World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


UN Highlights Importance Of Pulses For Diets And Food Security

The United Nations is marking World Pulses Day on Wednesday, highlighting their importance not only as a vital source of nutrition, but also for improving soil fertility and warding off crop pests.

Pulses – also called legumes – are the edible seeds of plants from the pea family, cultivated for consumption.

They are a key ingredient in dishes and cuisines globally: hummus in the Mediterranean; baked beans in English diets, or dal in south Asian cuisine.

In many countries, pulses are also a part of the cultural heritage. For instance, in Nepal, Kwati, a soup made with nine varieties of pulses, is consumed during major festivals, and is a central element in the diets of expectant mothers.

Pulses do not include crops that are harvested green (such as green peas or green beans), or those used mainly for oil extraction or sowing purposes.

Importance in diets

Pulses are an important source of protein, especially for vegetarians or for people who do not get enough protein by eating meat, fish or dairy. Furthermore, pulses are a healthy choice for meat-eaters, helping cut off excess fat from diets, and contain zero cholesterol. They are also a good source of dietary fibre, vitamins and minerals, especially iron and zinc.

In terms of gram-for-gram nutritional value, pulses are also far cheaper than meats or other sources of protein, offering an economical alternative.

Improving agriculture sustainability

The nitrogen-fixing properties of pulses improve soil fertility, increasing and extending the productivity of the farmland. In many regions, farmers plant legumes along with other crops, a practice known as intercropping, to improve yield and promote soil biodiversity.

Pulse crops are also known to fight off plant disease-causing pests, thereby reducing dependency on chemical fertilizers and pesticides. Pulses also produce a smaller carbon footprint, indirectly reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and contributing to climate action.

The World Day

The World Pulses Day, to be commemorated annually on 10 February, was established in 2018 by the UN General Assembly, which recognized the importance of pulses as well as their contributions to sustainable food production.

The General Assembly also highlighted the potential of pulses “to further the achievement of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development”, urging efforts to heighten public awareness of their nutritional benefits of eating a variety of food, including pulses.

© Scoop Media

World Headlines


Syria: Economic Decline, Rising Hunger And Surging Humanitarian Needs

Syria’s fragile economy has “suffered multiple shocks” over the past 18 months, with its currency plummeting and joblessness swelling as people struggle to cover their basic needs, the UN Emergency Relief Coordinator told the Security Council ... More>>

OECD: Final Quarter Of 2020 Shows Continued Recovery In G20 International Merchandise Trade

G20 international merchandise trade continued to rebound in the fourth quarter of 2020 ( exports up 7.2% and imports up 6.8%), following the sharp falls seen in the first half of 2020, as lockdown measures affected trade globally. Although growth ... More>>

UN Report: Civilian Casualties Surged After Peace Talks Began In Afghanistan

Monitoring by the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan, UNAMA, and the UN Human Rights Office has revealed that despite a drop in civilians killed and injured overall in 2020 there was a rise in civilian casualties following the start of peace negotiations ... More>>

Focus On: UN SDGs

2021: Critical Year To ‘reset Our Relationship With Nature’ – UN Chief

During this time of “crisis and fragility”, the UN chief told the United Nations Environment Assembly on Monday that human well-being and prosperity can be vastly improved by prioritizing nature-based solutions. Painting a picture of the turmoil ... More>>

Paris Agreement: UN Secretary-General António Guterres To Mark U.S. Reentry With Envoy For Climate John Kerry

Watch live at UN Secretary-General António Guterres will join U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John F. Kerry at an event marking the United States’ reentry into the Paris Agreement this Friday. The discussion with the Secretary-General ... More>>

WeBeliev: Scoop In Conversation With Abhishek Sinha, Founder Of WeBeliev, An NZ Crowdfunding Platform

WeBeliev supports 17 SDGs, launching sector specific campaigns every month Q. What is WeBeliev and why did you start it? A. WeBeliev is a Singapore-registered crowdfunding platform aimed at fundraising for all the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) ... More>>