Attended by 980 delegates from around the world, the World Pulses Convention was held last week in Las Vegas on April 12-15. Over the course of the four-day meeting, there was strong support from the pulse sector and others to raise awareness on the role  pulses play in important global challenges. Those challenges include meeting the nutritional requirements of the growing global population, and reducing the impact of food production on the environment.

 Jon Brause, Director, Washington Liaison Office, World Food Programme (WFP) opened his keynote address by stating “WFP knows that pulses are a critical part of any emergency food response”, adding that  “In fact, pulses are one of the three main components of our standard emergency ration – together with a cereal and an oil.”

WFP is the world's largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide, delivering food assistance in emergencies and working with communities to improve nutrition and build resilience. Each year, WFP assists some 80 million people in around 75 countries. Mr. Brause noted that in 2014 19.5 per cent of the value of food WFP procured was Pulses, equivalent to $168 million.

Recognising that pulses are a good source of protein, vitamins and minerals, Mr. Brause highlighted that “WFP recognizes that Pulses provide critical nutrients that are not readily available in cereals alone”.

With the 2016 UN International Year of Pulses getting closer, Mr. Brause inspired all delegates attending the World Pulses Convention to persevere on their mission to promote recognition of the diverse potential contributions of pulses to the population and to the environment. “I firmly believe that the World Food Program and the Global Pulse Confederation share the same vision: That we can sustainably end hunger in our lifetimes and that the increasing consumption of pulses, in all of their diversity and nutritional richness, will be a critical element in the achievement of that goal.”

Read Jon Brause, Director, Washington Liaison Office, World Food Programme (WFP) full speech here.