Dewa Kassa Messan Koussakana is a research assistant with the Togolese Agriculture Research Institute (ITRA) under the Maize and Rice National Programme. He holds an Engineer degree in Agronomy in 2009, and MSc in Agro-resources science in 2013 from University of Lomé. Before Joining the ITRA in 2011, He worked with the National Agriculture Extension Service (ICAT) in the Southeast region of TOGO.
Prior to joining the WACCI PhD Programme, Dewa worked on the ITRA rice breeding programme as a member of the “Africa rice breeding task force’’ from 2011 to 2014 in partnership with the AfricaRice, Benin. During this period, he undertook research and published results on Rice Bacterial Leaf Blight in Togo, and also introduced rice lines/varieties for classical and participatory selection.
In Togo, the African rice species (Oryza glaberrima STEUD.) is still cultivated by farmers even though its production and growing areas are highly declining, because of its higher resistance to blast and tolerance to drought, as well as its organoleptic quality. Thus, Dewa’s PhD research would focus on the study of the Genetic Variability and The Screening for Blast Resistance and Drought Tolerance Among the African Rice Collection from Togo. This research will lay the foundation for an ambitious interspecific and intraspecific (O. glaberrima x O. glaberrima) rice breeding programme in Togo.