Francisco M. Fronda (December 22, 1896-February 17, 1986) is recognized as the Father of Poultry Science in the Philippines for his immense contribution to the poultry and livestock industry.
In his childhood in Aliaga, Nueva Ecija, Fronda was regarded as unusually precocious since he can read and write at the age of four. He attended elementary school in the town of San Isidro, Nueva Ecija. At the age of 17, without high school education, he enrolled at the University of the Philippines College of Agriculture in Los Baños, Laguna. In 1919, he graduated from the six-year course with the degree of Bachelor of Agriculture. He was sent the same year to Cornell University in New York as a government pensionado. A year later, in 1920, he obtained his Master of Science. In February 1922, he obtained his Doctor of Philosophy degree in Poultry science, major in Physiology and minor in nutrition and pathology. He also earned the distinction of being one of the first five in the world who had a doctorate in poultry science.
Dr. Fronda worked extensively on the Cantonese, a breed of chicken imported from Canton, China. For 15 years, he culled, selected and bred the Cantonese to improve the breed. He succeeded in developing the chickens, but the line was not continued since all the fowls were consumed due to famine during World War II.
Aside from that, Dr. Fronda was also the first Filipino researcher to work on improving duck meat. These ducks were often referred to as “Fronducks,” in recognition of his success in breeding them and in producing stocks.
He is the author of a textbook in Poultry Science Production for students in agriculture and also co-authored a series of books for primary and secondary students, entitled the Let Us Raise Series. He also produced around 500 articles on the poultry and livestock industry.
Dr. Fronda received numerous accolades for his work, such as the Distinguished Service Medal and Diploma of Honor from the President of the Republic of the Philippines; the citation as “The Father of Poultry Industry in the Philippines” by the Philippine Association of Animal Science; the degree of “Doctor of Science” honoris causa; and the “Father of Thai Poultry Industry” by the Kasetsart University, Bangkok, presented by the Princess of Thailand in 1982. In 1983 he was conferred as a National Scientist by Former President Ferdinand Marcos.