Burkina Faso to host ceremony marking end of the International Year of Pulses 2016

Burkina Faso's capital city Ouagadougou will host the closing ceremony of the International Year of Pulses, which over the course of 2016 highlighted the exceptional nutritional benefits pulses offer to human diets via a wide range of events, publications, and other activities.

The announcement was made here today by Director-General Jose Graziano da Silva during a meeting with Burkina Faso's President Roch Marc Christian Kabore.

Pulses are a cheap, delicious and highly nutritious source of protein and vital micronutrients that can greatly benefit people's health and livelihoods, particularly in developing countries

They are important food crops for the food security of large numbers of people, particularly in Latin America, Africa and Asia, where pulses are widely cultivated and have longed been an integral element of traditional diets. Such is the case in Burkina Faso, where pulses are generally grown by rural women, and FAO is currently supporting these groups enhance productivity and market access.

The closure of the International Year of Pulses, to be held in Burkina Faso early 2017, will be an opportunity to showcase and share success stories from around the world, FAO's Director-General said.

Running under the slogan "nutritious seeds for a sustainable future", the UN General Assembly declared 2016 the International Year of Pulses to raise awareness of the many benefits of pulses, boost their production and trade, and encourage new and smarter uses throughout the food chain.

Other recent international years have focused on soils, family farming, and quinoa.

Agriculture and livestock, central to the country's development programme

During today's talks, FAO's Director-General commended Burkina Faso for having consolidated its democracy and for its efforts to promote peace in the Sahel region, which he described as an essential requisite for food security.

Both leaders also discussed the country's efforts to develop agriculture within the framework of its National Economic and Social Development programme.

"Agriculture and livestock play a key role and are a sector in which youth can make a very significant contribution," President Kabore said. Burkina Faso is committed not only to increasing just agricultural production, but also increase post-harvest processing, to add value to its produce both on locally and in international export markets he added, noting FAO's guidance and technical assistance in this process.

FAO is also supporting Burkina Faso as it prepares to conduct its 2016 agricultural census. The new general census will facilitate better policy decision making, as well as monitoring and reporting on progress made towards the Sustainable Developments Goals.

Source: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nation.