KINGSTON — Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Robert Montague, says he is working to have the Bodles Research Station in St. Catherine, renamed in honour of the late Jamaican scientist, Dr. T.P. Lecky.
Speaking at the institution’s 2011 Open Day on Tuesday (November 8), the Minister argued that the work of the renowned scientist has benefited the country and inspired others to delve into research, and he should be recognized with the country’s premier agricultural research facility being named after him.
He noted that Dr. Lecky came from "extremely humble roots", and rose to the pinnacle of his game.
"T.P. Lecky saw the challenges of his country, was told that the animals that we have to use here must be from Europe… T.P. Lecky saw an opportunity where others saw a problem, and he went out and developed the Jamaican Hope Breed," Mr. Montague said.
He noted that the climate in Jamaica was different from that of Europe, so the late scientist dedicated himself, and delivered a local breed of cattle fit for the local climate and which could meet world standards.
"Today, that is one of the world’s best breed of animals, developed locally and appropriate to conditions that meet our standards, and the output of which will compare with any other breed worldwide," Mr. Montague said.
Dr. T.P. Lecky was the first Jamaican to gain a doctorate in agriculture. He is known for developing a breed of cattle, fit for the local climate and resistant to diseases, which he called the Jamaican Hope. He also developed the Jamaican Red, and his final work which he called the Jamaican Black, combined with earlier works to revolutionized the Jamaican dairy industry and improved the lives of cattle farmers. He died in 1994.
Mr. Montague toured several display booths and other facilities at the Research Station, and met and interacted with personnel at the institution, students and farmers.
By Garfield L. Angus, JIS Reporter