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FAO: More Must be Done to Promote Pulses

Consumer awareness of the nutritional and dietary benefits of pulses, the edible seeds of leguminous plants and notably including lentils, chickpeas, cowpeas and many dry beans, remains inadequate and more must be done to promote their role in food systems, FAO Deputy Director-General Maria Helena Semedo said today.

Progress has been made thanks to initiatives during 2016, the International Year of Pulses, but "it essential to keep the momentum alive," Semedo told participants in a Global Dialogue held at FAO headquarters.

Known for their relatively high protein content and their particular ability to take nitrogen and fix it in soils, pulses also a fertile building block for other crops as well.

"Pulses should not only be valued for their qualities, but also get the policy attention they deserve," she said.

The United Nations General Assembly declared 2016 the International Year of Pulses, and leading sponsorship roles were taken by Pakistan and Turkey. Lentil dahls are a hugely important staple across South Asia, while chickpeas have been found in Neolithic pottery excavated in southeast Anatolia.

Shelby Root

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