Broaden Your Knowledge of Food, Agriculture and Rural Development in 2021

Human Wrongs Watch

Let these six FAO e-learning courses shape a new you in this new year


With e-learning, you can learn what you want, when and where you want – check out FAO’s courses for some inspiration! © JenJ_Payless /

22 January 2021 (FAO)* —  2020 was a particular year, and one in which we spent more time online than ever. From virtual meetings to e-birthday parties, our participation in online activities soared – including internet learning. The benefits are many: you can study what you like, when you like, wherever you like. And if you are looking for new courses to get those brain synapses going, you should check out FAO’s extensive catalogue of online, completely free, courses!

The FAO eLearning Academy offers multilingual e-learning courses on a variety of topics from food security and nutrition to socio-economic development and sustainable management of natural resources. These courses are created and peer reviewed by a wide range of experts to ensure content accuracy, quality and coherence.

So go ahead and take advantage of them! What topics are you interested in?

Ensuring gender equality in agri-food systems

Women are vital to the agricultural sector. They produce crops, tend to livestock, collect water, gather firewood and sell produce. However, their important roles are often overlooked. If we want more sustainable food systems, we need to start acknowledging and propelling the role of women. But where to start? Well, the Developing gender-sensitive value chains course is as good a place as any!

This course covers all the basics, from the FAO gender-sensitive value chain framework, to how to conduct a gender-sensitive analysis of agrifood value chains. It also discusses the best way to address gender-based constraints in the agricultural sector and provide women and men with equal opportunities.

With FAO’s courses you can learn more about how we can make agriculture a more inclusive, sustainable sector through gender equality or how to promote nutrition through school feeding programmes. Top: ©FAO/Luis Tato. Bottom: ©Pep Bonet/Noor for FAO

Mitigating the impacts of climate change on fisheries

The fisheries and aquaculture sector is very valuable, providing many populations with nutritious food and generating income for millions around the world. But climate change is having a big impact, with shifting ocean currents and warming waters changing the distribution of fish stocks and altering the structure of ecosystems. If you’re interested in knowing more, the Climate-smart fisheries course is for you.

It includes general facts about the fisheries and aquaculture sector, the main impacts and implications of climate change on it and the main measures we can take to ensure that fisheries and aquaculture are climate-smart.

Promoting school meals to prevent malnutrition in children

School meals are a key way of preventing malnutrition in children, and governments and development actors are increasingly recognising their importance and value. The benefits of FAO’s Home-Grown School Feeding (HGSF) programmes go beyond education and nutrition to also improving the livelihoods of smallholder famers and strengthening local communities.

The Home-Grown School Feeding course goes into detail about planning these programmes and ensuring that they are integrated into national contexts, offering different design and implementation options, including models for linking HGSF to local agriculture.

Improving nutrition through sustainable food chains

With growing populations, expanding cities and climate change negatively affecting agricultural land, it is more important than ever that we develop food chains in a sustainable way. The Sustainable Food Chains for Nutrition course aims to equip project designers and managers with the concepts, principles and tools they need to leverage value chain approaches to improve nutrition through agriculture and food systems.

Interested in promoting nutrition and sustainability in food chains? The ‘Sustainable food chains for nutrition’ course could be just the course for you. ©FAO/Maxim Zmeyev

Managing soil and land sustainably

Soils are a highly valuable natural resource, supporting biodiversity, food production, human health and regulating greenhouse gas emissions. But they are also finite – when soil degrades, it is not recoverable within a human lifespan. The Climate-smart soil and land management course focuses on protecting soils and farming sustainably. It provides technical knowledge and examines how wide-scale implementation of climate-smart soil and land management practices can help mitigate climate change and enhance adaptation to its impacts.

Reducing poverty in rural areas

Most poor people live in rural areas of developing countries, so rural development plays an important part in ending poverty. The Reducing rural poverty: policies and approaches course is perfect for brushing up your knowledge on this topic, giving an overview of rural development approaches since the 1950s including modernisation, the Green Revolution, Local Economic Development as well as regional approaches. It also highlights policy areas where interventions are needed in order to achieve empowerment, economic inclusion and resilience building.

Learners from all around the globe and staff from a variety of institutions have taken FAO’s courses – and now you can too! Head over to FAO’s eLearning academy and have a browse of the catalogue. You’ll boost your knowledge and get a certificate to add to your CV – or even put on your wall!

Learn more


2021 Human Wrongs Watch

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