Recommended: 7 free e-learning courses to bookmark

Topics on food and agriculture at your fingertips only a few clicks away.

03 Mar 2016

E-learning was quite the buzzword a couple of decades ago – then when the internet started in earnest it became even more so. Today e-learning is mainstreamed in many organization, including FAO with more than 400 000 learners taking advantage of FAO’s offerings. FAO’s e-learning center offers free interactive courses – in English, French and Spanish - on topics ranging from food and nutrition security or climate change to land tenure. The courses are suited to agricultural and food security professionals, students, and anyone interested in the broad range of topics offered by FAO.

We looked through the more than 50 courses and came up with a list of seven to spur your interest and broaden your knowledge.

1. The basics of nutrition, food security and livelihoods
If you are involved in shaping and implementing nutrition-sensitive programmes, investments or policies and need a quick guide and definitions, this is the course for you. This short 35-minute module addresses the basic terms and concepts relating to food and nutrition, food security and livelihoods.
2. Climate change and food security
Global warming is leading to more volatile weather patterns that are already reducing crop yields. This course, divided into 4 sections of 20 to 60 minutes each, gives you an overview of the impacts of climate change on food security and introduces the concept of climate-smart agriculture that can contribute to climate change adaptation, mitigation, food security and development.
3. Pre-breeding for effective use of plant genetic resources
This free online course is helping improve the effective use in pre-breeding of germplasm resources and is building a bridge between genebank managers and plant breeders. Intrigued? Discover a wide range of theoretical and practical topics from basic concepts and applications of pre-breeding to regulatory issues over the course of five units, which require some 16 hours of self-paced instruction to complete.
4. The Responsible Governance of Tenure
Are you looking for an easy introduction into the main concepts and principles of the Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure? This online course helps you understand the Guidelines and apply the principles to practical situations in your own country. It is broken down into 5 lessons, of approximately 30 to 90 minutes each.
5. RuralInvest – preparing effective Investment Project Proposals
This six hours course allows you to explore the concepts behind RuralInvest giving you the definition of what an investment is, why it requires a participatory approach and the tools to understand the priorities and capabilities surrounding beneficiaries. The course includes a final assessment upon the successful completion of which you will receive a certificate.
6. An introduction to social safety nets
Social safety nets have traditionally been used to help people through short-term calamities and can contribute to long-range development. Learn how social safety net programmes and systems are used and customized according to different contexts. The course consists of 6 lessons ranging from 30 to 60 minutes duration each at the end of which you will be given a final assessment and a certificate of completion.
7. Enhancing participation in CODEX activities
The Codex Alimentarius or ‘Food Code’ came into existence in 1963 to develop harmonized international food standards, which protect consumer health and promote fair practices in food trade. Over the course of 10 hours you will learn the organization and operation of the Codex Alimentarius Commission and its subsidiary bodies and the process of developing food standards. This course consists of 13 lessons, which are grouped into 4 units.


These are just a few samples. Explore the course catalogue to discover what else is on offer. We are always developing new courses so keep checking the site and give us feedback and suggestions on what other topics you would like to learn about.

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