Kwevitoukoui (Brad) Hounkpati was the first Borlaug LEAP Fellow to hail from Togo. A Fulbright Scholar and PhD Student in the University of Georgia Entomology Department, Hounkpati is conducting systematic study of the West Africa Coccinellidae (WAC), or West Africa Ladybeetles. There is little known about the WAC and their potential for bio-control programs in Africa. Using predatory ladybeetles as pest control agents as well as the rearing of WAC could generate income, and contribute significantly to improved food security, household livelihoods, and reduced chemical inputs.
His Borlaug LEAP fellowship allowed him to record more than 100 species of WAC and meet with farmers, agricultural extension service officers as well as university and government officials. His research will help produce taxonomic tools including identification keys, field guides, and catalogues of WAC that can be used in bio-control of insect pests. Hounkpati was mentored by Dr. Joseph McHugh at University of Georgia and Dr. Malick Niago Ba at International Crops Research Institute for Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) in Niger. He expects to receive his PhD in Entomology in December 2016.