My name is Maysoon Abdelhameid Abdelhai Osman studying PhD at the University of Nairobi, Kenya.I was born in the central part of Sudan, growing up with parents who believed in education as the best thing they can have in life for a bright future. After I graduated with BSc. (Honours) in Soil and Water Sciences, Faculty of Agricultural Sciences, University of Gezira (Sudan), I worked as a research assistant at the Agricultural Research Corporation in Sudan; I then joined University of Gezira as a part-time teaching assistant. These experiences exposed me to academia and hence I have developed an interest in furthering my studies. Thereafter, I obtained my Master’s Degree in Agrometeorology and Natural Risk Management from Haramaya University (Ethiopia), which offered me a chance to join the University of Gezira as a full-time lecture. Currently, I am pursuing a PhD in Climate Change and Adaptation at Institute for Climate Change and Adaptation, University of Nairobi, Kenya, under RUFORUM Graduate Teaching Assistantship (GTA) Programme, and the Social and Environmental Trade-offs in African Agriculture (SENTINEL) Project also managed by RUFORUM.

Maysoon Abdelhameid Abdelhai Osman studying PhD at the University of Nairobi, Kenya

I have completed my taught courses and have successfully defended my proposal to the faculty titled “Impact of Climate and Land Use / Land Cover Changes on Small Scale Farming System in Gedaref State, Sudan” My PhD is focusing on how climate variability and change, and Land Use / Land Cover changes affect crop yields in rainfed farming of Gedaref State, Sudan. The research also aimed to look at the perception of the smallholder farmers to climate change and the adaptation measures they used to minimize the risk. Generally, rainfed farming is the major economic activity in Sudan, and particularly in Gedaref state. Gedaref region is the important and biggest rainfed agricultural area in Sudan where the majority of the population practices traditional smallholder farming which their livelihoods rely on. However, in the last decades,  many farmers in this region have been exposed to different effects of climate change such as floods and droughts. Indeed, Gedaref area has experienced large-scale land degradation showed by loss of soil fertility, and reduction of vegetation coverage, among others. This has added more vulnerability to the negative effects of the climate variability and change on rainfed farming, coupled with land use and land cover (LULC) changes which mainly occur as the results of malpractices such as clearing of a considerable area of natural forest. Therefore, the combined effect of climate and Land use/ Land cover changes should be evaluated. Although some studies were carried out in Gedaref on climate change,  little attention was paid to climate change impacts on the smallholder sector.. Therefore, this study will provide much-needed information for decision-makers, extension officers, researchers, and planners to reduce the vulnerability of small scale farmers to climate and Land use/ Land cover changes. I will use a transdisciplinary methodology approach for this study, which helps to learn and solve the problem at the same time, through collaboration between different groups of academia and society.

Regarding my fieldwork, I managed to obtain secondary data for climatic and  crop yields for Gedaref state over the last thirty years. I have had some challenges to get these data, but with the help and the support  provided from my home university (University of Gezira), I overcame those challenges. After analysing the collected data I wrote the first manuscript which I am finalizing nowadays to share with my supervisors. At the same time, I am working on the Land use/ Land cover changes part of my research, which needs some experience in GIS and remote sensing methods. To solve this problem I  joined  the International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology (icipe) for an internship under Data Management, Modelling, and Geo-information Unit to build and booster my capacity on GIS and remote sensing analytical approaches. This chance will specifically help me to address my PhD thesis objective two which deals with advanced GIS and remote sensing methods. It also provided me with a good opportunity to interact with the scholars and staff in icipe in general and the unit in particular and use their expertise. Besides, I built strong relationships and networking with a lot of people from different countries.

I highly appreciate the trainings that have been organized by RUFORUM, I have really benefited from them especially, GIS, remote sensing and statistical training, and qualitative training. I would like to thank Sentinel Project for their support and effort to help whenever needed. I have received mentorship support from SENTINEL UK researchers during the concept note development stage. I was planning to complete my GIS and remote sensing training at icipe and then go back to Sudan for my fieldwork with the farmers but, due to COVID-19 pandemic, I could not manage, and I will need more time to complete the fieldwork.

For more details, please contact Ms. Maysoon Osman  via email:

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