Filipino agricultural scientist Dr. Romulo Davide, 78, will be one of the six recipients of the Ramon Magsaysay Award for 2012.
Davide is a pioneer in the science of plant nematology in the country and is internationally known for his research on crop-destroying insects and pests.
The award-giving body cited Davide for his research on plant parasitic nematodes, which led to the development of BIOCON, the first Philippine biological control product that can be used against roundworms infesting crops, and a “practical substitute for highly toxic and expensive chemical nematicides” that is now sold worldwide.
Davide is also being honored for the Farmer-Scientists Training Program, which lets farmers have direct contact with scientists who can help them develop their technical capabilities to increase crop production.
Davide established the FSTP in his home province of Cebu after his retirement, and personally funded it at the start with prize money he had received some years earlier. The program is now being adapted for nationwide use.
In 2008, the Department of Science and Technology named him one of the 50 Men and Women in Science, in the Research and Development category.
In a statement from the Ramon Magsaysay Award Foundation, Davide is being recognized for “his steadfast passion in placing the power and discipline of science in the hands of farmers in the Philippines, who have consequently multiplied their yields, created productive farming communities, and rediscovered the dignity of their labor.”
Davide is the second in his family to win the award. His younger brother, former Chief Justice Hilario Davide, won the award in 2002 for government service.
Other awardees for this year include Chen Shu-Chu from Taiwan, Kulandei Francis from India, Syeda Rizwana Hasan from Bangladesh, Yang Saing Koma from Cambodia, and Ambrosius Ruwindrijarto from Indonesia.
The Ramon Magsaysay Award, established in 1957, is given annually to persons or organizations in Asia who “manifest the same sense of selfless service that ruled the life of the late and beloved Filipino leader.”
Davide and the five other awardees will receive a certificate, a medallion, and a cash prize in a ceremony to be held at the Philippine International Convention Center, Pasay City on August 31.