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Foro Global sobre Seguridad Alimentaria y Nutrición • Foro FSN

Re: Pulses: Innovations from the field to the cooking pot

Lawal Musibau Olajire
Lawal Musibau OlajireGreen agriconsult and servicesNigeria

Pulses have to contend with several alternatives such as meat, eggs, and other aniimal sources when importance is narrowed down to being sources of protein and amino acid. Of couse this could only be "true" should it not posses alter nutritional attributes. Moreover, experience in West Africa especially Nigeria, my country is different where some are given more preference than others. Only cowpea is is more recognized domestically than others, Soybean, probably for industrial use while consumers have no awareness about others. To enhance consumption, awareness must be created about others as so was the case of soybean by IITA, Nigeria since 1980s. This have to be followed by value-addition and possibly replacing some wih egg albumin in confectionaries and the likes.

In places where not consumed, create awareness through orientation projects, empower farmers with inputs to encourage production and launch campaign. For those already having it diet, research into breeding for high yield, pest and disease resistance are "key" as well as empowering farmers.

In view of comparison with others in respect of cropping systems, there may be differences in opinion. If soil fertility improvement is the focus, pulses are better for nitrogen fixation, errosion management etc. This may not be so when considering monetary returns comparatively with some common vegetables. However, there must be one comparative advantage or the other on both sides.

I recently personally commenced cropping systems that comprise soybean and three common Nigerian vegetables in intercrop with plantain in this regard.

To strenghten the value-chain, rolles of middlemen has to be checkmated to make price more consumer-friendly in some cases as it is in Nigeria where by virtue of high consumption rates of cowpea, price in recent time have doubled within three months (June -Sept.) owing to economic recession and other socio-economic reasons.

I witnessed the national advocacy for soybean when first introduced to Nigeria. People learned to prepare soymilk, soup, Iru (Local season) and the rest. It latter advanced to use in complementary foods etc. but I currently have no idea of any country doing such nowadays even Nigeria. This is not too good for global benefits.