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The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has announced that 2016 is the "International Year of Pulses." The FAO defines pulses as a type of leguminous crop that is harvest solely for the edible dry seed. Common examples include dried beans, lentis, and peas. Packed with nutrients; these crops deliver both a high protien content and high levels of soluble fiber. Pulses are an important crop for farmers when considering improving food security and marketability. Recommended by health organizations, pulses can be beneficial to people suffering with diabetes and various heart conditions.

Since pulses are nitrogen fixing, these crops are known for improving soil fertility and extending the productivity of the land. Pulses are appropriate for small-scale farmers, often utilized in techniques such as intercropping, rotational agriculture, and as cover crops. Their versatility promotes biodiversity and assists in the minimization of pests and some diseases. 

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Additional resources on pulses: