Changes in the weather patterns usually exert a percentage of pressure on agriculture ecosystems, particularly in regions with populations that are especially vulnerable.
This then is a call for introduction of pulses into crop production that could be key to increasing resilience to climate change.
Pulses are the edible seeds of plants in the legume family of which the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) recognizes 11 types of pulses. These are dry beans, dry broad beans, dry peas, chickpeas, cow peas, pigeon peas, lentils, Bambara beans, vetches, lupins and pulses.
Speaking during the recently celebrated global event aimed at raising awareness about the multiple benefits of pulses, Dean Miller, group marketing manager at Alliance Grain Traders (AGT) Foods Africa, a specialist agricultural product supplier and processor for both the export and domestic markets said climate change was having an impact on every level of food production.
“This could place global food security at risk, while increasing the danger of malnutrition in poorer regions.”
According to Miller, pulses are weather friendly due to their easy adaptation to any climatic change and are able to fix atmospheric nitrogen and supply it to the soil, therefore moderating the effects on the environment.
“By so doing, there is no need for synthetic nitrogen fertilisers that contribute to reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.”
When added in livestock feed, pulse by-products serve to improve feed conversion rates and also contribute to improved feed conversion rates, he added.
Nicole Sacks, a clinical dietician base in Johannesburg, South Africa said research conducted revealed the health benefits of a plant-based diet, which included pulses such as peas, beans, lentils and chickpeas.
Sacks alluded that Canada recently released dietary guidelines recommending regular intake of vegetables, fruit, whole grains and protein-rich food, especially plant-based sources of protein.