In this guest post, Huseyin Arslan, President of the Global Pulse Confederation (GPC) outlines the trade challenges facing the pulse industry, and how they can be addressed.

Essential since the beginning of agriculture

Domestication of pulses, also called grain legumes, occurred side by side with that of cereals in Neolithic history. “Legumes were companions of wheat and barley when agriculture began in the Near East,” and “the history of lentil reaches back as far as agriculture itself.” In the 19th century, the pea plant was the subject of Mendel’s experiments that led to the Laws of Inheritance and paved the way for modern genetics. Yet today, when more than a billion research dollars are spent annually on a single cereal crop like maize, only an estimated 175 million USD is spread across thirteen different pulse crops.

The Japanese LovePulses Product Showcase competition brought in a total of 1,114 applications, with 10 being chosen for final review. The final review took place at the Tokyo Seiei College University Cooking College of Katsushika-ku, Tokyo on September 1. The contest results were announced in the Tokyo newspaper along with the "bean of the day”.

While biotechnology has made big changes to some types of crop production, pulses remain underfunded.