UN de­clares 2016 as `In­ter­na­tional Year of Pulses'

Down to Earth - - THE FORTNIGHT -

DOWN TO EARTH THE UN Food and Agri­cul­ture Or­ga­ni­za­tion (FAO) has an­nounced that 2016 would be cel­e­brated as the `In­ter­na­tional Year of Pulses'. The FAO is hop­ing the year-long ded­i­ca­tion to pulses will com­bat pulses' un­der-ap­pre­ci­a­tion as they can be an af­ford­able al­ter­na­tive to an­i­mal-based pro­tein. Pulses also im­prove an­i­mal and soil health and sup­port bio­di­ver­sity. The FAO also aims to boost pulses' pro­duc­tion and trade and en­cour­age new uses. Pulses of­fer a great po­ten­tial to lift farm­ers out of ru­ral poverty, as they can yield two to three times higher prices than ce­re­als, and their pro­cess­ing pro­vides ad­di­tional eco­nomic op­por­tu­ni­ties, es­pe­cially for women. Other re­cent in­ter­na­tional years have fo­cused on soils, fam­ily farming and quinoa.

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