Pulses Are Praised for Health, Ecological and Economic Benefits

"Pulses are good for people, and are good for soils," Eduardo Mansur, the head of FAO's land and water division, said today at an event that highlighted the promising future of edible seeds such as lentils, chickpeas and pigeon peas, all often neglected in the shadow of the world's major staple grains.

The event - "Soils and pulses; symbiosis for life" - was sponsored by Italy's permanent representation to FAO, led by Ambassador Pierfrancesco Sacco, along with Bioversity International and FAO itself, and drew a strong link between the International Year of Pulses and the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda.

Participants highlighted how pulses offer exceptional nutritional inputs to human diets, are economically affordable, use relatively little water compared to other protein sources, and also reduce the need for industrial fertilizers. They are even gluten-free, Mansur noted.

Feeding iron-rich lentils to Sri Lankan children for 60 days led to a drastic 90 percent increase in their blood profiles, showing remarkable efficacy for anaemia and other malnutrition issues in developing countries, according to the keynote speech from Mahmoud Solh, Director General of the International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA).

http://allafrica.com/stories/201604191244.html

Mohammad Usman

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