World Pulses Day 2024: Nourishing Soils and People.

World Pulses Day is celebrated every year on February 10, as declared by the United Nations General Assembly in 2018 as a day of illuminating the importance of pulses to mitigate food challenges, improve soil health, and ultimately improve human health.

World Pulses Day 2024: Theme

The theme for World Pulses Day 2024 is #Pulses: Nourishing Soils and People. The theme highlights how pulses help in improving the nutrient cycle and soil health which will ultimately increase productivity and food security. This year's theme also highlights the role of pulses in addressing climate change and how microbial activity results in high soil biodiversity that provides ecosystems with greater resistance and resilience against disturbance and stress.

What are pulses?

Pulses are a type of leguminous crop harvested solely for the dry seed. They include various beans, lentils, chickpeas, and peas. Pulses are nutritionally dense and serve as an important source of protein and other essential nutrients, particularly in vegetarian and vegan diets.

Photo by Ilmoro, Getty Images.

They are low in fat and high in fiber, making them beneficial for digestive health. Pulses are also rich in vitamins and minerals such as iron, potassium, and folate. Culturally and economically, pulses play a significant role worldwide, serving as staple foods in many cuisines and as crucial crops for smallholder farmers in developing countries.

Even so, harvested green crops like green peas, and green beans do not fall into this category as these are vegetable crops.

Pulses are important for several reasons:

  1. Nutritional Value: Pulses are rich in protein, dietary fiber, vitamins, and minerals, making them an essential component of a balanced diet. They are particularly important as a source of protein, especially in vegetarian and vegan diets where pulses can serve as a vital alternative to animal-derived proteins.
  2. Health Benefits: Regular consumption of pulses has been associated with various health benefits, including improved blood sugar control and reduced risk of heart disease. The high fiber content of pulses also promotes digestive health and helps prevent constipation.
  3. Environmental Sustainability: Pulses have a low carbon footprint, as they require less water and produce fewer greenhouse gas emissions during cultivation. Incorporating pulses into diets can contribute to sustainable food systems and help mitigate environmental impact.
  4. Soil Health: Pulses have nitrogen-fixing properties, which means they can convert atmospheric nitrogen into a form that plants can use, thereby enriching the soil with essential nutrients. This reduces the need for synthetic fertilizers, promoting soil health and long-term agricultural sustainability.
  5. Food Security: Pulses are staple foods in many regions around the world due to their affordability, long shelf life, and versatility in culinary applications. Their ability to thrive in diverse climates and soil conditions makes them an important crop for improving food security, especially in developing countries.

#LovePulses for a healthy diet and planet

This year we are thrilled to celebrate a Youth Entrepreneur, Winfred Wambugu, the founder of Wamwin Enterprise, behind the Winbytes Organics who produce and beans value chain, the ongoing HD4A Living Lab Bootcamp training is improving her skills as well as an eye opener on compliance in business.

According to Winfred the unique dark beans are rich in micronutrients, they are easy to cook, safe to eat and have far-reaching nutrition benefits of boosting milk for lactating mothers to nourish their babies.

Also read: How Winfred is turning dark bean into a good business venture.

Having ranked as 1st Runners Up in the SHE Awards 2023, a recognition of Women in Agribusiness sector, Wamwin Enterprise Creating a sustainable bean production by that will create jobs for youth and women through scale up to increase production to reach their target consumers.

Furthermore, they intent to install Bean Sorting machine that will increase the sorting speed and clean beans to meet quality standard and gain more consumer base. However, to make this goal come to reality, they are open to investment opportunities and by keeping your support high they can achieve this great goal and contribute to healthier future.

It is worth noting that:

Pulses play a crucial role in promoting human health, environmental sustainability, and food security, making them an indispensable part of global agriculture and nutrition strategies. Pulses are more than just nutritious seeds - they also contribute to achieving the goals of the 2030 Agenda of Sustainable Development 2, 3, 12 and 13 which are Zero hunger, Good health and wellbeing, Responsible Consumption and Production: Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns and Climate Action that takes urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts.

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