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International Year of Pulses

  • Global Pulse Confederation celebrates launch of the World's Greatest Pulse Dishes
    • Johannesburg April 1 2016: The Global Pulse Confederation (GPC) and its partners around the world continue their celebrations of the UN-declared International Year of Pulses with the launch today of the World's Greatest Pulse Dishes, a collection of 60+ pulse-based recipes submitted by countries around the world as their contribution to the year.
    • Following the successful launch of the International Year of Pulses in January by the United Nations and the global commemoration of #PulseFeast on January 6 that saw over 140 events taking place worldwide, the launch of the World's Greatest Pulse Dishes marks another important celebration of the International Year of Pulses.
    • Cooked, fried, boiled, mixed with the most unexpected ingredients, bean, peas, lentils and chickpeas from all over the world are showcased on www.pulses.org. Discover and share these unique dishes with recipes, photos and video animations. "The World's Greatest Pulse Dishes will inspire people around the world about pulse amazing dishes and encourage them to explore, experiment and enjoy the versatility of pulses, says Brad Lever of Advance Seed/AGT Foods Africa. "In South Africa we are fond of beans," he adds.
    • The recipe collection was complemented with gorgeous photography and fun video animations to encourage people to be creative with their cooking and use pulses for better, health, nutrition and the environment.
    • The website www.pulses.org has a total collection of 300 recipes, including recipes from chefs, that can be shared on social media. The site also provides tips on how to cook with pulses at home, on the benefits of incorporating pulses in everyone's diet and has vast resources on sustainability benefits of growing and eating pulses. "We want to encourage people to be more curious about when and how they eat pulses, be versatile about their use and eventually be more innovative when developing new dishes containing pulses as core ingredients," says Huseyin Arslan, President of the Global Pulse Confederation.
    • The flag recipe of South Africa is a traditional potjie, cooked with a variety of beans, vegetables and beef.
    • 'Pulses' are the edible dried seeds of legume crops that include beans, peas, chickpeas and lentils. Pulses can help improve human health and wellbeing, including diabetes prevention and control, reductions in heart disease and cholesterol. They are a high fibre, low fat source of protein, containing important vitamins and minerals like iron, potassium and folate.
    • Eating pulses is an essential part of a healthy and sustainable lifestyle
      The following brands are partners of IYP in South Africa:
      Tiger Brands - Lion
      Pouyoukas Foods
      AGT Foods Africa
      Pioneer Foods
      The Heart and Stroke Foundation SA
  • Addressing the need for seed
    • Researchers believe they have uncovered a promising opportunity for reaching smallholder farmers in developing countries with vital crops that could help them respond to a host of challenges including climate change and malnutrition. It could have important implications for the way seed sales and distribution are organised, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa.
    • For decades, scientists have developed new crop varieties aimed at responding to the most persistent environmental and nutritional challenges faced by smallholders. But many of these have not made it to the people who need them most - the farmers themselves.
    • That's because the method for disseminating new seeds neglects some of the most important outlets used by smallholders, according to research published in the journal Food Security today. The paper explains that modern crop seeds are typically sold by a relatively small group of licensed agro-dealers clustered in major towns and cities. The seeds are certified for quality and sold to farmers in sacks.
    • But following what is thought to be the largest study of seed transactions to date, researchers found that the majority of farmers in these countries do not buy seed from these so-called "formal" markets.
    • Instead the majority prefer to use local market stalls, independent traders and even "mom-and-pop" stores. These informal markets, while sometimes considered off-the-grid in terms of location, are often much more accessible for many farmers, especially women. Even though they don't offer certified seeds, many farmers prefer informal markets, partly because they can buy from people they know and purchase in smaller quantities, enabling them to try different varieties at low risk.
    • In addition, informal markets tend to stock a much wider range of seeds that those available from agro-dealers, which typically sell only maize and a small selection of vegetables. It means smallholders use informal markets to purchase as much as two-thirds of beans and other legumes - vitally important smallholder crops due to their protein content.
    • "Science has a strong track record of innovation for developing stronger, higher yielding crops, but now it needs to focus on innovations in delivery," said Louise Sperling, a senior technical adviser at Catholic Relief Services, who led the research while working at the International Centre for Tropical Agriculture. "As new varieties of heat or drought tolerant crops become available it's crucial we get them into farmers' hands quickly and effectively. Our findings suggest how and where we need to expand our efforts."
    • They hope their findings could bring about recognition of the importance of informal markets, with a view to them eventually offering new varieties and high quality seed on a continuing basis.
    • It seems the world of crop improvement can certainly learn a thing or two when it comes to better distribution systems and catering to customer demand. It could help get better seeds into the hands of smallholder farmers and significantly increase the impact of scientific research.
    • The findings are a great way to celebrate the United Nations International Year of Pulses because it gives us a clear opportunity for reaching more farmers with better beans.
    • The Dry Bean Producers' Organisation (DPO) and The National Science and Technology Forum (NSTF) have partnered with IYP 2016 in South Africa. The following brands are also partners of IYP in South Africa:

      Tiger Brands
      Pouyoukas Foods
      AGT Foods Africa
      The Heart and Stroke Foundation SA
  • DST mandated to educate on pulses
    • The United Nations declared 2016 as the International Year of Pulses. The aim is to highlight the fundamental importance of securing a sustainable food system to improve our health and dramatically reduce our food footprint, while addressing global food poverty and reversing environmental degradation.
    • As part of UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation), the Department of Science and Technology in South Africa has been mandated to include IYP on its 2016 calendar. Its first initiative will be to teach children about the importance of pulses in their diets.
    • DST will be embarking on a roadshow to science centres and schools around the country, aimed at kids aged 8 to 14 years. "Because pulses are so beneficial to people and to our planet, DST wants to motivate our youth to eat them," says AGT Foods Africa spokesperson Dean Miller.
    • DST will visit schools throughout South Africa armed with well-presented material to educate kids to eat pulses. "It explains how pulses are jam-packed with protein, fibre and vitamin B. They are low in fat and salt so they help fight diseases like obesity, cancer, high blood pressure, diabetes and high cholesterol. Most importantly pulses are affordable to all, ensuring poor people get to eat good quality food with all the important nutrients," says Miller.
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  • Videos
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