On World Pulses Day read all about these edible seeds


Pulses have been part of the human diet for centuries. Yet they are not always fully appreciated and their nutritional value often goes unrecognized.

Since November 2015 when the International Year of Pulses was launched, FAO – as the lead agency – has worked to promote the role of these seeds throughout the food system, from their benefits for soil fertility and the climate to their nutritional qualities. On the occasion of World Pulses Day, here is a selection of FAO titles to sustain the momentum and share the many benefits of pulses.

  • Pulses: Nutritious seeds for a sustainable future
    This publication presents the impact of pulses on nutrition, health, climate change, biodiversity and food security. It also shows how pulses can be grown in garden patches, and how to cook them.
  • The global economy of pulses
    The report presents an analysis of pulses consumption trends in different world regions, and discusses the role that pulses play in healthy nutrition as well as their increasingly important contribution to trade.
  • Pulse crops for sustainable farms in sub-Saharan Africa
    A review of promising options for using pulses to support food security and environmental conservation in African smallholder farms. Pulses are rich in iron, protein and energy, and they are suitable for soil erosion control and soil nutrient recapitalization.
  • Mainstreaming efficient legume seed systems in Eastern Africa
    This paper identifies areas of action to boost growth in the legume seed sector, from increasing total seed production and availability to improving access to high-quality seed of improved varieties and lowering costs of seeds.
  • Soils and pulses: Symbiosis for life
    This publication highlights how good practices may be put in place to support ending hunger and malnutrition, adapting to climate change, halting land degradation and achieving overall sustainable development.
  • Pulses and their by-products as animal feed
    This paper highlights the nutritional role of pulses by-products, including plant residues, chunies and husks, for domestic animals, providing information and data, such as chemical composition, anti-nutritional factors and effect of feeding in ruminants, pig and poultry.

Further reading