins throughout the food chain, seek to boost their production globally, improve crop rotations and address challenges in the trade in pulses.
According to the Global Pulse Confederation (GPC), 70 per cent of pulse production globally (with the exception of dry peas) comes from developing countries, where smallholder farmers play an important role in growing pulses, often mostly for their own consumption but also to sell locally.
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