The cultivation and consumption of pulses in developing countries contributes to food safety and to improving the nutritional status of the population
10 February, 2023
World Pulses Day is celebrated on 10 February at the initiative of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO). In August 2020, Incatema began providing Technical Assistance to the Programme for the Development of Commercial Agriculture in Angola (PDAC) with the aim of driving the professionalisation and sustainability of agriculture in this country by providing technical assistance to small producers and SMEs.
Within this project, Incatema considers the value chains of soy bean and kidney beans key and a priority, since they contribute directly to improving the population's diet. As sustained by the FAO, a healthy diet guarantees an adequate amount of calories and nutrients from a variety of foods and prevents malnutrition and non-communicable diseases. Pulses contribute plant protein to the diet, which is much cheaper and more affordable than animal protein.
Pulses are crops of great importance in harvest rotation and improve soil fertility by fixing nitrogen in the soil, where it is stored for future crops, thereby reducing the need for fertilisers. Additionally, they are crops that require moderate water consumption compared to others.
As Ana Romero, Head of the Consultancy Department at Incatema, explains, "strengthening and professionalising pulse value chains is of great importance due to the positive contribution of these crops to food safety and the population's diet. Most of the Angolan population cannot afford a nutritionally adequate diet. Pulses are highly nutritious and very economical products for the local population that can improve their diet and also reduce malnutrition levels dramatically, especially in children under five years old".
The PDAC implemented by Incatema in Angola has a budget of EUR 4 million financed by the World Bank and the French Development Agency. The main objective is to improve the efficiency of the agricultural sector by 2024, helping small producers and processing and marketing SMEs to implement business plans in their agricultural holdings, as we already informed about here.