World Pulses Day 2024 spotlights vital role of pulses’ soil health and nourishing people

FAO hosts global event that underscores the contribution pulses make to food security, healthy diets and the environment

A global event at the headquarters of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) today highlighted the role of pulses in maintaining soil health and providing vital nutrition to communities worldwide, under the theme ‘Pulses: Nourishing Soils and People’. The event was held ahead of World Pulses Day 2024 which is observed every year on 10 February.

Pulses, such as beans, chickpeas, and peas, are a subgroup of crops belonging to the legume family harvested for their edible seeds, and they are regarded as nutritious foods for both human and environmental health. In the context of soils, pulses play a vital role by providing essential nutrients, maintaining soil biodiversity, and enhancing soil structure.

Many pulses species are drought tolerant and resilient to adverse climates, such as drought and heat. Their cultivation optimizes fertilizer use, thus reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

“Their versatility and resilience can improve both the health of our soils and of local communities. The climate crisis, biodiversity loss, and soil erosion and degradation are key challenges, and pulses can be part of the solution. Their ability to thrive in diverse climates, together with their nitrogen-fixing properties, makes them very valuable,” QU Dongyu, Director-General said in his opening remarks at the event. 

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