Approximately 11% of the world's land area is used, and in addition some 12% (at present grassland and forest) has potential for, crop production. The actual production could be greatly increased by intensification and improved farm management. Unfortunately, much land is misused or withdrawn from agriculture. Recent studies show that on a global scale all land reserves will be lost within one century, and reserves of highly productive land will be lost in twenty-five years. There are important regional differences in the productive capacity of land and in socio-economic and political conditions that determine land use and food production. All stages of methods of agricultural production which have been developed during the last ten thousand years still exist. A study of the various systems of production and types of land use reveals some interesting aspects for the future and will be discussed in the lecture.