While government programs and fortified products can help food security, farms are ultimately the backbone of the industry.
But as supply chains consolidate, there has been a growing global warning that small-scale farmers need to be supported.
About 90 percent of the world's farms are owned and operated by families, most of them are small and found in rural areas of the developing world, FAO data showed. Many of these smallholder family farmers are poor and food insecure, with limited access to markets and services.
Companies like Cargill need to support these smaller farmers, not by asking them to merge into a big firm, but by helping them increase productivity through service support and education of best practices, said Peter van Deursen, the Asia Pacific chief executive officer of Cargill.
"If you get production of smallholders up, you can raise their income and allow them to reinvest in the farm…these smallholders can be part of a solution (to food security) in some parts of the world," he said.
Agritech — the buzzword for technology used to enhance farming systems and agricultural production — can also support small farms.
Anything from farm management software to precision agriculture and predictive analytics can be agritech, and some see it as a good investment.
"Agriculture is a risky business, as it is regulated by governments in most countries, and venture capital firms lack the domain expertise so very few invest in this sector," said Arun Kant, chief executive and chief investment officer at Singapore-based investing firm Leonie Hill Capital.
But Kant told CNBC that as technology plays a bigger role in agriculture and as governments start to relax private investment regulations investors could see better returns from their investments. One of the firm's latest investments, according to Kant, is in a start-up that supports small-scale dairy farmers in India by providing smart milk collection and other services.
Sanjay Nath, who told CNBC he was the founder of the company, said he saw an opportunity in the dairy industry because there was a need to reform the current unhygienic practices of milk collection, improve the safety and quality of the product and help farmers receive fairer incomes.
Euromonitor analyst Dilip Radhakrishna told CNBC the Indian dairy industry "is unorganized and cold storage facilities have not been well-developed."
Indian dairy farmers are also disadvantaged by the "low procurement prices offered by the government and private bodies" and the "dominance of middle men at milk collection centers," the analyst said.