Lentils in Ethiopia. Photo ICARDA



Pulses are remarkable: nutritious, affordable and good for the environment, and yet so often overlooked. In 2016, CGIAR joined with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the lead organization for the International Year of Pulses, to celebrate these important crops.

Pulses, on which nearly 300 million people depend worldwide, are key to CGIAR’s approach to improving food and nutrition security in a sustainable way. For CGIAR, pulses have yielded especially high returns. According to a 2008 study, bean improvement had an estimated economic value of US$200 million – more than 12 times its cost. In 2016, the International Year of Pulses created a unique opportunity for CGIAR to promote better use of pulse-based proteins and further global production, and address trade challenges to ensure that pulses deliver their full potential as a critical player in the global food system.

Why pulses?
  • 100 grams of raw lentils contains 25 grams of protein
  • Pulses have a small water footprint, making them a production smart choice in regions prone to drought
  • Pulses can be stored for long periods without losing their nutritional value