Once Called 'Orphan Crops', Pulses and Millets are New Stars

Once relegated to the status of "orphan crops", pulses and millets are currently a subject of tremendous interest among the global community. Pulse crops, millets and a host of other local cereals, vegetables, and fruits are of vital importance to the world's poor.

It is no surprise, therefore, that development agencies working in the area of agriculture -- like mine -- have moved beyond the traditional "stars" of food research - grains such as wheat, rice, and corn - and expanded the scope of its research around agriculture to include pulses and millets.

Remarkable progress has been made in decreasing the proportion of poor and hungry people globally over the past decade. However, feeding an estimated nine billion people with safe and nutritious food by the year 2050 remains a significant challenge for agricultural research, development, and policies -- especially given the obstacles of climate change, increased demand, and volatile prices.


Jenn Gleckman