School of Natural and Environmental Sciences

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New industry report gives green light for pulse production in the UK

A new report from the Processors and Growers Research Organisation (PGRO) on the future of pulses production in UK agriculture features research from the School of Natural and Environmental Sciences.

Pulses which are grain legumes provide numerous health and environmental benefits but have had a steady decline in consumption in the UK over the past two decades.

The PGRO report: A Blueprint for UK Pulses in a Post-Brexit World, summarises the key challenges facing the legumes and pulses industry, and outlines a clear strategy for its development, which could improve soil quality, reduce the need for fertilisers and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, amongst other benefits.

“Along with the need for fundamental research on the biology of pulses, there is a clear need for applied research to improve productivity of pulse production, understand which factors may improve their use in the food industry as well as improve our knowledge of consumer preferences for pulse based products”, says Dr Diogo Souza Monteiro, Senior Lecturer in Agribusiness Management at the School of Natural and Environmental Sciences, and one of the Newcastle University researchers behind the report.

According to the report there are several barriers to pulse production in the UK including inconsistent and inaccurate market reporting, minimised commercial investment and policy focus on oil seeds and cereals rather than protein.

The PGRO report recommends:

  • targeting pulses and vegetable legumes to aid the sustainability of UK food production systems in agriculture
  • crop protection and nutrition to assist the production of pulse crops
  • ensuring more economic productivity and reliability
  • incentivise the feeding of UK-produced plant proteins to drive local demand and fuel production

The full report is available online.

Dr Monteiro has written a blog on the research available on the Institute for Sustainability’s blog.

Grain legumes

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