To feed the world population in 2050 on an ever-decreasing area of arable land, crop yields must be improved.  In addition to the decreasing area of land, issues of water supply and climate changes, increase the need for sustainable, resilient crops.

 Higher-yielding crop varieties have been introduced and modern breeding has led to a continuous increase in yield, resulting in an increased harvest index and improved yield stability.  Long-term selection experiments indicate sufficient potential for genetic improvement of quantitative traits over many generations. 

Research areas include looking at different crops ability to flourish in different soils and climates; and identify the best crops systems for small holder farmers.