2016 Declared International Year of Pulses

Jul 23, 2014

By Amanda Brodhagen, Farms.com

The United Nations (UN) voted recently to proclaim 2016 as the “International Year of Pulses.” The governments of Pakistan and Turkey made the proposal which passed at a conference held in New York December 31st, 2013. The proposal can be read in full here.

Pulse is a term to describe legume crops, which include beans, peas and chickpeas - which are the most common varieties in the pulse family.

The UN has a dedicated year to raise awareness of the pulse industry and the important role that the crop plays in advancing human health and global food security. Pules have a high nutritional value, and in the world, 22 per cent of protein and 7 per cent of carbohydrates in human diets are acquired from pulses. It is expected that as the world’s population continues to grow, pulses will play an increasingly important role in peoples’ diets, especially in developing countries.

Relating to agriculture, 2013 is the International Year of Family Farming, and 2015 will be the International Year of Soils. Declarations aim to spur discussion about various topics and encourage research, innovation and education in the designated topic areas. A series of committees are being struck to work with various groups including: governments, farmers, and health and science organizations to raise the profile of pulses. This is a typical move for most theme declarations.

The videos below feature Pulse Canada and the American Pulse Association discussing the importance of celebrating pulses and ways that people can participate leading up to 2016. More information about the International Year of Pulses can be found on the UN’s website at http://www.un.org/en/events/observances/years.shtml.

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