How do you invest in building the human capital of agricultural producers? What factors make that investment successful? The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and IFPRI, with support from PIM, sought answers to these and other questions in their joint global study. This report provides a synthesis of that study’s findings. It looks at recent trends, including shifts in financing and increased digitalisation. It also provides six recommendations to governments, international financial institutions (IFIs) and the private sector on investing in developing the human capital of agricultural producers, including women and youth. Human capital, as an economic term, refers to assets that improve individual productivity. These include skills development, training and education, as well as public health and migration. They also include more abstract aspects such as self-esteem, empowerment, creativity, increased awareness and mindsets. In this report, the focus is on human capital in agriculture (including agriculture, fisheries and forestry activities) – that is, the skills and capabilities of small-scale agricultural producers to successfully manage farming enterprises. And it looks at individual human capital rather than that of organizations or groups, although these are important and linked to individual capital. The research team carried out work in several stages, beginning with literature and dataset reviews to inform the current trends and typology development. This was followed by the collection of empirical data from published case studies on human capital development in Cameroon, Chile, Côte d’Ivoire, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Peru, Rwanda and the United States of America. An additional 11 cases developed as short text boxes – ranging from pastoralist training centres to the inclusion of indigenous communities – enriched the analysis, as did iterative engagement processes, key informant interviews, an economic evaluation of agricultural human capital investment and discussions with experts. A global group of experts validated the typology, co-developed case study selection criteria and helped select the cases. The team presented the study’s framework during an initial global webinar, followed by a technical workshop and culminating with a “capstone” event to share the study’s findings and gather feedback from a global audience. The cases studied – whether formal, system-wide approaches or more informal farmer-to-farmer models – saw the development of technical agricultural skills, functional and social skills, empowerment and mindset changes as well as managerial and business skills. Good agricultural practices were taken up, and producers acquired the skills for market analysis. Intermediaries such as community service providers had better communication skills. Other impacts found include increased incomes and yields, improved livelihoods in rural areas, greater inclusion of women and youth, social cohesion and social capital. Looking to the future, investment in agriculture human capital development needs to be significantly increased. This can lead to good outcomes and impacts in the medium and long term, with many positive societal spill-overs like increased rural incomes, improved literacy and better food security and health. Secondly, partnership and collaboration are crucial for greater impact first at the policy level, as investment is always constrained or enabled by the existing policy environment. Partnership is also critical for scaling up successful approaches and models. The delivery method matters. Using an approach that is flexible and adapted to the needs of the target audience, whether a classroom or WhatsApp, is essential. As producers are learning, it is helpful to reinforce those skills through practical training or coaching. Also, the use of digital tools can amplify the investment by reaching greater numbers of people at lower costs. Ensuring that no one is left behind is also important. When investing in or designing an agriculture human capital investment model, it is crucial to understand first the cultural, societal and economic factors limiting the participation of young, indigenous, remote, poor or female farmers. Understanding what motivates farmers and getting them on board are also key to success. Incentives for learning should be rooted in the needs and aspirations of farmers, attainable and clearly communicated and explored with farmers in a participatory manner. Finally, it is clear that more research on agriculture human capital investment of smallholder producers is needed. What are the long-term impacts of investing in farmers? Which types of agriculture human capital development have good returns on investment, both monetarily and societally? How is human capital developed among different target groups? These are just a few of the many questions remaining that merit greater analysis.