ICARDA staff in Lebanon celebrate International Year of Pulses with feast at Terbol Station
More than 50 ICARDA staff in Lebanon marked the inauguration of the International Year of Pulses with a feast at Terbol Research Station, about 70km from Beirut.
The 2016 International Year of Pulses (IYP) was officially launched by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in an inaugural ceremony in Rome, last November where Dr. Mahmoud Solh, ICARDA’s Director General emphasized that pulses fit in many of the prevailing cropping systems and they need to be mainstreamed in cereal-based agricultural systems, particularly where soil health is a serious issue.
“This pulses feast was a good opportunity to bring the staff together,” said Dr. Hassan Machlab, ICARDA Country Director in Lebanon. The event at Terbol station was organized by ICARDA staff, who prepared more than 20 different dishes with pulses as the main ingredient (chickpeas, lentils, faba beans, beans, cowpeas and mung beans) and using ICARDA’s varieties.
Pulses, with the unique ability of nitrogen-fixation needed for fertile soils, play a critical role in dry areas for sustainable food production systems and are, therefore an integral part of ICARDA’s strategy for food security and better livelihoods in dry areas. As part of its mandate, ICARDA contributes to the improvement of lentil, faba bean chickpea, and grasspea productivity. Pulses are also a vital source of plant-based proteins and amino acids for people and integral part of daily diet in North Africa and West and South Asia where ICARDA operates.