In that same period, the global number of cultivated hectares per capita has been halved. This ratio explains the need for continued improvements in agricultural productivity. Advances in chemical fertilizers, pesticides and irrigation contribute to increasing productivity per hectare.
Today, there are about 1,420 million hectares of arable land in the world, just 11% more than in 1960. Meanwhile, world population has increased by a factor of 2.4. High agricultural productivity in the 70’s and 80’s has helped respond to the sharp increase in world population. Currently, the increase in global crop yield is estimated at between 0% and 1%.
Despite the exponential growth in demand, prices of food accumulate an annual decline of 1% from the early twentieth century. The exceptional productivity has avoided price increases. The next few years will be determined by the current low productivity, lack of water and lack of arable land.