African Journal of
Agricultural Research

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Agric. Res.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1991-637X
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJAR
  • Start Year: 2006
  • Published Articles: 6576

Full Length Research Paper

Expansion of mechanised rain-fed agriculture and land-use/land-cover change in Southern Gadarif, Sudan

Hussein M. Sulieman
Remote Sensing Unit, Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, P. O. Box 449, 32211, University of Gadarif, Gadarif, Sudan.
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 20 April 2010
  •  Published: 04 July 2010


This study was an effort to produce synthetic knowledge on the rapid land-use/land-cover (LULC) changes and on the integrating rates of change with fundamental patterns in southern Gadarif region, Sudan, for the period 1972 - 2003 using remote sensing imagery. The area is known for its sorghum and sesame production. Comparisons of LULC changes showed that the land-cover of the southern Gadarif region has changed drastically since the introduction of mechanized rain-fed agriculture in the area. The agricultural expansion was on the expenses of the natural vegetation cover. The average natural vegetation clearing rate was around 0.8% per year, and the most rapid clearing occurred during the seventies when conversion rates increased to about 4.5% per year. The average rate of vegetation clearing in the region exceeded the national average of deforestation. Recently, the conversion of natural vegetation to agricultural land has slowed because almost no land was left for further expansion. In the period 1999 - 2003 significant natural re-vegetation on abandoned land was detected. Being the most important rain-fed agricultural region in the country, information about patterns of LULC changes through time provides a better understanding of land utilization aspects and also plays a crucial role in the formulation of policies and program required for sustainable development of the region.


Key words: Mechanised agriculture, change detection, vegetation clearance, remote sensing, Gadarif, Sudan.