Pulses and their By-Products as Animal Feed

image of Pulses and their By-Products as Animal Feed

Humans have been using pulses, and legumes in general, for millennia. Pulses currently play a crucial role in sustainable development due to their nutritional, environmental and economic values. The United Nations General Assembly, at its 68th session, declared 2016 as the International Year of Pulses to further promote the use and value of these important crops. Pulses are an affordable source of protein, so their share in the total protein consumption in some developing countries ranges between 10 and 40 percent. Pulses, like legumes in general, have the important ability of biologically fixing nitrogen and some of them are able to utilize soil-bound phosphorus, thus they can be considered the cornerstone of sustainable agriculture. Pulses also play an important role in providing valuable products for animal feeding and thus indirectly contribute to food security. Pulse by-products are valuable sources of protein and energy for animals and they do not compete with human food. Available information on this subject has been collated and synthesized in this book, to highlight the nutritional role of pulses and their by-products as animal feed. This publication is one of the main contributions to the legacy of the International Year of Pulses. It aims to enhance the use of pulses and their by-products in those regions where many pulse by-products are simply dumped and will be useful for extension workers, researchers, feed industry, policy-makers and donors alike.




The pulse sector is undergoing dynamic changes at global, regional and country levels, to meet the growing demand for protein. Projections indicate that demand for pulses will continue to increase in developing counties due to growing population and rising per capita incomes. Globally, the average share of pulses is only 5 percent of the total protein consumption, but in several developing countries their contribution ranges between 10 and 40 percent. Pulses are an important crop group in the cropping patterns of several developing countries. They are of particular importance for food and nutrition security, particularly in low-income countries. In these countries they are the major source of protein often consumed in the diet along with staples like wheat or rice. Pulses help to improve nutrition and thus health and contribute to reduce poverty and hunger. Moreover, pulses – and legume crops in general – are key components of sustainable, climate-resilient cropping systems.


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