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29 November 2016

Small but mighty: how beans, lentils and peas hold sustainable solutions for people and soils

Photo Credit: Migle via flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Pulses, which is a common name for beans, peas and lentils, are important crops for achieving #ZeroHunger by 2030. They are nutritious, good for soil and for farmers. That’s why 2016 is the international year of pulses, initiated by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

Pulses are filled with nutrients, contain high levels of protein and soluble fibers and have low-fat content. In crop rotations they fix atmospheric nitrogen. This improves soil fertility and reduces the need for artificial fertilizers.

For producers in many low-income countries, pulses are important for economic as well as for nutritional reasons. The products are often both sold and consumed by the farmers and their families, which contributes to improved food security while creating economic stability. Moreover, using beans or lentils as a cover crop or in intercropping can improve soil biodiversity and help control pests and diseases.

In Sweden, there is a growing consumer trend to reduce meat consumption and substitute it with plant-based protein, such as pulses. This trend has been ongoing for several years and the demand for Swedish beans, peas and lentils is growing rapidly. Currently, the demand is higher than the supply, so actors in the whole value chain from production to consumption are working hard to establish efficient and profitable markets for Swedish pulses to reach the end consumers.

Against this background, the Royal Swedish Academy of Agriculture and Forestry (KSLA), in collaboration with SIANI and the Swedish FAO-committee arranges a seminar on pulses on December 14. The seminar will be held in Swedish and will gather Swedish actors in and around the value chain of pulses to discuss their role for a sustainable agricultural and environmental development, both in Sweden and globally.

If you want to read more about the seminar and sign up, click here.

Interested to learn more about the importance of pulses? Check the FAO webpage for more information and delicious pulses recipes!

And if you want to share your love for pulses with others and win amazing prizes, join us in our Instagram contest with the hashtag #sianipulses!

International Year of Pulses webpage
Registration for the pulses seminar

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