ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

A+| A| A-

Production, Trade and Consumption of Pulses

The Global Economy of Pulses edited by Vikas Rawal and Dorian Kalamvrezos Navarro, Rome: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, 2019; pp xi + 174, price not indicated.


There appears to be a widely prevalent impression, particularly among the developed countries, that there are people and nations who do not know the “incredible properties” of pulses, and believe “that their nutritional value is generally not recognised and their consumption is frequently under-appreciated” (FAO 2016). Such a situation may be largely because pulses in farming and food are essentially a third world phenomenon. Almost 90% of the area under pulses and about 80% of output of pulses are in developing countries, and among them sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, where the world’s most of the poor and undernourished live, and for whom pulses are a critical source of protein, together account for about two-thirds of the area, and one-half of output of world’s pulses (Joshi and Rao 2016).

Pulse protein is a relatively large share of overall consumption in low-income countries, ranging from 10–35% in Africa. The country with the greatest pulse consumption is India. Protein from pulses represents 12.7% of total protein in the Indian diet. (Mc Dermott and Wyatt 2017)

To bring to light the crucial role that pulses play in health diets and sustainable agricultural production, the United Nations General Assembly declared 2016 as the International Year of Pulses (IYP) nominating the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) as the agency to implement it. Soon after the FAO came out with a report that was intended to popularise different aspects of pulses by illustrating (literally, as could be seen from the colourful pages all along in the report) the benefits ranging from nutrition to biodiversity—that included not only the expertise of the agriculture and nutrition sciences, but also appetising pulse recipes by some of the world-class chefs from across the regions (FAO 2016). But the volume under review, is of a different kind that seeks to explain “the world pulses situation and recent market trends, covering the themes of production, yields, utilisation, consumption, international trade and prices, as well as providing a medium-term outlook for pulses” (p x).

Dear reader,

To continue reading, become a subscriber.

Explore our attractive subscription offers.

Click here

Updated On : 24th Apr, 2021


(-) Hide

EPW looks forward to your comments. Please note that comments are moderated as per our comments policy. They may take some time to appear. A comment, if suitable, may be selected for publication in the Letters pages of EPW.

Back to Top