Pulse crops and sustainability: a framework to evaluate multiple benefits
The potential of pulses - beans, peas, chickpeas, lentils, and other pulses - to help address future global food security, nutrition and environmental sustainability needs has been acknowledged through the UN declaration of the 2016 International Year of Pulses. However, the full set of benefits that pulse crops can offer has not been systematically characterised.
This paper specifically seeks to develop a framework to evaluate the economic, social and environmental benefits and potential trade-offs of pulse production in different geographic, agro-ecological and economic contexts. The framework defines the sustainability elements to be evaluated in any given context , given the diversity across cropping systems and geographic contexts of suitable pulse growing areas. The framework will also provide a means to evaluate the potential sustainability contributions of pulses should they be brought into a cropping system, or integrated into crop rotations. The primary audience for this white paper is the food industry, but government policy makers, researchers and other stakeholders will find utility in it as well.