World Pulses Day – Current Updates (February, 2024)
World Pulses Day is observed every year on 10th February. The day originated from the UN’s International Year of Pulses (IYP) in 2016. The IYP raised awareness about the merits of pulses globally. Following its success, the UN officially recognized World Pulses Day in 2019 based on a proposal from Burkina Faso. The day spotlights pulses’ role in achieving sustainable development goals.
2024 World Pulses Day Theme: Pulses: nourishing soils and people
World Pulses Day 2024 theme is “Pulses: nourishing soils and people”. It highlights the advantages of cultivation of pulses to not only nutritional security of people but also healthy soil.
Pulses refer to the edible seeds of legume plants like beans, lentils, and peas. They are nutrient-dense and feature prominently in global cuisines. Pulses are distinct from other legumes due to their exclusion of green-harvested and non-food crops. Their nutritional value and sustainable production make them vital for food security and health.
Advantages of Pulses
- Pulses are nutrient-dense, good source vitamins and minerals vital for health.
- Pulses have long shelf-life, increase diet diversity, reduce food loss and waste.
- Pulses grow in multiple cropping systems, enhance agrobiodiversity, climate resilience, ecosystem services.
- Pulses fix nitrogen into soil, improve soil biodiversity and fertility.
- Pulses in crop rotations improve chemical fertilizer efficiency.
- Pulses provide employment and opportunities for rural women and youth.
The Significance of Pulses
Pulses provide multiple benefits that make them indispensable:
- As plant-based sources of protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals, they combat malnutrition and promote health.
- Their ability to fix nitrogen enriches soils, reduces synthetic fertilizers, and promotes water-efficient farming.
- They offer an affordable protein source that supports food security and incomes of smallholder farmers.
- Their low carbon footprint and biodiversity benefits make pulses crucial for environmental sustainability.
World Pulses Day serves to:
- Raise awareness about the health and nutritional benefits of pulses.
- Highlight pulses’ contribution to sustainable agriculture and soil health.
- Support economic opportunities for pulse farmers.
- Encourage research to improve pulse varieties and cultivation.
Pulses and Sustainable Development
Pulses are integral to sustainable development as they provide solutions to challenges like food insecurity, malnutrition, environmental degradation, and climate change. By nourishing soils and people, pulses exemplify agricultural sustainability that aligns ecological health with human well-being.
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