Soil and Pulses, Symbiosis for Life

http://www.fao.org/documents/card/en/c/56244a4c-d35a-48f8-b465-89f46f343312/

Dec 2016

The United Nations (UN) General Assembly declared 2015 the International Year of Soils (IYS) and 2016 the International Year of Pulses (IYP) to increase awareness and understanding on the importance of soils and pulses respectively for sustainable food production, food and nutrition security and essential ecosystem functions. The development of this book started with the Seminar “Soils and pulses: symbiosis for life. A contribution to the 2030 Agenda” held in April 2016, jointly organized by the Permanent Representation of Italy to FAO, FAO and Biodiversity International.

Pulses are important food crops that can play a major role in addressing future global food security and environmental challenges, as well as in contributing to healthy diets. Pulses contain on average 19-25 percent protein, with over 30 percent in newly developed varieties. Due to their high nutritional value, pulses can improve the diet of the poorest who cannot rely on a diversified diet enriched by meat consumption. Nearly 80 percent of dietary protein in the developing world is plant protein, compared to 43.4 percent in developed countries where animal protein is mostly consumed.

This publication aims to provide an overview to decision makers and practitioners of the main scientific facts, information and technical recommendations regarding the symbiosis between soils and pulses. It highlights how good practices may be put in place to support ending hunger and malnutrition, adapting to climate change, halting land degradation and achieving overall sustainable development.

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December 5, 2016