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K-State Today

January 20, 2017



Sustainable agriculture leader to present Rice International Agronomy Lecture Jan. 23

By Steve Watson

Achim Dobermann

Renowned international sustainable agriculture leader Achim Dobermann will present the third Chuck and Sue Rice International Agronomy Lecture at 4 p.m. Jan. 23 in 1018 Throckmorton Plant Sciences Center on the K-State campus. The title of the lecture is "Productivity Growth: The Key for Sustainable Intensification of Agriculture." A reception will be at 3:30 p.m. on Throckmorton's first floor lobby. 

Dobermann's presentation thesis: In order to address all dimensions of sustainable development, productivity growth rates must remain high enough, or accelerate in countries that have fallen behind. Science should embrace an innovation culture, translating new ideas much faster into commercial technologies and actionable knowledge widely accessible to farmers and businesses along the whole chain.

Dobermann is the director and chief executive of Rothamsted Research, based in Harpenden, Hertfordshire, England. In this role he provides leadership for a wide range of research programs that aim to develop new solutions for the sustainable intensification of agricultural systems.

For more than 30 years, Dobermann has conducted or led agricultural research in many world regions. He received a master's degree in tropical agriculture in 1987 and a doctorate in soil science in 1991 from the University of Leipzig in Germany.

In 1992, he joined the International Rice Research Institute as a soil scientist, followed by an appointment as professor of soil science and nutrient management at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln during 2000 to 2007. From 2008 to 2014 he served as deputy director general for research at the International Rice Research Institute in the Philippines, where he also led the development of the Global Rice Science Partnership and served as the first director of this unique global initiative.

He has authored or co-authored more than 110 journal papers, several books on a wide range of agricultural issues, and numerous other technical and outreach publications. He has received many awards from academic, government and industry organizations worldwide. He is an editor of the international journal Global Food Security and a fellow of the American Society of Agronomy, the Soil Science Society of America, and the Crop Science Societies of the Philippines.

As a member of the Leadership Council of the Sustainable Development Solutions Network, Dobermann is widely engaged in initiatives on implementing the new global sustainable development agenda.