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Forum global sur la sécurité alimentaire et la nutrition • Forum FSN

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

Dr. Amanullah
Dr. AmanullahThe University of Agriculture PeshawarPakistan

Malnutrition is one of the major problems in Pakistan is mainly due to protein deficiency in our diet. Pulses are the major and cheaper source of protein as compared to animal protein. The production of pulses which are high yielding, disease resistant and environmentally adaptable is the key to overcome the malnutrition problem. The development of high yielding pulses cultivars needs an ample and diversified gene bank of pulses germplasm. The poor yields and overall production of many food legumes (pulses) in many parts of the world is attributed to several major constraints which include; strong competition from other food and cash crops which gave better economic returns, lack of effective research programmes and shortage of experienced personnel, and so the inevitable constraints on varietal improvement, plant introduction, and germplasm evaluation, lack of production technologies designed to maximize resource use and so ineffective crop management, inadequate extension services whereby information about new technologies can be channeled to the farming community, and the poor state of seed multiplication, certification and distribution systems. Pulses crops, because of their several unique features, including biological nitrogen fixation ability, as a rich source of vegetable proteins, adaptability to stress conditions, amenability to varying cropping patterns and multipurpose use, such as food, feed and fuel, constitute an extremely important group of crops for increased and sustained food production and food security. Because of the high N concentration in their tissues, pulses crops can increase soil N for subsequent crops or inter-crops. The high protein concentration of pulses products makes them very valuable food for humans and animals. In countries where the price of meat is too high for most people, legumes are the best protein substitute. Food legumes have an important role to play not only in increasing the quantity of food but in improving the quality of cereal based diets in many parts of Asia and Africa. The low yield potential of the existing cultivars of pulses crops (chickpea, lentils, mung bean, black bean, common bean, cow-pea and pigeon pea etc.) and the negative impact of climate change (biotic and abiotic stresses) are the major constrains for increasing availability of pulses. Efforts should therefore be made to improve the yield of pulses especially under stressful conditions.

 

Please also find enclosed an article on Effect of tillage and phosphorus interaction on yield of mungbean
(Vigna radiata L., Wilczek) with and without moisture stress condition

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