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Pulse (legume)

From Academic Kids

The Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO) defines pulses as annual leguminous crops yielding from one to twelve grains or seeds of variable size, shape and color within a pod. Pulses are used for food and animal feed.

The term pulses, as used by the FAO, is reserved for crops harvested solely for the dry grain and therefore excludes green beans and green peas, which are considered vegetable crops. Also excluded are crops which are mainly grown for oil extraction, like soybeans and peanuts, and crops which are used exclusively for sowing (clovers, alfalfa).

Pulses are important food crops due to their high protein and essential amino acid content. Like many leguminous crops, pulses play a key role in crop rotation due to their ability to fix nitrogen.

Contents

Statistics

India is both the world's largest producer and the world's largest importer of pulses.

Canada, Myanmar, Australia and the United States are significant exporters of pulses. (Note: these are the four most significant suppliers of India's imports, in that order.)

The vast majority of leguminous crops grown in the United States are peanuts and soybeans used as cattle feed and for extraction of vegetable oil, which are not considered pulses (see above).

Classification of pulses

FAO recognizes 11 primary pulses.

  1. Dry beans (Phaseolus spp. including several species now in Vigna)
  2. Dry broad beans (Vicia faba)
  3. Dry peas (Pisum spp.)
  4. Chickpea, Garbonzo, Bengal gram (Cicer arietinum)
  5. Dry cowpea, Black-eyed_pea, blackeye bean (Vigna unguiculata ssp. dekindtiana)
  6. Pigeon pea, cajan pea, congo bean (Cajanus cajan)
  7. Lentil (Lens culinaris)
  8. Bambara groundnut, earth pea (Vigna subterranea)
  9. Vetch, common vetch (Vicia sativa)
  10. Lupins (Lupinus spp.)
  11. Minor pulses include:

Reference

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