In the Andhra Pradesh State in India, individual women farmers and sanghams (women's cooperatives) helped entomologists of the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) to carry out a successful pigeon pea programme to develop improved pest-resistant lines. Researchers examined women's traditional pea varieties and offered several lines that were resistant to the main enemy, the pod borer, and came closest to the farmers' seed preferences. The women assessed their performance not only in terms of yield but also on the basis of ten different criteria, including leaf production, pod borer damage, taste, wood biomass, quality, market price and storability. Three of the four improved lines were rated by the women as being superior to their local varieties and were then grown alongside their own peas, which they retained for their superior taste. Furthermore, a mix of varieties was maintained to reduce pest attack.
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