We are seeking to boost the productivity of important legume crops in Africa via the application of marker-assisted breeding. Our strategy is to support scientists in the target countries by providing research grants, laboratories, screen houses, advice, training, equipment and supplies to enable them to carry out molecular breeding work for crop improvement.

We are also exploring the potential resilience to climate change of underutilised legume species in India and in African countries.




Congratulations to Professor Idah Sithole Niang, who has won the “Scientist of the Year 2021” award, in the natural sciences / agricultural biotechnology category. The Trust supports Professor Idah’s molecular biology lab in Zimbabwe. More information can be found here



Congratulations to Dr Francis Kusi (shown at the right in the photo above) for his appointment as Acting Director of the CSIR - Savanna Agricultural Research Institute. Dr Kusi was the PI of a KT-funded cowpea improvement project for over 10 years, and is now a project mentor.

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Congratulations to Felicien Zida on being awarded a certificate of acknowledgement from the Deputy Major. This is in recognition for the interest and support the team in Burkina Faso have shown to groups of women producing Mung bean



We are happy to announce that the winners of the first KT video competition were Mr Shadrack Odikara from KALRO Kenya and Mr Patrick Attamah and Mr Salim Lamini from SARI Ghana.

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Ms Serah Njau has travelled to the University of California Davis, USA to enhance her PhD training. She is currently in the final year of her degree.

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Congratulations to Mr Muhammed Sitote for successfully completing a Master of Science Degree in Plant Breeding from the University of Jimma, Ethiopia. The title of his thesis project was: "Marker-assisted introgression of the anthracnose (ANT) resistance gene to common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.)".

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Congratulations to Mr Mwiinga Mulube for winning the competitive Kirkhouse Trust PhD Scholarship. Mr Mulube's doctoral research will focus on the genetic control of resistance to Common Bacterial Blight in the Andean gene pool of common bean, under the supervision of Dr Kelvin Kamfwa at the University of Zambia.

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The Cameroon Edition of the Kirkhouse Trust Newsletter is out. This issue is dedicated to the research team led by Dr Sobda Gonné at the Institute of Agricultural Research (IRAD), and celebrates the recent release of Lori-2 and Lori-3, two cowpea varieties resistant to the parasitic weed Striga.

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The Kirkhouse Trust welcomes Dr Joseph DeVries as a consultant for seed dissemination projects. Dr DeVries is the founder and president of the Seed Systems Group, and previously established and led the Program for Africa's Seed Sytems (PASS) of the Alliance for Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA).

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Dr Hamadou Sidibe qualified for a PhD at the Université Joseph

Ki-Zerbo, Ouagadougou. The title of Dr Sibide's doctoral research thesis is "Genetic improvement of cowpea for resistance to thrips (Megaluropthrips Sjostedti) in Burkina Faso".

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Congratulatios to Dr Kelvin Kamfwa at the University of Zambia for obtaining a grant from the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Legume Systems Research for a collaborative proposal entitled “Strategic collaborations: implementing a gender-responsive genetic improvement program for bruchid dry beans in Southern Africa”.

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Congratulations to Mr Felicien Serge Zida for his appointment to coordinate a new project on common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris) with the Pan-Africa Bean Research Alliance (PABRA) of the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT).

Main consortia

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African Bean Consortium (ABC)

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West African Cowpea Consortium (WACC)

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Stress Tolerant Orphan Legumes (STOL)