UN World Pulses Day Conference
Organized by NAFED
in association with GPC
on 10th February, 2020
at New Delhi

UN World Pulses Day

February 10 of each year since 2019 has been designated as ‘UN World Pulses Day’ by the General Assembly of the United Nations under resolution number A/RES/73/251. This follows the declaration of the year 2016 as the International Year of Pulses. This was done with the purpose of dissemination of information regarding pulses at various levels – local, national and international. This exercise is aimed to promote pulses as part of sustainable food production by highlighting their nutritional and environmental benefits.

The World Pulses Day Conference organized by NAFED in association with GPC will focus on the following sub-themes:

  1. Enhancing Pulse Production
  2. Promoting Pulse Consumption for Nutrition
  3. Processing of Pulses and Value Addition
  4. Market and Policies


Established on 2nd October, 1958, National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India Ltd.(NAFED),  is registered under the Multi State Co-operative Societies Act, 2002. It is the Apex Co-operative Marketing body comprising of state Co-operative Marketing Federations, Primary Co-operative Societies. Headquartered at New Delhi, with its 26 branches and sub offices in State Capitals and important cities in India, it has PAN India presence and plays a crucial role as the nodal agency of the Govt. of India for implementation of PM – AASHA for notified 16 agricultural commodities of Oilseeds, Copra, Pulses and Cotton. It is the procuring agency for buffer stock of pulses & onions for Department of Consumer Affairs. It handles the implementation of Operation Green for tomato, onion and potato. Recently, it procured apples from Jammu and Kashmir at Market Intervention Price, benefitting the Apple growers. It has also been designated as the Program Logistic Agency of National Animal Disease Control Program of Govt. of India. Distribution of seeds, bio- fertilisers, warehousing, consumer marketing, procurement of food grains, international trade are some of the other business activities of NAFED

Global Pulse Confederation (GPC)

Global Pulse Confederation (GPC) – previously known as International Pulses Trade & Industry Confederation (CICILS-IPTIC),  was established in 1963 in France and is now head quartered in Dubai since 2009. GPC is a non-profit  confederation to promote  production, consumption, awareness & trade  of super food – Pulses . GPC represents each and every component of supply chain related to the pulse industry such as growers, traders, government bodies, trade promotion entities, processors, and consumers. GPC enjoys observer status with multilateral bodies such as FAO, United Nations, WHO, WTO & ITO.  GPC’s missions to get 2016 declared as the  “International  Year of Pulses “ & and 10th February as the “World Pulses Day” were huge success with over 2 Billion media impressions.  GPC is sole authoritative confederation of over 26 national associations and thousands of corporates engaged in pulses trade in over 50 countries. GPC members represents a food sector involving over half a billion farmers  producing over 80 million tons in 90 countries valued at about US$ 100 Billion and retail turnover in excess of $ 350 Billion

Nafed’s association with Global Pulse Confederation

A Memorandum of Understanding was signed by Mr. Huseyin Arslan, the outgoing GPC President, and Mr. Sunil Kumar Singh,  Additional Managing Director, NAFED, during the Pulses 2019 Convention at Rio-de-Janerio, Brazil. The MoU lays out a framework for the two Organizations to work together which includes among other things, provisions on the sharing of knowledge and information, and collaboration in the promotion of conference, events and activities aimed at increasing pulses production and consumption.

The celebration of the “UN World Pulses Day” on 10th February, 2020, at New Delhi by NAFED in association with GPC was an event in fulfillment of the MoU.

UN World Pulses Day,
10th February, 2020

The Ambedkar International Center
New Delhi

Inauguration by Chief Guest and his address
Mr. Narendra Singh Tomar
Union Minister of Agriculture & Farmers’ Welfare and
Rural Development & Panchayati Raj

Curtain Raiser Event, The Hotel Taj Mahal,
Mansingh Road, New Delhi

Address by Mr. Ravi Kant, IAS,

Secretary, Department of Food and Public Distribution, Government of India

Address by Mr. Manoj Kanti Deb,

Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports & Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs, Government of Tripura

Address by Ms. Cindy Brown,

President, Global Pulse Confederation

Picture Gallery

Deliberations of Technical Discussions

Session 1

Enhancing Pulse Production

Enhancing Pulse Production sits at the centre of self sufficiency and Prime Minister’s vision to double farmers’ income. This session broadly covered the inputs as key drivers, multiple technologies for yield enhancement of pulses production. In addition, the framework of sustainable farm practices were discussed.

Dr. Ramesh Chand

Member NITI Aayog, Government of India

Dr. Ramesh Chand is currently a Member of NITI Aayog & the Fifteenth Finance Commission (in the rank and status of Union Minister of State). He has a Ph.D. in Agricultural Economics from Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI), New Delhi. He has over three decades of experience in research and teaching in the field of agricultural economics and policy.

Dr. Ramesh Chand,

Member NITI Aayog, Government of India

Dr. Juan M. Osorno

Associate Professor, North Dakota State University, USA

Dr. Juan Osorno has more than 20 years of experience in dry bean breeding and genetics that includes working at CIAT, University Of Puerto Rico, and NDSU. During his career, Juan had developed and released more than 20 germplasm lines and cultivars. Juan has contributed to more than 40 refereed publications mostly focused on plant breeding and the development and the use/application of molecular markers in breeding programs. Besides his main breeding program at NDSU, Juan has also served as a scientific advisor to breeding programs in Guatemala, China, Rwanda, Australia, and Colombia, among others.

Dr. Juan M. Osorno,

Associate Professor, North Dakota State University, USA

Dr. B.B. Singh

Ex Additional DG, Indian Council of Agricultural Research

Dr. Singh has been involved in developing innovative crop varieties and useful information leading to the advancement of genetics and breeding of pulse crops for the past 34 years. He developed a total of 14 unique varieties of different pulse crops. Genetics of important disease and morphological traits were studied and 14 novel genetic stocks were registered, besides, 76 research papers emanated from the projects were also published. He has successfully completed several National and International Research & Development projects, besides monitoring and coordination of National R&D programmes as coordinator and ADG (oilseeds &Pulse), ICAR

Dr. B.B. Singh,

Ex Additional DG, Indian Council of Agricultural Research

Mr. Amit Mundawala

Executive Director, AGRI BAZAAR, New Delhi

Mr. Amit Mundawala,

Executive Director, AGRI BAZAAR, New Delhi

Session 1 Video

Session 2

Promoting Pulse Consumption for Nutrition

While India has achieved self-sufficiency in grains, yet its people are malnourished. In this session, the panelists discussed the role of pulses in tackling malnutrition and its nutritional benefits. It focussed on strategies for promoting pulse consumption in India and abroad, including discussion on case studies of Eastern India.

Session 2 Video

Mr. Sudhakar Tomar

MD, Hakan Agro; DMCC (Chair)

Sudhakar Tomar is an agri-commodities social entrepreneur with over 27 years of experience. He has been championing the issues of Farmer's Rights, Food Security and reducing Malnutrition with the help of Pulses in India and internationally. He is an advisor to various governments and multilateral bodies on food policy, serves as the Board Member & Fund Raiser of GPC Food Trade Group of DMCC, Indian Chamber of Commerce, Lithuania, EU, and The CXO Alliance. Currently, he serves as the MD of UAE Agri & Food systems multinational, Hakan Agro DMCC and as the Founding President of UAE and Indian government-sponsored India Middle East Agro Trade Industry & Investment Forum (IMEA-TIIF) to promote bilateral Agricultural trade and investment.

Mr. Sudhakar Tomar,

MD, Hakan Agro; DMCC (Chair)

Dr. A. Laxmaiah

Scientist ‘G’, Division of Public Health Nutrition, ICMR-NIN

Dr. A. Laxmaiah has an academic background in Medicine and Public Health, with hands on professional experience in Public Health Nutrition at the National Institute of Nutrition (NIN), ICMR, Hyderabad. He has conducted many training & capacity building activities for health and nutrition functionaries of various States. He has carried out several large scale Epidemiological studies, implemented research-cum-impact Evaluations and randomized clinical trials (RCT) in the field of Health and Nutrition. He has been serving at National Institute of Nutrition for more than 25 years in various positions. Currently, he is working as Scientist ‘G’, Head, Division of Public Health Nutrition, ICMR-National Institute of Nutrition, Hyderabad. He is also the General Secretary, Nutrition society of India.

Dr. A. Laxmaiah,

Scientist ‘G’, Division of Public Health Nutrition, ICMR-NIN

Dr. Vikas Rawal

Professor of Economics, JNU

Dr. Rawal is a Professor of Economics at the Centre for Economic Studies and Planning, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. He is an Agricultural Economist with wide ranging interests in areas related to agricultural development and food security. His academic interests also extend to critical evaluation of national statistical systems and their use. Over the last few years, he has also been working on global issues related to food and agriculture. He has worked at FAO as Senior Consultant for Governance of Agriculture, Food Security, Nutrition and Rural Development. He was part of the FAO team that supported the process of formulation of SDGs. Two of his books, Ending Malnutrition (co- authored with Jomo Kwame Sundaram and Michael Clark) and The Global Economy of Pulses (edited with Dorian K. Navarro) have been published by FAO.

Dr. Vikas Rawal,

Professor of Economics, JNU

Dr. Srivalli Krishnan

Senior Program Officer, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

Dr. Krishnan is Senior Program Officer - Agricultural Development - Asia at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and focuses on agricultural programs in India and Bangladesh. She is also the lead for all livestock, digital agri and food systems programs in India. Prior to joining the Gates Foundation, she was with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) India Office as the coordinator for agriculture and climate change programs
in India, Africa and Asia region; and with the Australian Government’s Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry providing technical and policy advise to enhance Australia’s bilateral engagement with India in agriculture trade, economy and policy. Dr. Krishnan holds a PhD in Crop breeding and genetics from TERI University, and has done Graduate work with Cornell University; Masters in Life Sciences from the University of Delhi and advanced diploma in Intellectual Property Law from WIPO Academy, Geneva

Dr. Srivalli Krishnan,

Senior Program Officer, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

Ms. Suman Aggarwal

Nutritionist and founder of Selfcare – the natural way

Suman Aggarwal is a renowned nutritionist and fitness consultant and founder of ‘SELFCARE – THE NATURAL WAY’. She has launched The Don’t Diet Cook Book in 2009, Unjunked in 2012 and SuperKids in 2015. Within a short span of ten years, she has positively influenced the health of thousands of people from different walks of life—including the country’s most powerful Industrialists and Bollywood personalities.

Ms. Suman Aggarwal,

Nutritionist and founder of Selfcare – the natural way

Session 3

Processing of Pulses and Value Addition

Food processing in India has an enormous potential to contribute to agricultural growth and supplement farm income. Taking cognizance of this, the panelists discussed technologies for efficient processing, scope of investment in milling and warehousing. Additionally, they brainstormed the value addition potential of pulses and strategies to market pulses and its products at affordable prices.

Mr. Pravesh Sharma

IAS (retired), CEO Kamatan (Chair)

Pravesh Sharma took voluntary retirement from the Indian Administrative Service in January 2016 after a career spanning 34 years, where he spent over half this period, handling assignments in the food and agriculture sectors. He is the founder-CEO of KAMATAN, a company launched in 2018 to create an inclusive supply chain by integrating farmers with markets. In the five years before his retirement, Pravesh Sharma led a national campaign to mobilize farmers into producer organisations (FPOs) to integrate smallholders in the value chain. He is currently affiliated on a part-time basis as: Visiting Senior Fellow, Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations (ICRIER), a New Delhi based think tank; Adviser (Agriculture and Food Processing) at the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), New Delhi; and Chief Adviser, Madhya Bharat Consortium of Farmer Producer Companies, Bhopal.

Mr. Pravesh Sharma,

IAS (retired), CEO Kamatan (Chair)

Mr. Hüseyin Arslan

Chairman, AGT Food and Ingredients Inc., President, the Arbel Group

Arslan, involved in the global pulses and staple foods business for over 30 years, has presided for the last 15 years as the President of the Arbel Group. In 2001, Arslan was one of the founding shareholders of Saskcan Pulse Trading providing the nucleus for AGT Food and Ingredients (AGT), where he has served as a director or trustee since 2008 and Executive Chairman of the Board of Directors since 2009. Arslan holds a Bachelor of Science in Electronics Engineering from Middle East Technical University in Turkey and has over three decades of experience in the trading of agricultural and food products globally. Arslan served for many years as the President of the Mersin Trade Commodity Exchange Council. In 2015, Arslan was selected and served as President of the Global Pulse Confederation (GPC),the global pulse industry association, after serving,since 2013, as Executive Vice-President of the International Pulse Processors and Exporters Federation. He presently serves as the President of the Union of Mediterranean Pulse, Grain and Oilseeed Exporters.

Mr. Hüseyin Arslan,

Chairman, AGT Food and Ingredients Inc., President, the Arbel Group

Mr. Parag Gadre

CEO ETG Group- India

Parag Gadre, at present, is looking after India operations as CEO of ETG group which is a multinational with global business interest in agri and other commodities- trading, processing and marketing. He has played diverse leadership roles in business strategy development and implementation, sales- marketing and value chain management across various bulk and branded food commodities; distinguished by commendable performance and proven results on business goal including public private partnerships. Throughout his tenure, he has worked closely with Government and independent institutions such as ASSOCHAM, FICCI, NAFED, MMTC, PFNDAI, NIN, ICMR, ICCDD, CFTRI. He has been on the managing committee of various representative bodies in India such as IPGA-India Pulses and Grains association, ISMA- India salt Manufacturers’ association, PFNDAI – Protein Food and Nutrition development association of India, WQA- Water Quality Association. At present, he is also in the advisory role for Maharashtra Dal Mill association, All Farmers & Traders Association.

Mr. Parag Gadre,

CEO ETG Group- India

Mr. Varun Deshpande

MD for India, Good Food Institute

Varun Deshpande is the Managing Director for India at the Good Food Institute (GFI), where he is focused on building the future of food by working with scientists, foundations, governments, entrepreneurs, and corporations to advance the new protein sector, which includes plant based and cultivated meat. He spent several formative years studying Chemical and Biomedical Engineering at technology hub Carnegie Mellon University. While in the United States, Varun learned about Effective Altruism, a philosophy which seeks to investigate and target the world’s most pressing problems. In dedicating his work to the future of protein and combining his duty to human and planetary health, Varun aims to help build a healthy, sustainable, and just global food system, starting right here in India.

Mr. Varun Deshpande,

MD for India, Good Food Institute

Mr. Rajesh Sinha


Rajesh Sinha is the Managing Director and CEO of NCDEX e Markets Limited (NeML). Sinha has diverse work experience with corporate and not for profit sector spanning more than 22 years. Prior to his appointment as Managing Director, Sinha was the Chief Executive Officer of the company. NeML now positively impacts lives of more than 10 million farmers in the country including more than 5 million pulses and oilseeds growers across the country. He is a part of various National Committees in Agriculture set up by institutions like NABARD, Agriculture Skill Council of India, chambers of commerce and industries and contributes regularly in policy related matters of Agriculture Markets. He was identified as one of the 100 Indians whose ideas would make significant positive change in India by SKOCH Foundation, New Delhi in 2011.

Mr. Rajesh Sinha,


Session 3 Video

Session 4

Market and Policies

What does the year 2020 have in store for the pulse market? This session focussed on market outlook of pulses in India. The panelists also shared their insights into the global pulse outlook for 2020.

Session 4 Video

Ms. Marlene Boesch

Founder, Mercantile Consulting Venture

Marlene has been actively involved the agriculture industry in Canada since 1983. She holds a Master’s Degree in Agricultural Economics, andtraded and exported Canadian commodities (including pulses) internationally for 20 years while working for Cargill Grain, XCAN Grain Ltd, and leading Berdex Canada Ltd. In 2003, Marlene co-founded Mercantile Consulting Venture with Anthony P. Temple, who she had worked with at Cargill.

Ms. Marlene Boesch,

Founder, Mercantile Consulting Venture

Mr. Lalit Bangar

Sr Vice President, Swiss Singapore Overseas Enterprises

Lalit Kumar Bangar is Sr. Vice President and Head Agri of Swiss Singapore Overseas Enterprises Pte. Ltd. (SSOE), a $ 5.4 Bn. company which is part of Aditya Birla Group. SSOE is registered in Singapore with branches and associate offices in over 22 countries and engaged in international trading of various commodities including Coal, Fertilisers, Sulphur, Petroleum products, Iron ore, Steel and Agri products to the tune of over 33 MMT. Bangar joined SSOE in 1997 when their Agri products volume was few thousand MT which has grown now to over 350 thousand MT. He has over 34 years’ of experience.

Mr. Lalit Bangar,

Sr Vice President, Swiss Singapore Overseas Enterprises

Mr. Sanjiv Dubey

Director, GrainTrend Group

Sanjiv Dubey has been operating his grain export business in Australia for about 20 years, winning Exporter of the Year Award in 2007 from the Australian government. Prior to Australia, he was trading global commodities based out of India for 11 years and Malaysia for 6 years. The GrainTrend Group in Australia consists of GrainTrend Pty Ltd and Australian Durum Company Pty Ltd. He is the Director of Pulse Australia Ltd. He was the Vice President of Global Pulses Confederation (GPC), and currently sits on the panel of approved arbitrators for Grain Trade Australia (GTA). Sanjiv was conferred the Indian Business Executive Award for 2017 in Australia.

Mr. Sanjiv Dubey,

Director, GrainTrend Group

Mr. G Chandrashekhar

Consulting Editor, Hindu Business Line (Chair)

Economist, Senior Editor and Policy Commentator, Guruswamy Chandrashekhar is a global agribusiness and commodities market specialist. He passionately analyzes and comments on agriculture, agribusiness and commodity markets (including energy and metals) and also international trade and developmental issues. He has been closely associated with India’s oilseeds and industry and trade for nearly four decades. He has been a valued Resource Person for USDA (FAS-USDA, New Delhi) for over three decades and is associated with several international institutions including World Bank, IFPRI, ICAC, Global Pulse Confederation, US Soybean Export Council and more. His columns in various publications and comments on television are keenly tracked.

Mr. G Chandrashekhar,

Consulting Editor, Hindu Business Line (Chair)

Event Gallery

Cultural Evening on World Pulses day at The Lawn, Qutub Golf Club, New Delhi

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