Fluxes of nutrients are dominated by agriculture and the flow of agricultural products. Presently nutrients accumulate in the developed world whereas developing countries suffer from nutrient depletion and erosion of their soils. The fast growing population with its expected increase per capita intake of food, to be cultivated on a generally limited area of arable land, will stimulate the application of nutrients in large parts of the developing world. Considering the time-scales of nutrient storage this will eventually lead to similar problems to those experienced in the developed world. Timely intervention can mitigate future environmental degradation, but it requires foresight without complete fixation with today's problems.