Romulo G. Davide -
22 Ruby Street, Umali Subdivision College, Laguna
Dr. Romulo G. Davide is a teacher, a researcher and an agricultural scientist. As an agricultural scientist, his personal and professional goal in life is to bring science and technology to the farmers’ farms and improve the quality of life of poor upland farmers.
His belief that, “There is no such thing as barren soil, only barren minds”- words which his father implanted in his mind, has fired his love for the soil and has motivated him to help his fellowmen through his knowledge of agriculture. He believed in his father’s saying that, “A vision without a task is just a dream. A task without a vision is drudgery. But a vision with a task is unspeakable joy.”
As one of the teachers in the Department of Plant Pathology in UP Los Baños, he introduced and established the Science of Nematology in the Department and was responsible for the offering of the first course on nematode diseases of plants in1967.
He has been the Project Leader of eleven research projects funded by different agencies outside of UPLB. He developed a number of integrated pest and disease control technologies to maximize the production of vegetable crops and cotton in the country. His pioneering studies of diseases of various crops caused by nematodes and their control have been published in 127 scientific and popular papers.
Aside from his teaching and research work, Dr. Davide is also involved in technology transfer and extension management for agriculture and rural development. As the Extension Coordinator of the College of Agriculture [1985-1986], he has been responsible for the introduction of integrated College-wide extension service program for the rural areas. Dr. Davide has been involved in the Agricultural Development Program for the Countryside which is concerned with the development of poor rural villages in the provinces of Laguna, Albay, Cebu, and Iloilo.
He spearheaded, together with the UPLB Pahinungod Program the FARMER-SCIENTISTS TRAINING PROGRAM [FSTP] in 1994 in Colawin, Argao. FSTP is a program where agricultural scientists and farmers are brought together and learned and interact for the purpose of promoting sustainable agriculture. Through FSTP, farmers in upland communities in Argao and Barili, Cebu were provided direct contact with agricultural scientists from U.P. Los Baños, DA, DOST, and other agencies. Thus, equipping the farmers with new knowledge and technologies to maximize their crop and animal production. As they are partners in research, development and extension work, the farmers are trained as technicians in their respective communities. Under the adopt-a-farmer or adopt-a-barangay scheme, these farmer-technicians share their know how and improved farming practices with others.
New high-yielding varies of corn were introduced in the farmers’ farms through the on-farm experiences done by the farmers themselves under the supervision of concerned scientists of the Corn-Based Farmer Scientists Training Program. On vegetables, a number of high-yielding highbrids of tomato, pepper, eggplant, ampalaya, squash and others from the East-West Seed Co. and from the UPLBCA Institute of Plant Breeding were also introduced to the farmers through the Vegetable Farmer-Scientist Training Program.
Similarly, the Backyard Milk Production and Processing Program under the Dairy Farmer-Scientist Training Program in Argao, has already encouraged small farmers to raise dairy cows to produce milk for the family and for sale. He also introduced BIO-N to corn farmers under the FSTP. BIO- N is a newly developed microbial fertilizer made by the BIOTECH group in U.P. Los Baños. This is now used by farmers in Argao and Barili. Along with BIO-N, introduced to the farmers NETROPLUS, another microbial fertilizer produced by BIOTECH which can improve the growth and yield of mungo, cowpea, and peanut.
As Program Coordinator of FSTP in Cebu, Dr. Davide assures that the farmers trained in Phase I, II, and III will be transformed into farmer-scientist, technicians, agri-businessmen, and effective community leaders. In fact many trained farmers are now holding positions as barangay captains and members of the barangay council.
Farmers are already prepared to get into the business of farming after having been trained in FSTP. With this, the multi-purpose cooperative, the Upland Farmer-Scientist Multipurpose Coop based in Colawin, Argao and in Barili was organized and formed.
Dr. Davide also helped the farmers draft the resolutions and convince the Mayor and Governor to support the following projects: barangay road building, irrigation projects, and electricification of their communities.
Being awarded as an Outstanding Agriculture Scientist in 1994, Dr. Davide emphasized value formation, and that whatever knowledge a farmer gains should be shared with others. He also initiated linkages and developed partnerships with the government organizations, non-government, civic, peoples organizations’ and other groups. It was also Dr. Davide’s motivation and initiative, with the help of Colawin Educational Foundation, that the Colawin Technical School was established. The school is one of the venues for the training of farmer-scientists. He linked the farmer-scientists to the National Food Authority for their corn products and the Department of Agriculture in acquiring the cows. To date, Dr. Davide continues to link with the agencies that help market the products of farmer-scientists and initiates the replication and the program in the southern part of Argao and neighboring provinces.