United Nations -UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-Moon has urged member states to show concrete commitment to farmers and civil society organisations to make the International Year of Pulses 2016 a success.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), reports that pulses are crops such as lentils, beans, peas and chickpeas, which are vital sources of plant-based proteins and amino acids.
In his inaugural message to mark the International Year of Pulses in New York on Tuesday, Ban urged all actors to join forces to raise awareness on the benefits of pulses.
The UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), he said, had been mandated to facilitate the implementation of the Year.
“This is in collaboration with governments, relevant organisations, and all other stakeholders including the private sector.
According to him, this year’s celebration is a great opportunity to raise awareness on the benefits of pulses as the world embarks on efforts to achieve the newly adopted Sustainable Development Goals.
Ban said that Pulses could contribute significantly in addressing hunger, food insecurity, malnutrition, environmental challenges and human health.
In spite of strong evidence of the health and nutritional benefits of pulses, he said their consumption remained low in many developing and developed countries.
The International Year, he said, could also help overcome this lack of knowledge.
Ban added that pulses also had a positive impact on the environment, owing to their nitrogen-fixing properties, which increase soil fertility.
The UN Chief noted that much work needed to be done to end hunger and provide food security and nutrition for all.
One concrete and promising opportunity, he said, lies with pulses.
He thanked the Governments of Turkey and Pakistan and the UN General Assembly for setting 2016 as a year to celebrate the benefits of pulses. (NAN)