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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 use molecular biology tools to support crop improvement. We are also exploring the potential resilience to climate change of underutilised legume species in India and in African countries.

Funding is generally restricted to public sector agricultural research organisations and higher education institutions in target countries.


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Sir Paul Nurse, one of our Trustees, has been recognised again this year for his achievements and made a member of the Order of the Companions of Honour. The Companion of Honour is a special award presented to people in the UK who have made a ''major contribution to the arts, science, medicine, or government lasting over a long period of time". All of us at the Kirkhouse Trust would like to congratulate Paul on this prestigious honour!



We would like to welcome Professor Edmore Gasura and his team from the University of Zimbabwe on board the African Cowpea Programme.  Dr Gasura is the PI of the new 1 year cowpea pilot project titled : “Harnessing the cowpea breeding programme capacity in Zimbabwe through marker-assisted backcrossing targeting heritable traits”. We wish Professor Gasura and his team all the best for this exciting year ahead!

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Congratulations to Ms Swivia Moonga Hamabwe (KT funded MSc student) from the University of Zambia. Ms Hamabwe is one of the winners of the starter grants in the funding component of Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Legume Systems Research organised by the Michigan State University in the US. Ms Hamabwe's project title is “Identification of faster cooking yellow common bean genotypes with non-darkening seed coat and superior nutritional profile”. Well done Ms Hamabwe!



The InterAcademy Partnership (IAP) is holding a webinar titled "Impact of climate change on food systems" at the FAO Science and Innovation Forum on 13th of October. Our very own Chief Executive Dr Claudia Canales Holzeis will also be giving a presentation! For more information and details on how to register for this event, please follow this link.



We have an exciting job opportunity at the Kirkhouse Trust! We are looking for a science project administrator to join our team at The Kirkhouse Trust SCIO based in Oxfordshire. Applications are open until the 28th October.



Please join us in welcoming Dr Celestina Jochua and her team of 7 from Instituto de Investigação Agrária de Moçambique (IIAM) as the new pilot project under the ABC. Dr Jochua's project is titled "Development of bean varieties tolerant to high temperatures in Mozambique". All the best to the IIAM team for an exciting year ahead!

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We are delighted to announce that West African Cowpea Consortium (WACC) will now be known as African Cowpea Programme (ACP) as we branch into funding across all the African nations (rather than just in the West). 

Main consortia

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African Bean Consortium (ABC)

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African Cowpea Programme (ACP)

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Stress Tolerant Orphan Legumes (STOL)