International year of pulses (IYOP) 2016

The UN declared 2016 to be an International Year of Pulses (IYOP). The goal of the year is to raise the profile of pulses and to celebrate the role of beans, chickpeas, lentils and other pulses in feeding the world. It is a galvanizing moment to draw together key actors to further the contributions pulses make to health, nutrition and sustainability.

The goal of the 2016 IYOP is to position pulses as a primary source of protein and other essential nutrients. The 2016 IYOP will promote broad discussion and cooperation at the national, regional and global levels to increase awareness and understanding of the challenges faced by pulse farmers, be they large scale farms or small land holders.


Pulses, also known as grain legumes, are a group of 12 crops that includes dry beans, dry peas, chickpeas, and lentils. They are high in protein, fibre, and various vitamins, provide amino acids, and are hearty crops. They are most popular in developing countries, but are increasingly becoming recognized as an excellent part of a healthy diet throughout the world.

Pulse crops are one of the most sustainable crops a farmer can grow. It takes just 43 gallons of water to produce one pound of pulses, compared with 216 for soybeans and 368 for peanuts. They also contribute to soil quality by fixing nitrogen in the soil.

Though pulses are a very popular crop in the developing world, there is a massive gap in productivity between pulse crops inside and outside the developing world. With the introduction of improved varieties and promotion of better management techniques, pulse crops can continue to be an excellent choice for farmers in the developing world.

Up to 25% of pulses are used as feedstuff, particularly for pigs and poultry. As a steady source of nutrition, feed for animals, and soil sustainability, pulse crops play a major role in food security, a role which will only grow in the future.

Read more at the IYOP-webpage.