World Pulses Day 2020: Plant Proteins for a Sustainable Future


7 February 2020 | 14:00–15:00

Sheikh Zayed Centre, FAO Headquarters, Rome


Pulses, and legume species in general, play an important role in agricultural production. These species are the basis for diversification and improving sustainability of agricultural production systems. The International Year of Pulses (IYP) helped to raise awareness about the importance of pulses. In order to continue heightening public awareness of the benefits of pulses, the United Nations General Assembly, at its 73rd session in December 2018, endorsed the request made by the representation of Burkina Faso regarding the annual observance of the World Pulses Day. Pulses are particularly important to sustainable crop production due to their ability to fix atmospheric nitrogen and some improve the turnover of phosphorous; therefore, pulses play a significant role for optimizing the use of fertilizer and have positive impact on the environment. Additionally, pulses are a good source of plant-based protein as well as dietary fibre, vitamins (e.g. B vitamins) and minerals such as iron, potassium, magnesium and zinc. Pulses have higher levels of protein, dietary fibre and minerals than all major cereals. As a source of proteins, pulses are particularly important because the amino acids contained in pulses complement the amino acids found in staple cereals. For this reason, the theme Plant proteins for a sustainable future was selected for the World Pulses Day 2020. In this regard, pulses contribute towards the achievement of the 2030 Agenda and the need to promote further nutrition.

Proposed program

Moderator: Mr Bukar Tijani, Assistant Director-General, Agriculture and Consumer Protection Department

  • 14:00–14:05 Welcome remarks by Mr Dongyu Qu, Director General (TBC) Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)
  • 14:05–14:15 Opening remarks by a Permanent Representative of Hungary H.E. Zoltán Kálmán (TBC)
  • 14:15–14:25 Presentation (title TBC) Ms Cindy Brown, President of Global Pulse Confederation
  • 14:25–14:30 Signing the financial agreement for the World Pulses Day and the Hand-in-Hand Initiative by the president of GPC and the FAO Director-General (TBC)
  • 14:30–14:35 Cultural presentation Children choir (TBC)
  • 14:35–14:45 Improving access to pulse quality seeds through the digital seed catalog Mr Peter Carberry, Director General, ICRISAT (Confirmed – by video message)
  • 14:45–14:55 The role of plant protein for improving nutrition outcomes Ms Joyce Boye, Director-General, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (Confirmed)
  • 14:55–15:00 Closing remarks by Mr Dongyu Qu, Director General (TBC)
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