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e-Learning Training Module ©FAO/C. Shirley


A New e-Learning Training Module on ‘Improved Feeding Management’ Released


A new e-learning training module on ‘Feeding Management of Dairy Cattle in Tropical Areas has been released this week.

From the current level of approximately 790 million tonnes of global milk production, an increase of 32% in milk consumption by 2050 is projected. On the other hand, for developing countries this increase is expected to be approximately 100%. Satisfying these demands will be a major challenge. This will ensue a huge demand for animal feed, especially in developing countries.

Feed and feeding is the foundation of dairy production. It impacts almost every sector of the dairy production – from animal reproduction, health and welfare – to environment, animal product safety and quality. Feed cost accounts for up to 70% the total cost of production, and economic viability and sustainability of dairy production hinges on feed and feeding. Producing more milk from less feed is the key to sustainable dairying.

This e-learning course comprises of 16 modules, which provides a concise but thorough information on feeding management of dairy farms in the tropics. The 16 modules contain:

    • Principles of dairy nutrition and feeding management as cows move through their annual lactation cycle
    • Quantification of the likely milk responses to changes in intakes of feed nutrients so that a ration can be formulated to achieve a targeted milk yield
    • A practical session on trouble shooting feeding problems
    • Specific aspects of dairy production technology such as rearing young stock and feeding for improved fertility

Each module is composed of a set of structured slides. Slides contain learning material, tests and supplementary files for further reading. During the learning process the learner is led from one slide to another sequentially, but s/he can also jump from one to another slide.

A key benefit of this e-learning tool is that it is self-paced, provides a flexible capacity building option, and can be accessed on-demand at any time and from any corner of the world with a computer having an Internet access. The tool can also be downloaded for later use.

“This E-learning tool has been pilot tested thoroughly on four groups of extension workers from three countries”, commented Harinder Makkar who led the development of the training module. “This self-learning tool will be particularly useful for progressive farmers, technical staff of the producer organizations and extension workers. It will also benefit students and teachers in enhancing their knowledge”, he added. It is expected that the use of this E-module will contribute to enhancing animal production, health and welfare and profitability of dairy farmers while conserving the environment.


The E-learning tool is available online or may be downloaded from FAO E-Learning Platform.