SerDev Launches New NQF accredited FREE e-learning Training Program for Existing and Aspiring Farmers

SerDev Launches New NQF accredited FREE e-learning Training Program for Existing and Aspiring Farmers

SerDev, a leading provider of agriculture training programs in South Africa, has partnered with Absa and I3A to launch a new training initiative for existing and aspiring farmers. This exciting new program will be available for FREE to qualifying applicants. The training will be delivered online through e-Learning modules, and the successful completion of 135 credits will count towards the National Diploma in Animal Production with a specialization in Beef Production, SAQA ID 49011 on NQF Level 5. 

Trainees will receive comprehensive training in animal production and will master the techniques of e-learning technology. The program is designed to cater to a broad range of applicants, from those who are already farming on their own land to those who are looking to start their own farms. The requirements for enrollment are a grade 12 certificate, access to a computer/smartphone, and WIFI.

Read the full course outline below.

The program will take 6 months to complete, and although free, applicants must be committed to completing the course. Those who do not complete the course won’t be able to take part in future opportunities. After completion of the program, graduates will remain on SerDev’s database and can apply for land from the government on the grounds that they have the necessary training.

To apply for the program, follow this link to the application form:


Module 1: Introduction to beef production

  • History and general introduction
  • Classification of cattle
  • Beef cattle breeds
  • Body conformation traits
  • Body conditioning

Module 2: Overview of the beef industry

  • Cattle production systems in sub-Sahara Africa
  • Beef production and its environmental impact
  • Prospects for trade
  • Beef production in South Africa
  • The effect of climate change
  • Beef market value chain

Module 3: Beef breeding systems

  • Introduction to Genetics and Breeding Error! Bookmark not defined.
  • Transmission of characteristics
  • Animal breeding systems
  • Grading up
  • Crossbreeding
  • Crossbreeding systems

Module 4: Beef production systems

  • Terminology
  • Production norms for beef cattle
  • The 3 basic beef production systems
  • Breeding objectives
  • Fertility of bulls and cows
  • Culling or replacement
  • Beef Management: From Mating to Calving

Module 5: Handling facilities and management practices

  • Cattle Behaviour and Operator Response
  • Handling Facilities
  • Corral, Fences and Gates
  • Practical Management Practices
  • Practical Tick Control
  • Identification and Marking of Cattle
  • Age Determination & Identification

Module 6: Feeding of beef cattle

  • Chemical Composition of Feed
  • Fermentation of feed
  • Types of Feed
  • Feed Processing and Utilising
  • Intensive Feeding in Feedlots
  • Feed Analysis and Ration Balancing
  • Ration Balancing
  • Feeding Processing and Manufacturing
  • Abnormal Feeding Behaviour
  • Poisonous Plants

Module 7: Cattle Health and Biosecurity

  • Health management of cattle
  • Biosecurity on a cattle farm
  • Effects of stress on the immune system
  • Diseases of cattle
  • Parasites of cattle
  • MSD Animal health vaccines and antibiotics for cattle
  • My cow is unable to stand up
  • First Aid kit and equipment
  • MSD Cattle management guidelines

Module 8: Safe transportation of beef cattle

  • Grouping of animals
  • Inspection during transportation
  • Feeding and watering regulations
  • Care of animals during transportation
  • Emergency regulations
  • Legal regulations and documentation

Module 9: The feedlot environment

  • Industry roleplayers
  • Beef production areas
  • Feedlot systems
  • Intensive feeding of beef
  • Types of feedlot cattle
  • Production efficiency

Module 10: Management of a beef farm

  • Objectives of the farm business
  • Plan to achieve your objectives
  • Implementing plans
  • Controlling activities according to plans
  • Areas of decision-making
  • The external environment

Module 11: The overall picture of cattle farming

  • Sustainability of cattle farming
  • Sustainable production systems
  • The natural life route of cattle

Module 12: Beef Classes and life functions

  • Cow-classes
  • Calf- classes
  • Young- stock classes
  • Store-stock classes
  • How to constitute a cattle herd

Module 13: How does production take place?

  • Define cattle production
  • Animals as production units
  • Mass as a production function
  • Basic guidelines and criteria
  • Composition of the herd
  • Production inside the herd
  • Production of slaughter- cattle marketed
  • Interpretation of production figures
  • Efficiency of production

Module 14: How to measure production

  • Ultimate production goals
  • The purpose of records and statistics
  • Input, output, and turnover
  • Recording and evaluation of production

Module 15: Sustainable resources

  • Resources planning
  • Cattle breeds as a resource
  • Capital
  • Labour
  • Machinery and equipment
  • The sustainable use of resources

Module 16: Beef record keeping

  • Contents of records
  • Step 1. The Inventory
  • The functional structure of the herd inventory
  • Step 2: Transfer the opening stock cow totals to the monthly cattle card
  • Calving season records
  • Cattle herd production data
  • Sales of weaners
  • Cattle slaughter data
  • Camp utilization records

Module 17: Beef production performance

  • Production from birth to slaughter
  • Understanding Live mass in herd context
  • Measurable outcomes

Module 18: Slaughtering and processing of animal products

  • South African Meat Classification System
  • The Abattoir
  • Slaughtering process
  • Grading
  • Chilling
  • By-products

Module 19: Beef value chains

  • What is the Beef value chain
  • Agricultural value chains: A game changer for smallholders
  • Value chain analysis

Module 20: Introduction to commercial farm planning

  • Introduction to farm planning
  • Objectives of Farm Planning
  • Characteristics of a Good Farm Plan
  • Components of Farm Planning:

Module 22: Financial records

  • Step 1. Inventory of Assets and Liabilities = Balance Sheet
  • Step 2. Enterprise budgets
  • Step 3. Holistic farm budget
  • Step 4. Cash flow budget
  • Step 5. Record and update the Income Statement
  • Step 6. The Balance Sheet
  • Cash sales
  • The farmers’ source documents

Module 23: Financial accounting and management

  • Capital requirement
  • Cost, Profit & Breakeven
  • Cashflow forecast & Cash Management
  • Enterprise budgets and cost benchmarking
  • Cost allocation and Income statement
  • Balance sheet, Profit & Lost Account
  • Preparing and controlling budgets
  • Interpretation of financial statements
  • Value Added Tax
  • Credit management and control
  • Credit assessment
  • Terms, Risks and Securities
  • Collections




    • Good day Creston – At the moment, the only free NQF training that we offer is the Absa course. Currently, there are no other free NQF training programs available. However, you are welcome to contact i3A directly if you wish to pay for a course.

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