The State of Food and Agriculture 2012: Investing in Agriculture for a Better Future shows that farmers are the largest investors in developing country agriculture and argues, therefore, that farmers and their investment decisions must be central to any strategy aimed at improving agricultural investment. The report also presents evidence showing how public resources can be used more effectively to catalyse private investment, especially by farmers themselves, and to channel public and private resources towards more socially beneficial outcomes. The focus of this report is on the accumulation of capital by farmers in agriculture and the investments made by governments to facilitate this accumulation. Agricultural investment is essential to promoting agricultural growth, reducing poverty and hunger, and promoting environmental sustainability. The regions of the world where hunger and extreme poverty are most widespread today - South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa - have seen stagnant or declining rates of investment per worker in agriculture for three decades. Recent evidence shows signs of improvement, but eradicating hunger in these and other regions, and achieving this sustainably, will require substantial increases in the level of farm investment in agriculture and dramatic improvements in both the level and quality of government investment in the sector.