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World Soil Day 2016 focused on the special role of pulses in preserving soils. The benefits of pulses to soil mean that they can also help combat land degradation.

Pulses include peas, beans, chickpeas and lentils. They are particularly popular in South Asia and Latin America. Pulses are generally more popular in developing countries than developed countries.

Seventy five percent of pulses are consumed in developing countries and only 25 percent in developed countries 
The benefits of pulses to soil mean that they can also help combat land degradation, Melchiade Bukuru, Chief, of the UN Convention to Combat Desertification Liaison Office told IPS.

  • Today we have over 500 million hectares degraded in the world that are begging us to bring them back to the fertile status.
  • Pulses can help to restore the land that was degraded because they bring fertility to the soil 
  • The process of land degradation, also known as desertification happens all over the world, Bukuru explained.
  • Seventy-eight percent of land degradation occurs in ecosystems other than the desert. 
  • I don’t know any country where they don’t experience land degradation, so it’s a global target of achieving land degradation neutrality by 2030. 
  • 2016 Theme: “Soils and pulses, a symbiosis for life” . The latest publication"Soil and Pulses, Symbiosis for Life"This booklet aims to introduce the reader to the importance of preserving our soil resources by attending to the reciprocal relationship between soils and pulses. The ecosystem services provided by soil are presented together with the role of pulses in improving soil health, adapting to and mitigating climate change, and ultimately contributing to food security and nutrition. The book also discusses the role of pulses in restoring degraded soils and their contribution to pursuing the practice of sustainable soil management.