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Global Forum on Food Security and Nutrition • FSN Forum

Re: Pulses are praised for their health, environmental and economic benefits. How can their full potential be tapped?

Stacia Nordin
Stacia Nordin www.NeverEndingFood.orgMalawi

Programmes barely touch the surface on what they could be doing with pulses. 

In Malawi only a few hybrid foreign varieties are promoted including artificial and unnecessary 'biofortified' varieties.  Instead we should be looking deeper into Malawi's natural biodiversity to value and increase what we already have but what we aren't growing or using enough of.  A lot more local multiplication for high quality yields of food and seed, seed banks / libraries / businesses, and value addition.

There are so many ways to use the diversity as well - help people see how to use pulses in dried, powdered, fresh, mashed, and integrated into all sorts of recipes for meals, snacks, baked goods, sprouts, drinks - we need a lot more creativity.  

All of the input programmes could balanced the kgs of staple vs. pulses given - aid is often 10 kg of grain and 2 kg or pulses - when we already have too much grain in the diet and not enough protein.  Giving the opposite:  10 kg pulses and 2 kg grain, or at least equivalent amounts of each sends a message to the recipients that pulses are important.  Partnering the inputs with Agriculture and Nutrition Extension and Advisory Services and seed pass on programmes aids in understanding, feedback mechanisms and sustainable growth and dvelopment.

Stacia Nordin, RD (Registered Dietitian)
NeverEndingFood, PDN x-124 Crossroads, Lilongwe, Malawi.