Date: Friday, 10 February 2023; 5th Anniversary.
Sponsor: United Nations
Coordinator: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)
The World Pulses Day is annually observed on February 10 for the following purposes:
- to raise awareness about the nutritional benefits of pulses.
- to highlight the pulses’ contribution to sustainable food systems
- to recognize the role of pulses in reducing world hunger and achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Goals.
The first World Pulses Day was officially held around the world on February 10, 2019.
On December 20, 2013, the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted a resolution (A/RES/68/231) and proclaimed 2016 as the International Year of Pulses.
In 2016, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) led the celebration of the International Year of Pulses. The event increased public awareness about the nutritional and environmental benefits of pulses.
In 2018, Burkina Faso, a landlocked West African nation, proposed the global observance of World Pulses Day to the United Nations.
On December 20, 2018, the General Assembly of the United Nations passed the resolution A/RES/73/251 proclaiming February 10 as World Pulses Day.
Since 2019, the World Pulses Day has been celebrated every year as a global event and supported by many member nations.
Why do we mark the World Pulses Day?
Pulses — also known as legumes — refer to the edible, dried seeds of leguminous plants in different varieties. They exist in various colors, shapes, and sizes. Pulses, including beans, peas, lupins and lentils, are packed with essential nutrients such as protein, vitamins and minerals, making them important and healthy superfoods.
In the regions where meat and dairy are not accessible or affordable for people, pulses are effective in overcoming poverty and malnutrition. In some developing countries, pulses make up about 75% of the average diet. Pulses are also critical for maintaining food safety as they can keep for longer without losing their high nutritional composition.
Pulses are rich in soluble fiber and low in fat, which can help in the control of blood sugar and cholesterol. Thus, pulses are recommended by health organizations for the management of non-communicable diseases like diabetes, heart conditions, and obesity.
Furthermore, pulse crops have a lower carbon footprint than most foods as they require fewer synthetic fertilizers to grow. They also have a low water footprint as they can adapt to semi-arid conditions and tolerate drought stress. Therefore, pulses are environment-friendly foods and can contribute to sustainable development.
The World Pulses Day is an important opportunity to recognize the value and importance of pulses and their contribution to sustainable development.
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