MANILA - Dr. Ramon Barba, the scientist behind the innovation to make mangoes available all year round, passed away on Sunday, the Department of Science and Technology said. He was 82.
Barba was best known for his achievements in plant physiology, especially on the induction of flowering of mango and on micropropagation of important crop. He was conferred the Order of National Scientist on June 6, 2014 by then President Benigno Aquino III.
Barba's pioneering work on the induction of flowering and fruiting of mango turned it from a seasonal fruit to one that is available all year. This, in turn, helped boost mango production and exports in the country.
"The discovery guaranteed regular or controlled flowering of mango trees and in many dry areas like Cebu and Guimaras, hence, the flowering period for the whole country was not just confined to March and April but has extended to several months, promising a supply of mangoes throughout the year," DOST explained.
His mango induction technology has also been adapted in other countries. Barba did not collect any royalty from the patent so that it can be used freely by ordinary farmers. The technology was also applied to other fruit trees.
Barba graduated from the University of the Philippines with a bachelor's degree in agriculture in 1958. He then pursued a master's degree in horticulture in University of Georgia in the US, and a doctorate degree, also in horticulture.
He returned in the Philippines in 1968 and started his career in the academe.