Today marks the official launch of the International Year of Pulses 2016. But why are beans, peas and lentils being put in the spotlight? There are many reasons – and Farming First TV spoke to Tim McGreevy, CEO of the USA Dry Pea & Lentil Council to hear them.
Mr McGreevy explained that pulses are a sustainable crop to grow as they require little water, and they are able to fix their own nitrogen to the soil, instead of requiring nitrogen fertilizer. He also highlighted that they are an affordable source of protein that is vital for diets in both the developed world, where it is essential that fat intake is reduced to curb non-communicable diseases, and in the developing world where rural people may not be able to afford meat. He commented:
We are absolutely convinced that if we are going to deliver the food stuffs that we need by 2050, for this increasing population, we are going to have to increase the productivity of these pulse crops in order to meet that growing demand.
Visit iyp2016.org for a range of resources, materials and information on how you can get involved in the International Year of Pulses. Follow the hashtag #LovePulses to keep up to date on the conversation throughout the year.