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Musa Elfaki (MSc Agricultural Extension 1988)


I finished my BSc in Agricultural Sciences (plant protection) at the University of Khatoum in 1981. In 1982 I joined Jabal Marra Rural Development Project in Western Darfour ( one of the EEC projects) as an extension Officer. Between 1982 and 1986 I managed to establish and rehabitate 17 Extension Units and two sub-centres in WadiSalih. As part of the project training programme I was selected to do an MSc in Agric. Extension at the University of Reading, where my family joined me in October in 1987. After completing my studies, I returned to Sudan and transferred to the Headquarters of the project as Chief Extension Officer. In 1990 I was appointed as a technical Director of The Minister Office, Ministry of Agriculture Khartoum. In 1999, I joined the Faculty of Agricultural Sciences University of Gezira as a lecturer to establish the Department of Agricultural Extension and Training. In 1994 I was appointed Deputy Dean of Faculty of Agricultural Sciences. In 1996 I joned INRA in France to start a PhD programme. I finised my PhD in 2000. I established the Open university in Gezira state in 2003. I was the Head Department of Agricultural extension for two terms and promoted to associate professor in 2004. I was appointed as Dean of student affairs, University of Gezira in 2009 for two and a half years. Now I'm an Associate Professor, Department of Agricultural Extension and Training and invoved mainly in teaching, research and training.

Why did you choose to study at the University of Reading?

University of Reading is one of the most reputed Universities and well known in Sudan. At that time, the programme of the MSc in Agricultural Extension and Rural Development was very active in AERDC - London Road.

What was the best bit about living and studying in Reading?

Beside the very valuable material studied, it was a chance to exchange experiences with studens coming from different parts of the world.

What top tips would you give to students who are beginning their studies?

Mantain close relations with staff to minimise academic barriers. Have close relationships with your colleagues and fellow students to exchange benefits.

What are you up to now? How did you get there?

Now Im an associate professor, with about 15 publictions. During my career I have supervised more than 50 MSc students and 10 Ph.D students and partipated in many training sessions, workshops and conferences.

What would be your top tips for students interested in working in this sector?

To be patient, strongly committed to rural living and helping those who need help.

How has the University of Reading and the Careers Centre helped in your chosen career path?

I have benefitted very much from the courses I attended, from the books and documents I reviewed and from exchanging experiences with other students.

What are your top tips for students graduating this year? What should they be doing to secure the job they want?

They shoud be ready to face problems and situations they are not accustomed to. They should be challenging, talented , dedicated and resourceful if they are to take part in rural development work.

What does the University mean to you and what is your favourite memory?

I'm very grateful to the university staff from whom I have learned a lot including Professor Rolls, Garforth, David Brown, Peter Oakley, Jones and many others. I remember when I first arrived, I lived in Mansfield Hall.The english food was not tasty to me. Later, I moved to another hall where I mananged to prepare my own food by my self, but I continued to suffer from that because I'm not good in cooking. My family arrived in October and we rented a house in Liverpool Road and there we lived happily during the rest of the period


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