Mention the advantages of cultivation of pulses because of which the year 2016 was declared as International year of Pulses by the United Nations.
The 68th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) has declared year 2016 as the International Year of Pulses (IYP). Objective of IYP was to increase the public awareness about the nutritional protein power and health benefits of pulses as part of sustainable food production aimed towards food security and nutrition.
- Pulses are major source of plant-based proteins and amino acids in a vegetarian diet and greatly benefit people’s health. They are most important source of protein for Indian population as a huge fraction it is vegetarian.
- Being leguminous plant, they impact the environment positively due to their nitrogen-fixing properties, which increase soil fertility. So they are mainly grown on rotational basis with other crops and need less manuring.
- They are often grown by small farmers and thus offer a great potential to lift farmers out of rural poverty. They can be grown on varied types of soil and climatic conditions.
- They are helpful for checking the soil erosion as they have more leafy growth and close spacing.
- They supply additional fodder for cattle.
- Some pulses are turned into soil as green manure crops.
- Majority pulses crops are short durational so that second crop may be taken on same land in a year.
- They provide raw material to various food processing industries such as roasted grains, Papad, Bhujia, Namkeen and so on.
In summary, pulses can significantly contribute in addressing hunger, food security, malnutrition, environmental challenges and human health.
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