Dr. Thomas Oberthür advises the African Plant Nutrition Institute (APNI) on Business and Partnership Development. He is based in Germany.
Thomas, a native of Germany, received the degree of Diploma Engineer through Leipzig University in Germany centered on research conducted on spatial soil fertility management in irrigated rice at the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) in the Philippines. Thomas earned his Ph.D. in Geography at the University of Western Australia, Perth on improving land resource information and its management in heterogeneous rain-fed environments.
Over the past 20 years Dr. Oberthür has worked for and with non-governmental organizations, private industry and research institutions. He has advised and learned from farmers, scientists, entrepreneurs, managers and administrators: in the field, in processing stations, and in boardrooms. Dr. Oberthür worked for the Australian Center for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) in research and program operations management and was responsible for a wide range of adaptive and market driven research projects in Eastern Indonesia. Before that, Dr. Oberthür was with Ecoagriculture Partners (EP) and the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT).
Prior to advising APNI, Dr. Oberthür was Director of the Southeast Asia Program for the International Plant Nutrition Institute (IPNI). In this position, he conceptualized and led research and development programs in high value commodities, including coffee and cocoa, natural resource and systems management, and agricultural market development, and advised decision-makers in these fields. He also managed individual projects on sustainable commodity intensification and differentiation, inclusive development of high value crop supply chains, and agronomy and nutrient management in Asia, Latin America and Africa.
Thomas’s engagement relies on analytical insight, strategy and is outcome driven. Results, including strategic advice and tactical management interventions, were made accessible through innovative extension and dissemination. Outcomes achieved under his leadership included large-scale management and behavioral change in agricultural industries, notably in the coffee sector.