Pulses

Pulses are the edible seeds of plants in the legume family. Pulses grow in pods and come in a variety of shapes, sizes and colors. The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) recognizes 11 types of pulses: dry beans, dry broad beans, dry peas, chickpeas, cow peas, pigeon peas, lentils, Bambara beans, vetches, lupins and pulses nes (not elsewhere specified – minor pulses that don’t fall into one of the other categories).

Pulses are annual crops that yield between one and 12 grains or seeds. The term “pulses” is limited to crops harvested solely as dry grains, which differentiates them from other vegetable crops that are harvested while still green.

Pulses, also known as grain legumes, are a group of 12 crops that includes dry beans, dry peas, chickpeas, and lentils. They are high in protein, fibre, and various vitamins, provide amino acids, and are hearty crops. They are most popular in developing countries, but are increasingly becoming recognized as an excellent part of a healthy diet throughout the world.

Pulse crops are one of the most sustainable crops a farmer can grow. It takes just 43 gallons of water to produce one pound of pulses, compared with 216 for soybeans and 368 for peanuts. They also contribute to soil quality by fixing nitrogen in the soil.

Though pulses are a very popular crop in the developing world, there is a massive gap in productivity between pulse crops inside and outside the developing world. With the introduction of improved varieties and promotion of better management techniques, pulse crops can continue to be an excellent choice for farmers in the developing world.

Up to 25% of pulses are used as feedstuff, particularly for pigs and poultry. As a steady source of nutrition, feed for animals, and soil sustainability, pulse crops play a major role in food security, a role which will only grow in the future.

Dry Beans

Dry Peas

Cowpeas

Lentils