Conflict And Food Security: Effects Of Insecurity On Agricultural Productivity In Benue State Nigeria
This study was carried out on conflict and food security: effects of insecurity on agricultural productivity in Benue State Nigeria. The study was carried out to ascertain the prevalence of farmers and herders conflict in Benue State, find out the extent farmers and herders conflict has affected agricultural activities in Benue State, investigate whether farmers and herders conflict have contributed to food shortage in Benue State, and ascertain whether farmers and herders conflict have contributed to increase in the price of food items in Benue State. In determining the sample size, the researcher adopted the Cluster sampling to select 148 respondents and 141 were validated. Self-constructed and validated questionnaire was used for data collection. The collected and validated questionnaires were analyzed using frequency tables, while the hypotheses was tested chi-square statistical tool. The result of the findings reveals that farmers and herders conflict has to a high extent affected agricultural activities in Benue State. Furthermore, the study revealed that farmers and herders conflict contributed to food shortage in Benue State. Therefore, it is recommended that village extension agents should be employed to serve as an intermediary between the farmers and herders. There is need to create a platform that will bring all stakeholders together quarterly. To mention but a few.
Table of Content
- 1.1 Background of the Study
- 1.2 Statement of the Problem
- 1.3 Objective of the Study
- 1.4 Research Questions
- 1.5 Research Hypothesis
- 1.6 Significance of the Study
- 1.7 Scope of the Study
- 1.8 Limitation of the Study
- 1.9 Definition of Terms
- 1.10 Organizations of the Study
Review of Literature
- 2.1 Conceptual Framework
- 2.2 Theoretical Framework
- 2.3 Empirical Review
- 3.1 Research Design
- 3.2 Population of the Study
- 3.3 Sample Size Determination
- 3.4 Sample Size Selection Technique and Procedure
- 3.5 Research Instrument and Administration
- 3.6 Method of Data Collection
- 3.7 Method of Data Analysis
- 3.8 Validity of the Study
- 3.9 Reliability of the Study
- 3.10 Ethical Consideration
Data Presentation and Analysis
- 4.1 Data Presentation
- 4.2 Analysis of Data
- 4.3 Answering Research Questions
- 4.4 Test of Hypotheses
Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation
- 5.1 Summary
- 5.2 Conclusion
- 5.3 Recommendation
1.1 Background of the Study
Farmers-Herders conflicts happen to be one of the major challenges that have threatened the security and unity of the country, such that, in recent times, Nigeria recorded significant increase in the number of cases associated with natural resource conflicts. The clashes between farmers and pastoralists have become worrisome mainly in the wetland areas of the middle belt, west and central parts of the northern Nigeria. The farmer-herders conflict as it is popularly being referred, has caused major drawbacks in the growth of peace and security in communal coexistence between host communities and the herdsmen.
The farmers-herders conflict is a security issue that is complicated by various factors, one of which is the incessant increase in population, such that, as population increases, natural resources (like land, grasses, water, etc.) that are essential for the survival of local communities are overburdened and highly competed for the livelihood of humans and animals. These competitions often lead to various conflict especially between farmers and herders whose culture, livelihood and sustenance is centred on the availability of these resources. Thus, natural resource conflicts are pervasive in Africa, West African sub-region especially Nigeria where this group of people are commonly found (Gbanite, 2001).
Notwithstanding, agriculture and pastoralism have coexisted side-by-side for centuries with many herding and farming communities developing interdependent relationships through reciprocity and support. At the same time, conflicts between herders and farmers have existed for centuries which adversely affected the security of lives and properties (Chabal, Engel and Gentili 2005).
Additionally, a recent number of these disputes have escalated into widespread violence and displacement of people. In some cases, herder-farmer conflicts are articulated with other ethnic, political, and religious violence. For example, in 2004, former President Obasanjo declared a state of emergency in Plateau State, Nigeria, when farmer-herders conflict resulted in nearmutual genocide of Christians and Muslims with more than 20,000 refugees fleeing to neighbouring Cameroon (Richards, 2005). However, farmer-herder‟s conflicts are often considered local, endemic, low-intensity conflicts and not wars, they have been largely ignored in the burgeoning literature on violent conflicts in Africa and elsewhere (Lind and Sturman, 2002). According to Richards (2005a), ignoring these clashes is unwise because local conflicts may escalate into real wars that may lead to ethnic violence along the occupational boundary of farming and herding. Farmer-herders conflict disrupts not only the lives and livelihoods of those involved, they also disrupt and threaten the sustainability of agricultural and pastoral production. Furthermore, conflict is an inevitable feature of every human society and conflict over resources is not unnatural in societies where natural resources determine the means of livelihood and survival. The evolution of the human society itself attests to the fact that every individual and group in the society has experienced one form of conflict or the other, especially over resources which serves as the hub of their survival and social relations are not devoid of conflicts which usually lead to changes in social relations, adjustment and adaptation (Gefu and Kolawole, 2002). These conflicts are not only induced by scarcity of environmental resources, but are escalated by the feelings of neglect, marginalization and outright deprivation of the utilization of these resources. In a related development, conflict over resources has been found to arise as a result of scarcity, miss-management, uneven allocation of resources and environmental related issues. Naturaresources have been postulated to be the major driver of conflict, security risk, violence and civil wars in the twenty-first century and the attention of the world has shifted to the lethal roles that environmental resources play in conflict situation in the 21st century (Moritz, 2010). The reason for this postulation is the pivotal roles environmental resources play in the local and national economy of any state, irrespective of its level of modernity. Furthermore, it is a known fact that natural or environmental resources are the bulk of renewable and non-renewable stocks of material resources that exist in the natural environment that are both scarce and economically useful in production and consumption, either in their raw state or after a minimal amount of processing (WTO, 2010). These renewable resources serve as the main input in production process for both herdsmen and farmers in every clime and regions of the world. While farmers depend on land and usable water for the cultivation of arable and cash crops, and rearing of domestic animals for subsistence (personal consumption) or for commercial purposes, herdsmen heavily rely on water, safer climate and arable lands for the survival and productivity of their herds of cattle. In essence, land and water are prime renewable resources that play pivotal roles in the production process of both herdsmen and farmers. Therefore, conflict between these two groups of resource users is always centred on the scarcity, deprivation and uneven allocation of these resources in history and recent times. One of the primary roles of the state is to provide peace and security for its citizens within the nation-state, to ensure their protection against threats from outside (Naidoo, 2000). Every responsible government will treat human security and peace building concerns with utmost priority. According to Chapter II, Section 14 (b) of the Nigerian Constitution, the security and welfare of the people shall be the primary duty of government. Within the framework of global social system, human security has become a contemporary social issue for understanding globaldispositions. The supporters of human security and peace building initiative challenge the conventional notion of national security, thus, arguing that the focal point of security should be the individual. They submitted that a people centred security is quintessential for national, regional and global stability. Supporting the above, El-Baradei (2006); expressed the view that the quest of humanity for peace is not confined to one region as the search for security is still a major concern for people and nations at large. The current security picture on a global scale is not entirely free from violence as presumed, because the world has rarely been more peaceful or felt so secure. In Nigeria, the importance of internal security has been carefully articulated by Gbanite (2001); to be a situation where the citizens’ right to safety from all kinds of man-made threats are reduced considerably. It is imperative to note that the country has been facing severe security challenges over a long period of time, which resulted in an increased rate of ethnic militia in Nigeria and their continuous attacks on both the government and the citizens.
Understandably, the security situation between 2007 and 2017 in Nigeria obviously took different dimensions. These periods, however, witnessed a consistent pressure on the government by Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND), Movement for the Sovereign State of Biafra (MOSSOB), increasing spate of kidnapping in the South – East Geo – Political Zone, incessant bombings in the northern parts of Nigeria by Boko Haram group, Mehem by the Islamic assailants in Jos crisis, politically motivated killings by unscrupulous groups, herderfarmer conflicts among others (Ameh, 2008). Consequently, the inability of the managers of Nigeria’s security to address the country’s security challenges during the above period raised yet another critical question on the preparedness of Nigeria to attain desired political, social and economic heights in the year 2020. It further poses serious threats to the unity and corporate existence of Nigeria as a sovereign state.
One of the major consequences of the perennial conflict, attacks and counter-attacks between herdsmen and farmers in North Central Nigeria is massive death toll of many innocent lives and actors involved in the conflict. Olayoku (2012); noted that between the year 2006 and 2014, Nigerian Watch Database recorded 615 violent deaths related to cattle in the year 2006, 22 deaths were recorded after the herdsmen farmers conflict in 2006, 54 in 2007, 31 in 2008, 83 in 2009, 39 fatalities in 2010 and a massive increase in death toll in 2011 which puts the figure at 116, 128 deaths in 2012, 115 deaths in 2013 and a total of 27 deaths was recorded in 2014. Similarly, 11 villagers were killed and two villages bunt down due to what Binniyat (2016); called, the vengeance mission of the herdsmen on Godogodo Chiefdom in Jema‟a Local Government Area in Southern part of Kaduna State. Also, in Plateau State, a First-Class Traditional Ruler, Sir Lazarus Agai, his driver and police men were killed on their way from farm on 17th October, 2016 (Owuamanam, 2016). On 25th April, 2016, seven villages in UkpabiNimbo town a border town in Uzo Uwani in Enugu State were attacked by over 500 heavily armed Fulani herdsmen who killed over 48 villagers and left many injured (Ikenwa and Adeyemi, 2016). Also, between February 8 and July 17, 604 farmers and locals were killed in Agatu, Guma, Logo and Tarkaa Local Government Area of Benue State. The Institute of Economics and Peace (2015) which rated the Fulani militant as the fourth deadliest terrorist group in the world as at 2014 Global Terrorism Index report records the dramatic increase in the attacks by Fulani Militants from 2010 to 2013 with 80 deaths recorded to a skyrocketing increase in the death toll to 1,229 in 2014 alone. Unlike deaths from BokoHaram which are mainly in the North, majority of the deaths accruable from herdsmen farmers conflict occurred majorly in the North Central and some of the North Western, Eastern and some Southern States in Nigeria. The increasing number of reports of violence at this stage makes understanding herder-farmer conflicts an urgent task. There is need to know not only the cause of the conflict, but also the nature of the conflict (religious, ethnic, and political undertones). Perhaps the most crucial question is why the conflict between herders and farmers has escalated into widespread violence. The implication of the conflict for Nigeria‟s national security cannot be over emphasized. The humanitarian, economic, and social consequences of the conflict have been Mani folding and telling. The attendant security and livelihood crises threaten the collective subsistence and survival of the affected populations. There are also other externalities, such as diminution of agricultural productivity and decline in household capital, all of which do not augur well for societal and national sustainability. It suffices, therefore, to say that the farmer/herder conflict in Nigeria is inimical to human security, and by extension, national security in Nigeria. Consequently, given the persistent destruction and negative effect of farmers and herders conflict in the economy, this work analysed the security management strategies employed and the social wellbeing of the citizenry as well as how these strategies can be improved upon, so as to bring the conflict to an end or to its barest minimum.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Farmer-herder conflicts have existed since early beginning of agriculture in Africa (Fratkin, 1997). But it‟s continued evolving violent nature against the backdrop of social differences, resource scarcity, increase in the population of resource users, lack of adequate grazing reserves and poor state of the existing ones, unequal resource distribution and poor level of governance. The current state of the North Central region pictures what Robert Kaplan (1994) explained as “the coming anarchy”. Farmer-herder conflicts are among the key manifestations of this anarchy and this is premised on the socio-political composition of the country.
In recent times, states in Nigeria’s north Central states rocked by lingering attacks attributable to the farmers-herders conflict, a new wave of violence which primarily stems from disputes over grazing areas for cattle. Attacks in villages in northeast states has resulted in several deaths, communities razed, buildings destroyed, such that the state emergency agency says over 40,000 people have been displaced by the attacks. Incessant resource-based conflicts between farmers and herdsmen if not checkmated could undoubtedly undermine food security delivery as well as the peaceful coexistence of the citizenry (Adogi, 2013).
Hence, it is hereby posited that the investigation on the impact of security management strategies on farmer-herders conflict in the North Central cannot be overemphasized. The conflict if not addressed in a strategic manner in North Central States that is known as the “food basket” because of its rich agricultural produce, would exacerbate food insecurity and may become endemic in the country for a long time. Hence there is much to be done in order to achieve permanent peace in the North Central.
1.4 Objectives of the Study
The general objectives of the study is to appraise conflict and food security: effects of insecurity on agricultural productivity in Benue State Nigeria.
Specific objectives are:
- Ascertain the prevalence of farmers and herders conflict in Benue State of Nigeria.
- Find out the extent farmers and herders conflict has affected agricultural activities in Benue State of Nigeria.
- Investigate whether farmers and herders conflict have contributed to food shortagein Benue State of Nigeria.
- Ascertain whether farmers and herders conflict have contributed to increase in the price of food itemsin Benue State of Nigeria.
1.4 Research Questions
The study will be guided by the following questions;
- What is the extent of the prevalence of farmers and herders conflict in Benue State of Nigeria?
- To what extent has farmers and herders conflict affected agricultural activities in Benue State of Nigeria?
- Has farmers and herders conflict contributed to food shortage in Benue State of Nigeria?
- Has farmers and herders conflict contributed to increase in the price of food items in Benue State of Nigeria?
1.5 Research Hypothesis
Ho: Farmers and herders conflict has no significant effect on food security in the Benue State of Nigeria.
Ha: Farmers and herders conflict has a significant effect on food security in the Benue State of Nigeria.
1.6 Significance of the Study
The causes and effects of farmer-herders conflict has attracted considerable theoretical and empirical analyses, but the security management strategies is an aspect of the farmers-herders conflict that will lead to the conflicts‟ resolution. As a result, this study will contribute to the academic debate on the various forms of security management strategies adopted in resolving the farmer-herders conflict in Northeast of Nigeria.
The researcher, is thus embarking on this study to analyse the effectiveness of the existing security management strategies in resolving the conflict between farmers and herders by identifying the very problem and provide possible solutions to achieving a lasting peaceful coexistence. This research will also help government to formulate policies that will help in addressing and proffering solution to the problems. This is because existing policies failed to address its weakness in respect to enforcement as well as the implementation processes.
1.7 Scope of the Study
The scope of this study is to appraise conflict and food security: effects of insecurity on agricultural productivity in Benue State Nigeria. The study will be delimited or carried out in Benue State. Hence, the respondents will be obtained from Logo local government in Benue state.
1.8 Limitation of the study
Like in every human endeavour, the researchers encountered slight constraints while carrying out the study. The significant constraint was the scanty literature on the subject owing to the nature of the discourse thus the researcher incurred more financial expenses and much time was required in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature, or information and in the process of data collection, which is why the researcher resorted to a limited choice of sample size. Additionally, the researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. More so, the choice of the sample size was limited as few respondent were selected to answer the research instrument hence cannot be generalize to other secondary schools. However, despite the constraint encountered during the research, all factors were downplayed in other to give the best and make the research successful.
1.9 Definition of Terms
A serious disagreement or argument, typically a protracted one
Conflict Management Strategy:
A plan of actions geared towards resolving security issues and achieving a state of peaceful co-existence of people or state.
A person who cultivates land or crops or raises animals (such as livestock or fish)
A person who manages, breeds, or tends to livestock
An age long violent disagreements between pastoral and agrarian communities and settlements.
Internally Displaced Persons (IDP):
An IDP is someone who is forced to flee his or her home but who remains within his or her country’s borders. They are often referred to as refugees, although they do not fall within the legal definitions of a refugee.
1.10 Organization of the Study
The study is categorized into five chapters. The first chapter presents the background of the study, statement of the problem, objective of the study, research questions and hypothesis, the significance of the study, scope/limitations of the study, and definition of terms. The chapter two covers the review of literature with emphasis on conceptual framework, theoretical framework, and empirical review. Likewise, the chapter three which is the research methodology, specifically covers the research design, population of the study, sample size determination, sample size, abnd selection technique and procedure, research instrument and administration, method of data collection, method of data analysis, validity and reliability of the study, and ethical consideration. The second to last chapter being the chapter four presents the data presentation and analysis, while the last chapter(chapter five) contains the summary, conclusion and recommendation.
Summary, Conclusions and Recommendations:
This chapter summarizes the findings on conflict and food security: effects of insecurity on agricultural productivity in Benue State Nigeria using Logo local government of as a case study. The chapter consists of summary of the study, conclusions, and recommendations.
5.2 Summary of the Study
In this study, our focus was to examine conflict and food security: effects of insecurity on agricultural productivity in Benue State Nigeria using Logo local government of Benue state as a case study. The study specifically was aimed at to ascertain the prevalence of farmers and herders conflict in Benue State, find out the extent farmers and herders conflict has affected agricultural activities in Benue State, investigate whether farmers and herders conflict have contributed to food shortage in Benue State, and ascertain whether farmers and herders conflict have contributed to increase in the price of food items in Benue State.
The study adopted the survey research design and randomly enrolled participants in the study. A total of 141 responses were validated from the enrolled participants where all respondents were Farmers in Logo local government of Benue State.
Based on the findings of this study, the researcher made the following conclusion.
- There is a high extent of the prevalence of farmers and herders conflict in Benue State.
- Farmers and herders conflict has to a high extent affected agricultural activities in Benue State.
- Farmers and herders conflict contributed to food shortage in Benue State.
- Farmers and herders conflict contributed to increase in the price of food items in Benue State.
Based on the findings of the study, the following recommendations are proffered.
- Village extension agents should be employed to serve as an intermediary between the farmers and herders. There is need to create a platform that will bring all stakeholders together quarterly.
- Government should investigate the report of traditional rulers and local government officials who engaged in corrupt practices of selling grazing areas and cattle routes, to take necessary action to prevent its reoccurrences.
- There is the need to revisit the existing 1964 grazing reserves act and 1978 land tenure act to accommodate land ownership, usage and control by farmers and herders.
- There is the need to adopt some mitigating strategies such as alternative dispute resolutions, provision of relief materials, arrest and prosecution of the offenders, in managing the intensity of the conflicts.
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