World Pulse Day
The most widely grown crops in the world? Corn, wheat and rice. The most important crops for a sustainable, future agriculture? Pulses might present a different story…
Today’s February 10, officially designated as World Pulses Day. Established in 2018 by the United Nations, the commemoration of the pulse recognises the importance attached to this vital family of food crops.
What is a pulse?
Leguminous crops that are harvested solely for their dry seed. Beans, chickpeas, lentils and peas are the most well-known examples of pulses. In many diets around the world, particularly where traditional forms of agriculture are still practised, the pulse is an essential crop.
Those dried seeds are packed with nutrients and have a high protein content. In regions where meat and dairy products are less common, pulses are often the main source of protein and can make up as much as 75% of the average diet. Once dried, they will keep for months or even years, losing none or little of their powerful nutritional value adding to their appeal.
Why does the UN celebrate them?
Aside from the nutritional benefits of pulses, helping people to maintain healthy, diversified diets, pulses have begun to attract attention for their role in sustainable agriculture, food security and climate change mitigation.
As the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) explains, pulses increase the resilience of farming systems. Take their water footprint: per unit of protein, pulses need only two-thirds the amount of water as cereals, for example.
But there’s more to it than just water and better drought tolerance, vital though these will be in a rapidly changing climate. Pulses also have an important role to play in a robust, sustainable agricultural system. They are the only crop group with the ability to fix nitrogen from the atmosphere, dramatically reducing the amounts of synthetic fertilisers needed for high yields, and improving soil fertility and farmland productivity for following crops.
FertiGlobal: supporting pulse crops worldwide
At FertiGlobal, we too recognise the importance of the pulse in helping farmers create more resilient, more sustainable farming systems.
With their impressive nitrogen-fixing abilities, farmers are increasingly using pulse crops such as the common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris) in combination with other crops, a technique known as intercropping – to improve yields and increase soil health and biodiversity.
For the common bean and other pulses, including soybeans, FertiGlobal’s unique Crop Management Programs come into play. Through every growing stage, our technologies such as FOLIFLO and FOLISTIM, provide growers with reliable, effective plant nutrition and bioactivating solutions that strengthen the crop and increase productivity.
On World Pulses Day, here’s to the pulse!