International Year of Pulses set to get underway

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Logo for the International Year of Pulses. (FAO).

The United Nations has declared 2016 as the "International Year of Pulses".

Dried beans and peas make up the pulse family.

In many parts of the world they are an important part of people's diet and seen as a highly nutritious source of protein and micronutrients.

Veronica Reeves has the story.

Despite being an essential part of the human diet for centuries, the nutritional value of pulses has not generally been recognized or appreciated.

That's according to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), which will take the lead on activities surrounding the UN's International Year of Pulses.

The FAO's Director-General is José Graziano da Silva, who said the slogan for the international year will be "nutritious seeds for a sustainable future".

"It will be a great opportunity to raise awareness of the benefits of pulse in the context of the Sustainable Development Goals. Pulse can contribute significantly in addressing hunger, food security, malnutrition and environment challenge."

Pulses are particularly important in Latin America, Africa and Asia where they make up a significant part of traditional diets and often grown by small farmers.

The international year will also seek to boost the production and trade of pulses and encourage new and smarter uses for them throughout the food chain.

Veronica Reeves, United Nations.

Duration: 1’05″

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