Pulses are the edible seeds of legume plants and include thousands of varieties of beans, peas, and lentils. They are highly nutritious, packed with protein and essential micronutrients. Many varieties are also drought tolerant and can be grown as rainfed crops without irrigation, making them one of the most climate-resilient sources of protein in an increasingly hotter world. Our Planetary Pulse Project provides free or low cost legume seeds to farmers and growers in need around the globe.
10% of the world's population-nearly 800 million people-are afflicted by hunger. Climate change is a hunger risk multiplier, with 20% more people projected to be at risk of hunger by 2050 due to extreme weather. UN experts urge that in the next two decades, we'll need to produce 70% more food while reducing agriculture's greenhouse gas emissions by 2/3. This will only be possible through a widespread shift to plant-based proteins, which use far fewer resources and produce far fewer emissions.
Experts say pulses are the best food to address the double crises of climate change and hunger. Packed with protein and essential micronutrients, pulses (beans, peas and lentils) are extremely climate-resilient. They can be grown on marginal land in arid conditions; they are highly water efficient, often grown as rainfed crops; and they regenerate soil, promoting higher rates of carbon sequestration. Their ability to fix nitrogen means they also reduce the need for synthetic fertilizers.
Studies show greater soil fertility and crop yields in gardens and farms where pulses are grown, and improved nutrition and food security for their communities. Additionally, many pulse seed recipients generate income through sale of surplus produce, with some further scaling up their projects to include value-added products such tofu, soymilk, bean flour, baked goods, and textured vegetable protein (TVP), as we have seen with soy microbusiness projects we've supported in Ghana and Rwanda.
This project has provided additional documentation in a PDF file (projdoc.pdf).