The 68th General Assembly of the United Nations declared 2016 as the International Year of Pulses.
Pulses (various types of beans and peas) are annual leguminous crops yielding between one to 12 grains or seed of variable sizes, shapes and colours within the pod used for both food and feed. The term pulses are limited to crops harvested for dried grains, thereby, excluding crops harvested mainly for extraction.
In the bid to strengthen the campaign for this years’ International Year of Pulses, FAO appointed six special ambassadors of which Elizabeth Mpofu represents Africa.
According to her, small holder farmers should be encouraged to grow pulses to accelerate food production. She believes that the best way to promote pulses is by training smallholder farmers as pulse growers and teaching them how to process and conserve the nutritious seed.
As Nigerians join the rest of the world to celebrate the International Year of Pulses, experts from across the globe have called on the farmers to attach great importance to pulses because of their importance to human existence and the nation’s food security
The president of the Soil Science Society of Nigeria, Professor Victor Chude, said the society promotes good governance on soil management, stressing that the importance of pulses included being packed with nutrients, high protein and fiber content, nitrogen fixing property and improving soil fertility.
The FAO has been nominated to facilitate the implementation of the UN proclamation in collaboration with various governments, relevant organizations, NGOs and other relevant stakeholders.
Minister of Agriculture Chief Audu Ogbeh recently told journalist that the country is collaborating with India in the cultivation of pulses as the global market is now over $66 billion.