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IFOAM, 3 February 2016 | Source:

Press Conference with Dr. Vandana Shiva to launch Navdanya book
“Pulse of Life: The Rich Biodiversity of Edible Legumes

11 February, 11.00 am – 11.30 am, BIOFACH, room New Delhi

Dr. Vandana Shiva is launching the new Navdanya book “Pulse of Life: The Rich Biodiversity of Edible Legumes”  to coincide with the UN declaration of 2016 as the International Year of Pulses. The International Year of Pulses aims to heighten public awareness of the nutritional benefits of pulses as part of sustainable food production. The book looks at the rich bio-cultural diversity of pulses and legumes and analyses the threats to diversity and sovereignty of century old traditions of pulses in India and around the world.The press conference took place on 11 February, 11.00 am at BIOFACH, room New Dehli and was attended by:

  • Dr. Vandana Shiva, Navdanya India, Laureate of the Alternative Nobel Prize
  • Andre Leu, President of IFOAM – Organics International and author of the book: “The myths of safe pesticides”.
  • Paulina Ceballos, International Year of Pulses
  • Dr. Auma Obama, Sauti Kuu Foundation

Visitors were also kindly invited to attend the BIOFACH conference session: 2016 – UN’s Year of Pulses at the organic pulse on 11 February, 10 am – 10.45 am in Room Kiew.
You can download the press invitation here. | Organic Agriculture and Pulses  | Meet IFOAM – Organics International at BIOFACH  or join our congress sessions.

The Pulse of Life

By Dr Vandana Shiva – The Asian Age, 27 January 2016


Pulses are truly the pulse of life: for the soil, for people and the planet. In our farms they give life to the soil by providing nitrogen. This is how ancient cultures enriched their soils. Farming did not begin with the Green Revolution and synthetic nitrogen fertilisers. Whether it is the diversity-based systems of India, or the three sisters planted by the first nations in North America, or the ancient Milpa system of Mexico, beans and pulses were vital to indigenous agro-ecological systems. […]

[…] The monocultures promoted by the Green Revolution had a direct impact on the decline of pulse production by displacing biodiversity, and with it depleting soil fertility. Mixed cropping was impossible with the intensive use of chemicals of the Green Revolution. With the change from mixed cropping to monocultures, less pulses were planted, production reduced and with the absence of legumes, nitrogen levels in the soil got depleted. […]

[…] Pulses fix 150-200kg of nitrogen per hectare. When pulses are removed from farming systems, synthetic nitrogen fertilisers are used. Returning organic matter to the soil also builds up soil nitrogen. A recent study we undertook has shown that organic farming increased nitrogen content of soil between 44 and 144 per cent (depending on the crops grown). […]

[…] Green Revolution displaced pulses from the fields, and replaced them with Bt cotton and soya monocultures. 11.6 million hectares of Bt cotton were planted in India in 2014. If pulses had been planted on half this land, we would have had an additional 4 million tonnes of pulses available. In 2014, 12.12 million hectares of land were planted with soya instead of growing the 10 million tonnes of pulses we needed. Why are we growing soya for export and importing the pulses we eat?

With the artificially created pulse scarcity, pulses have become unaffordable for many Indians. This artificially created scarcity is being used by the government to import pulses from corporations like Cargill India Pvt Ltd. Today, we are the biggest importers of pulses. And since the rest of the world does not grow the diversity of pulses we grow, what is being imported cannot replace the diversity necessary for the Indian diet. […]

[…] 2016 is the “International Year of Pulses”. It provides an opportunity to remember how important the diversity of our pulses is to the health of the soil and our health. We need to rejuvenate the pulse of life on our farms and our thalis. […]


Related Campaign

Campaign Pulses 2

Pulse of Life

Join the Dal Satyagraha Boycott imported nutritionally deficient, chemically and industrially grown oilseeds and pulses, and products from GMOs.Demand that government stop the imports and the subsidies that are making inferior food products artificially cheap ,robbing Indians of health and nutrition, taste and quality, and the joy of eating.

Join the Pulse of Life Movement 

Create Food Democracy 

Protect Biodiversity, the climate and your health 

Create Earth Democracy 

Add your Pulses Event/Project launch to the Seed Freedom Events Calendar

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2016 – UN’s Year of Pulses at the organic pulse

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