Dr. Pedro B. Escuro (born August 2, 1923) is a foremost Filipino rice breeder.
Early Life and Education
Pedro Escuro was born in Nabua, Camarines Sur to farmer parents Lucio and Aurea. He completed his elementary and high school education in Camarines, after which he enrolled in the University of the Philippines College of Agriculture in Los Baños as a self-supporting student. In 1952 he graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Agronomy, magna cum laude. Through a US grant, he then pursued in 1954 an M.S. in Plant Breeding at Cornell University in New York. He made a comprehensive review of studies worldwide on the genetics and breeding of rice. And later in 1959 he proceeded to finish a doctorate degree in plant breeding and genetics at the University of Minnesota under a Rockefeller Foundation Fellowship.
Career and Contribution
After his doctorate Escuro then proceeded to culture the "best" rice variety he had in mind. He succeeded in this, and under his leadership improved Philippine rice varieties were produced, among them are C4-63, C4-137, C4-113, C-168, C22, UPL-Ri-5, PSB Rc 16, PSB RC 36), as well as three improved wheat varieties (Trigo 1, Trigo 2, Trigo 3). The "C" varieties were widely adopted in the Philippines, Malaysia, Vietnam, Southern India, and other Southeast Asian countries. Not only the varieties are resistant to pests and other harmful conditions, they also proved to be sound investments, as they returned profit 250-fold.
For his achievements in agriculture Dr. Escuro received 18 honors and awards. These include two Presidential awards, Presidential Plaque of Merit for outstanding accomplishments in rice improvement (1967) and the Rizal Pro Patria award for outstanding contribution to rice breeding and genetics. He is also recipient of the University of the Philippines Distinguished Professional award in agriculture (1973) and D.Sc. (honoris causa 1974), and the 1974 Ayala award in agricultural science. And finally, he was conferred as a National Scientist in 1994 by Former President Fidel Ramos.
Currently he is now retired and pledged as a full time farmer in Laguna.
- Gorgonio, Luis (1998). The Filipino Scientists. Loacan Publishing House.
- National Academy of Science and Technology (2000). National Scientists of the Philippines (1978-1998). Anvil Publishing, Inc.