The United Nations (UN) has declared year 2016 as the International Year of Pulses (IYP 2016) to position pulses as a primary source of protein and other essential nutrients. Nehru Science Centre, a constituent unit of National Council of Science Museums, an autonomous scientific organization functioning under the Ministry of Culture, Government of India, is organising series of events, activities, programmes, and an exhibitions ‘the Future of the Food: Pulses’ to celebrate the United Nations - International Year of Pulses. As a part of the celebration, an exhibition “Pulses: The Future of the Food” is designed & developed at the centre. We are also happy to inform you that, the exhibition “The Future of the Food: Pulses” was inaugurated, and celebration of IYP2016 launched by Consul General, H. E. Mr. Erdal Sabri Ergen, Turkish Consulate General in Mumbai, in the august presence of Dr. Frederick Raab, Head, LIGO Hanford Observatory, USA on 15th September, 2016 (Thursday) at 10:30 AM the centre.
This exhibition focusses on why are Pulses important food crops?, and how they offer significant nutritional and health advantages due to their high protein and essential amino acid content as well as being a source of complex carbohydrates, and several vitamins and minerals. Additionally, in view of the biological nitrogen fixation capacity of most leguminous species, their ecological importance is likely to increase in the future. Leguminous crops should be one of the main pillars of sustainable crop production intensification. These plant species need to be considered as the primary strategic objective of internationally innovative agricultural research and development strategies for the coming decades.
Pulses are very suitable crops for Indian climate, and also has potential to feed water stress region in the country due to its less water requirement. Adequate attention needs to be given for increasing production and productivity of pulses to ensure that supply demand gap does not impact prices adversely, making pulses inaccessible to the poor and undernourished. Thus, the leguminous crop family is considered to be of particularly high importance for humankind. The title of the exhibition “The Future of Food: Pulses” is very applicable as far as present and future scenarios of pulses are concerned to feed the rapidly growing population on this blue planet. Pulses are important source of protein for the lower strata of society as well as for the vegetarians which constitute major population of the country. These pulses mainly include chickpea, pigeonpea, lentil, mungbean, urdbean and fieldpea. The split grains of pulses called dal are excellent source of high quality protein, essential amino and fatty acids, fibers, minerals and vitamins.
India is the largest producer and consumer of the pulses in the World but despite of this, India is facing crisis in fulfilling growing demand. Present statistics of pulses show that due to high deficit, we have to import pulses from abroad to meet up the present demands. As stated above for country like India, where large section of society is vegetarian in diet, and this is the only source of protein for lower strata of society, who cannot afford non-vegetarian diet. All these factors make pulses super food for billion plus Indians therefore this exhibition is very crucial for effective communication of such an import ant subject.
This exhibition primarily covers History of Pulses, Pulses: Global & Indian Perspective, Pulses Benefits, World Food Programme’s Food Basket, Pulses Cuisines, Relationship between Farmers & Pulses, Pulses’ diseases, Pulse Genomic Research, Yield Potential & Technology Transfer, Pluses Production Scenario, Demand & Supply, Major Pulses Producing States, Challenges, expert’s views and conclusion: call for action. The exhibition also includes hands-on exhibits, original samples of different species of pulses, 3D diorama, visual illustrations, multimedia, videos, infographics, and 3D Models etc. This exhibition is interactive cum participatory in nature. This entire exhibition is developed in close consultation & support from leading institutions including the Indian Institute of Pulses Research (IIPR), Kanpur. It is in this context, the exhibition on pulses plays a pivotal role in reaching out to the visitors of different backgrounds to achieve the objectives of International Year of Pulses (IYP) 2016.