African Journal of
Agricultural Research

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Agric. Res.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1991-637X
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJAR
  • Start Year: 2006
  • Published Articles: 6801

Full Length Research Paper

Rainfall variability and its implications for agricultural production in Gedarif State, Eastern Sudan

Lotfie A. Yousif
  • Lotfie A. Yousif
  • Gedarif Research Station, Agricultural Research Corporation (ARC), Gedarif, Sudan.
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Abdelrahman A. Khatir
  • Abdelrahman A. Khatir
  • El Obied Research Station, Agricultural Research Corporation (ARC), El Obied, Sudan.
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Faisal M. El-Hag
  • Faisal M. El-Hag
  • Dry Lands Research Center (DLRC), Agricultural Research Corporation (ARC), Soba, Khartoum, Sudan.
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Ahmed M. Abdelkarim
  • Ahmed M. Abdelkarim
  • Sudan Meteorological Authority (SMA), Khartoum, Sudan.
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Hussain S. Adam
  • Hussain S. Adam
  • Water Management and Irrigation Institute, University of Gezira, Wad-Medani, Sudan.
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Abdelhadi A. Wahab
  • Abdelhadi A. Wahab
  • College of Graduate Studies, Desert and Arid Zones Sciences Program, Arabian Gulf University, Manama, Bahrain.
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Yasunori Kurosaki
  • Yasunori Kurosaki
  • Arid Land Research Center (ALRC), Tottori University, Tottori, Japan.
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Imad-eldin A. Ali-Babiker
  • Imad-eldin A. Ali-Babiker
  • Arid Land Research Center (ALRC), Tottori University, Tottori, Japan.
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  •  Received: 03 July 2018
  •  Accepted: 27 July 2018
  •  Published: 02 August 2018


Rainfed agriculture is practiced in the central clay plains of Sudan and is affected by the high rainfall variability in time and space within and between seasons. This study focused on analyzing rainfall variability and trend using a 30-year record (1985-2014) of seven meteorological stations at the major agricultural production areas in Gedarif state in eastern Sudan. Yearly rainfall has relatively low variability compared to monthly variability. According to annual rainfall totals, it was possible to classify stations into two groups; one with annual rainfall more than 600 mm and the second with rainfall ranging between 500 to 600 mm. In both groups, the majority of rainfall (60%) occurred during July and August. Trends of rainfall were inconsistent and the cropping season extended from June to September. Farmers in areas having high rainfall and extended growing season (group I) could grow suitable crops and varieties and their appropriate management practices should be implemented. In areas of low rainfall and short growing seasons (group II), farmers could grow crops of short maturing varieties and water harvesting techniques. There is a need for research activities that examine rainfall trends and how agricultural practices might adapt accordingly.

Key words: Rainfall, variability, trend, sorghum yield, Gedarif, Sudan.