World Pulses Day, commemorated annually on February 10th, stands as a testament to the profound significance of pulses in our global food ecosystem. Originating from a United Nations resolution in December 2018, this observance aims to shed light on the nutritional richness, environmental sustainability, and socioeconomic impact of pulses worldwide. From ancient civilizations to modern-day societies, pulses like beans, lentils, chickpeas, and peas have been staples in diets, offering a powerhouse of protein, fibre, and essential nutrients. As we delve into World Pulses Day 2024, let’s unravel the history, explore the significance, and delve into the multifaceted contributions of these humble yet mighty legumes.
World Pulses Day 2024: History
The story starts in 2013 when the United Nations designated 2016 as the International Year of Pulses. This global campaign, led by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), aimed to raise awareness about the incredible benefits of pulses – a term encompassing dry edible seeds of legumes like lentils, beans, chickpeas, and peas. The year was a success, highlighting the nutritional powerhouse these tiny seeds hold and their potential for sustainable food systems.
Riding this wave of momentum, Burkina Faso, a landlocked country in West Africa, proposed the establishment of World Pulses Day in 2018. The UN General Assembly enthusiastically agreed, declaring February 10th as a dedicated day to celebrate these mighty legumes.
World Pulses Day 2024: Significance
So, what makes pulses so special? Here are just a few reasons why we celebrate them:
- Nutritional Powerhouse: Pulses are packed with protein, fibre, vitamins, and minerals, making them an essential part of a healthy diet. They can contribute to improved gut health, heart health, and even diabetes management.
- Sustainable Champions: These nitrogen-fixing plants enrich the soil, reducing the need for fertilisers and promoting biodiversity. They require less water than many other crops, making them crucial for sustainable agriculture in a changing climate.
- Global Staple: Pulses are a dietary staple for millions worldwide, particularly in developing countries. Celebrating them raises awareness about food security and promotes diverse, accessible food sources.
World Pulses Day 2024: Theme
The theme for this year’s World Pulses Day is ‘Pulses: Nourishing Soils and People.’ This year’s theme goes beyond the plate, highlighting the critical connection between healthy soils and healthy people. Pulses play a vital role in maintaining soil fertility, reducing dependence on chemical inputs, and ultimately building more resilient food systems.
World Pulses Day 2024: Celebrations
There are many ways to get involved in World Pulses Day:
- Learn about pulses: Explore different types, their nutritional value, and their role in sustainable food systems.
- Cook with pulses: Try new recipes incorporating lentils, chickpeas, beans, and other pulses. Share your creations on social media.
- Educate others: Talk to your friends and family about the benefits of pulses and encourage them to incorporate them into their diets.
- Support organisations: Donate to or volunteer with organisations working on food security and sustainable agriculture.