UN declares 2016 as `International Year of Pulses'
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.