A major challenge is to find ways of making fertiliser available to smallholders at affordable prices.
There is also a need for holistic approaches to soil fertility management that embraces the full range of driving factors and consequences of soil degradation.
Productivity has risen in many developing countries, mainly as a result of investment in agricultural R&D combined with improved human capital and rural infrastructure.
In Africa, the levels of productivity are much lower and their growth has also been slower than in Asia.
Current irrigation systems could be improved by investing in water control and delivery, automation, monitoring and staff training.
In most African regions, the major challenge is not the lack of water, but unpredictable and highly variable rainfall patterns with occurrences of dry spells every two years causing crop failure.
This is seen as a long-term solution to the high prices of agriculture commodities and increasing demand for Agroforestry products such as palm oil.
Among the most active countries owning, leasing or concessioning farmland overseas are China, India, Japan, Saudi Arabia, South Korea and United Arab Emirates.
International trade in agricultural products has expanded more rapidly than global agricultural GDP.
An increasing share of global agricultural exports originates from developed countries.