Effect Of Fulani-Herdsmen And Farmers Crisis On Food Security

Project and Seminar Material for Criminology And Security Studies

Effect Of Fulani-Herdsmen And Farmers Crisis On Food Security


Crop farmers and Cattle herders‟ conflicts have remained the most prevailing recourse conflict in Abraka L.G.A, Delta State especially in Abraka L.G.A, Delta state. Social and economic factors continue to inflame violent conflicts. The study objectives were narrowed down to investigating the cause of Fulani herdsmen and farmers conflict and the effect on food security. Both qualitative and quantitative methods of data collections were used. The respondents were drawn using purposive, multi stage and snowball sampling methods in the four selected Villages. Information was elicited using structured questionnaire. The quantitative data collected were subjected to both descriptive (frequency count and percentage) and inferential (T. test) statistical analysis while the qualitative data were analysed in a thematic form. The study concludes that crop farmers and cattle herders’ conflict instigate a loss of livelihoods to both groups and contributes to low agricultural output production. Therefore, it is in the interest of the State to address the genuine needs of the cattle herders for availability of grazing land, resolve the recurring conflicts in the agricultural sector that provides employment to reasonable portion of the country’s population. The study finally recommends that farmers should adopt intensive cultivation by using improved seeds and farm inputs.

Table Of Content

Preliminary Page(s)

  • Title Page
  • Declaration
  • Approval
  • Dedication
  • Acknowledgement
  • Abstract
  • Table of Content

Chapter One:


  • 1.1 Background to the study
  • 1.2 Research problem
  • 1.3 Objective of the study
  • 1.4 Research Question
  • 1.5 Research hypothesis
  • 1.6 Scope and significance
  • 1.7 Organisation of the study

Chapter Two:

Literature Review

  • 2.1 Conceptual Framework
  • 2.2 Theoretical Literature
  • 2.3 Empirical Literature
  • 2.4 Evaluation of literature reviewed

Chapter Three:

Research Methodology

  • 3.1 Research Design
  • 3.2 Population
  • 3.3 Sampling and sampling technique
  • 3.4 Data collection
  • 3.5 Data Analysis
  • 3.6 Limitation of the method
  • 3.7 Justification of the study

Chapter Four:

Data Analysis and Findings

  • 4.1 Presentation of research data
  • 4.2 Analysis of (Research) data and Results/findings
  • 4.3 Testing of Hypothesis or Answering of research question
  • 4.4 Interpretation of Results
  • 4.5 Discussion of finding

Chapter Five:

Summary, Conclusion and Recommendations

  • 5.1 Summary of the work
  • 5.2 Major findings and Conclusion
  • 5.3 Recommendation
  • References
  • Appendix

Chapter One


1.1 Background of the Study

The Fula people also known as Fulani in Hausalanguage, are a mass population widely dispersed and culturally diverse in all of Africa, but most predominant in West Africa. The Fulani’s generally speak the Fula language. A significant number of them are nomadic in nature, herding cattle, goats and sheep across the vast dry grass lands of their environment, keeping isolate from the local farming communities, making them the world’s largest pastoral nomadic group (Eyekpimi, 2016). They are massively spread over many countries, and are found mainly in West Africa and northern parts of Central Africa, but also in Sudan and Egypt. The main Fulani sub-groups in Nigeria are: Fulbe Adamawa, Fulbe Mbororo, Fulbe Sokoto, Fulbe Gombe, and the Fulbe Borgu (Eyekpimi, 2016).

Nigeria as a nation state is under a severe internal socio-economic and security threat. At a more general level, the threat has special economic, political and environmental dimensions. Each of these dimensions has greatly affected the nation’s stability and can be traced to the Fulani-herdsmen and farmers clash, ethnic militant armies, ethnic and religious conflicts, poverty, insurgency, armed robbery, corruption, economic sabotage and environmental degradation (Damba, 2007).

Food security is a condition related to the supply of food, and individuals’ access to it. Concerns over food security have existed throughout history. There is evidence of Granaries being in use over 10,000 years ago, with central authorities in civilizations including ancient China and ancient Egypt being known to release food from storage in times of famine (Illufoye, 2009). At the 1974 World Food Conference the term “food security” was defined with an emphasis on supply. Food security, they said, is the “availability at all times of adequate world food supplies of basic foodstuffs to sustain a steady expansion of food consumption and to offset fluctuations in production and prices” (United Nations, 2013). Later definitions added demand and access issues to the definition. The final report of the 1996 World Food Summit states that food security “exists when all people, at all times, have physical and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food to meet their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life” (United Nations, 2015).

Household food security exists when all members, at all times, have access to enough food for an active, healthy life (USDA, 2008). Individuals who are food secure do not live in hunger or fear of starvation (FAO, 2006). Food insecurity, on the other hand, is a situation of “limited or uncertain availability of nutritionally adequate and safe foods or limited or uncertain ability to acquire acceptable foods in socially acceptable ways”, according to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) (2008). Food security incorporates a measure of resilience to future disruption or unavailability of critical food supply due to various risk factors including droughts, shipping disruptions, fuel shortages, economic instability and wars (Boeing, 2016). In the years 2011-2017 (FAO, 2017), an estimated 842 million people were suffering from chronic hunger (FAO, 2017). The Food and Agriculture Organiation of the United Nations, or FAO, identified the four pillars of food security as availability, access, utilization, and stability (FAO, 2009). The United Nations (UN) recognized the Right to Food in the Declaration of Human Rights in 1948, (United Nations, 2015) and has since noted that it is vital for the enjoyment of all other rights (United Nations, 2015).

Violent conflict and crisis in Nigeria, like other parts of the world, have created a rift in human relations, caused serious threat to food security, among many other effects (Basil, 2015). Crisis is inevitable as long as we live together, especially in a multi-ethnic, cultural and religious community like Nigeria. However violence leaves us with various forms of retardation and underdevelopment resulting from the destruction of lives, farmland and property. The menaces of violent crisis conflict have been on the increase in some most Nigerian cities in the last two decades (Ilufoye, 2009). Most of these conflicts are generally regarded as ethno-religious bigotry and antagonism.

According to Kassam (2014) and Basil (2015), the conflicts in most part of Nigeria especially the Fulani herdsmen and farmers clash are largely uncalled for. Farmers can no longer farm peacefully because of Fulani herdsmen. These Fulani herdsmen and farmers clash have pitched Christians and Muslims against each other. The conflict has had devastating effects on inter-group relationships especially in Nasarawa Egor in Nasarawa State and Agatu L.G.A of Benue State. Apart from the loss of lives, farmlands, food produce and property, it has profound influence on residential relationships, leading to new trends in the polarization of communities. This is evident in a physical manifestation of mono religious areas in Nasarawa and Benue States, with Christians and Muslims living in dominant religious clusters(Eyekpemi, 2016).

Recent studies conducted by Basil (2015) and Ekpeyemi (2016) have shown that, serious conflict erupt between Fulani herdsmen and farmers leading to loss of lives, valuable properties and destruction of vast expanse of arable agricultural farmlands thereby posing serious threat to food security since farmers for fear of attack could no longer go to farm and harvest their farm produce. The recent attacks by Fulani herdsmen is on the increase, with the most recent attacks in June 2016 occurring in Ossissa community in Ndokwa East and Abraka community in Ethiope East Local Government Areas of Delta State and three more communities (Ugondo, Turan, Gabo Nenzev) in Logo Local Government Area, Benue State, total killings involving no fewer than 60 persons (Ekpeyemi, 2016). The Federal Government recently ordered an inquiry, military crackdown on the group and affirmed its plans to establish cattle ranches as a solution to the frequent clashes between Fulani herdsmen and farmers in Nigeria (Basil, 2015). In recent times, the killings recorded by Fulani herdsmen and farmers clash has rampaged most communities displacing them of their farmlands and loss of their major source of livelihood. This is becoming unbearable with the Fulani herdsmen always having their ways leaving the farmers at their mercy. Farmers now go to farm armed with weapons for defense in case of attack (Ekpeyemi, 2016).

Recently, several deaths and casualties have been recorded in series of clash between Fulnai herdsmen and farmers. Most people attribute the clash between Fulani Herdsmen and Farmers to religious differences between the Muslims or Islam’s and the Christians(Basil, 2015). Several farmlands have been destroyed due to conflict erupting between farmers and herdsmen. Herdsmen attribute the roots of the crisis to religious differences resulting in the killing of their cows while the farmers see the herdsmen as a threat to their crops and agricultural produce since the herdsmen allow their cows to feed on the farmer crops. Evidences have shown that herdsmen and farmers clash in several parts of Nigeria especially in the Nassarawa, Delta, Edo, and Benue states could be due to differences in religious background between the herdsmen and farmers. Several lives and farmlands been destroyed in this crisis (Ekpeyemi, 2016). Recently, in Abraka Fulani herdsmen attacked farmers at the farm and claimed one life which prompted the indigenes of Abraka to riot. It was due to this saga that the Ovie of Abraka Kingdom (HRM Akpomedaye Majoroh II) declared state of emergency on the 23rd of April, 2017 on the Fulani herdsmen and farmers clash in a bid to restore peace to the community. It is against this background that this study is conducted to investigate the effects of Fulani herdsmen-farmers crisis on food security in Abraka region.

1.2 Statement of the Problem

Nigeria is seriously threatened by Fulani herdsmen and farmers crisis and therefore, considered to be a major potential threat affecting Nigerians mostly on the part of socio-economic activities of the country (Egodi, 2010). The Fulani herdsmen and farmers crisis is posing a serious obstacle to a successful national economy. Fulani herdsmen and farmers has become a major threat to the national security and development of Nigeria due to the fact that its increased operation has caused diversion and removed government attention on some key areas of the economy, as huge amount of human and material resources are channeled into curbing the menace (Egodi, 2010).

Conflict is a great predicament in any human society, and most times, it is predictable. In fact, history indicates that conflict is an on-going process in human relations and may occur within and among groups and communities. In the case of Nigeria, the frequent occurrence of Fulani herdsmen and farmers crisis has left adverse effects on food security and socio-economic development of the people (Damba, 2007). In the course of these conflicts, farmers have at certain times, taken up weapons to counter the attacks from the Fulani herdsmen, claiming to do so in self-defense. The study conducted by Kassam (2016) gave an overview of the general concept and causes of conflicts in Nigeria and, advocates for ethical principles such as the common solidarity of humanity by origin, forgiveness and tolerance that could engender cordiality and understanding rather than sustained hostility and suspicion in Fulani herdsmen and farmers relation in Nigeria.

Fulani herdsmen and farmers crisis no doubt have negative impact on the lives, property, food security and educational development in Nigeria. Though, there is the dearth of quantitative evaluation of the catastrophic attacks, available statistics has it that between June 2015 to December, 2016 Human Rights Watch in 2017, reported a total death toll of 65 persons in more than 24 attacks. It was also reported that an estimate of 50 people were killed in Nasarawa Egor (Nasarawa State) and Agatu/Logo (Benue State) in the June 2016 and recently lives were claimed in Abraka in the April 23rd 2017 crisis between Fulani herdsmen and farmers. Fulani herdsmen attack apart from the loss of lives has also led to the destruction of arable farmland and valuable properties worth several billions of naira.

The above scenario has dire consequences for sustainable and educational development in the regions of attack in particular and Nigeria in general. In the regions where the Fulani herdsmen and farmers crisis is pervasive and the property destroyed potentially and in real terms, drag their economic fortune back by several steps. Besides the property destroyed, economic life in those regions is automatically grounded to a halt. People are no longer free to go about their farming, economic and educational activities for fear of being killed. This is made worse as several thousands of people have migrated swiftly to other parts of Nigeria. The overall implication for sustainable development is that the farming, economic and educational activities are fast deteriorating. The murderous campaigns and vicious onslaughts on individuals and institutions provide highly unfavorable business environment for internal and foreign investment, which is a major factor in the achievement of sustainable development (Damba, 2007).

Another major problem posed by Fulani and herdsmen and farmers clash is that farming activities in some parts of Nigeria has been put to a halt. Farmers within this region find it hard to go to their farms as well as to get enough food crops to the market thereby, increasing price of commodity in the market. The government has spent huge amount of money on the renovation of buildings, and infrastructures that has been destroyed by these religious conflicts. Also, huge amount of funds from the country’s budget has been spent on the compensation of families who have lost their loved ones to the Fulani-herdsmen and farmers crisis. Also, huge amount of money is being spent on the acquisition weapons, ammunition in other to equip the military to handle the situation on ground. All these have affected Nigeria’s economy.

Again, in Abraka the recent Fulani-herdsmen and farmers clash which took place on 23rd April, 2017 at Abraka reserve have caused serious damage to farmlands, claimed life and disrupt the socio-economic activities of the people of people leading to increase in the price of food items and commodities. Problems emanated from fear of Fulani herdsmen since people can no longer go to farms and walk at night. This has disrupted the peaceful coexistence of the Hausa people and indigenes of Abraka community. All these have form the basis for the problem stated in this study, and this research work focuses on the effects of Fulani herdsmen-farmers crisis on food security in Abraka region.

1.3 Objectives of the Study

The aim of this study is to examine the effects of Fulani herdsmen crisis on food security in Nigeria. The overall purpose of the study is to analyze the effect of Fulani herdsmen crisis on food security in the country. Specifically, the objectives of the study include to;

  1. Assess the causes of the Fulani herdsmen and farmers crisis in the middle belt.
  2. Evaluate the effect of Fulani herdsmen and farmers crisis on food security in Nigeria

1.4 Research Question

The following research questions are formulated to guide this research:

  1. What are the causes of Fulani herdsmen and farmers crisis on food security in Nigeria?
  2. What is the effect of Fulani herdsmen and farmers crisis on food security in Nigeria?

1.5 Research Hypothesis

  1. HO1 There is no significant difference between farmers and Fulani perception of the causes of Fulani – Herdsmen and farmers clashes in Nigeria.
  2. HO2 There is no significant difference between farmers and Fulani perception of the effects (social and economic) of Fulani – Herdsmen and farmers clashes in Nigeria.

1.6 Scope of the study

The study remains a research on Fulani herdsmen and farmers crisis on food security in Nigeria: case study of Abraka L.G.A, Delta state. Therefore the scope of this project is limited to Abraka L.G.A, Delta state. The time period analyzed was a year 2018, because the year opened up a major crisis in Abraka L.G.A, Delta state.

1.7 Significance of the study

This study is basically produced to fulfill an academic requirement. Nevertheless, it is hoped that it would go a long way to encourage more meaningful development efforts on issues relating to the effects of Fulani herdsmen-farmers crisis on food security in Abraka region.

This study is not intended to break an entire new ground, rather, it is undertaken in the premise that it will add to the existing literature in the area of geography. In addition this study is very necessary especially at this point of Nigeria’s development, when there is massive increase in the need to map and study the infrastructural development of an area.

This work is expected to guide geographers, educationists, scientists, planners, engineers, architects, environmentalists, etc, and all those whose livelihood are affected to gain understanding of how Fulani herdsmen-farmers crisis can affect food security. However, the findings will also provide useful background information to future research in the contribution of geography education towards nation building.

1.8 Study area

Abraka lies approximately on latitude 050 481 North of the equator and on longitude 06o 061 east of the Greenwich meridian. It is situated at the Eastern Bank of River Ethiope in Ethiope East Local Government Area of Delta State in the Niger Delta zone of Southern Nigeria. It is bounded to the North by Orhionwon Local Government Area of Edo State, and to the East and South by Ukwani Local Government Area and the Ughelli North Local Government Area respectively and lastly, the Ika Local Government Area bounds her western boundary. The region of Abraka has a total land area of 21.2 square kilometer (Akinbode and Ugbomeh, 2006).

The boundary, size and location of Abraka is such that favours cattle grazing and farm practices at the same time. This has prompted Fulani herdsmen to migrate from the north to Abraka for cattle grazing which has in turn resulted to serious clash between herdsmen and farmers in various quarters that make up Abraka clan. This crisis in recent times has led to increase in food items and food insecurity in Abraka.

1.9 Organisation Of The Study

This research work is organized in five chapters, for easy understanding it is broken down as follows:

  • Chapter one kicks off with the introduction, which consists of the background of the study, statement of the problem, objectives of the study, research hypothesis, scope and significance of the study.
  • Chapter two begins with the conceptual framework on which the study is based, the theoretical literatures and also the empirical literature and thus the review of related literature.
  • Chapter three deals on the research design, the population of the state used as a case study, the sample size and the sampling techniques used, the data collected, data analysis and the limitations of the method used.
  • Chapter four concentrate on the data collection and analysis, interpretation and presentation of finding.
  • Chapter five gives summary, conclusion, and recommendations made of the study.

Chapter Five

Summary, Conclusion And Recommendation

5.1 Summary of the Work

This study titled effect of Fulani herdsmen crisis on food security in Nigeria as conducted in three local government areas (that is, Ajili, Gugulin, Beti A, and Beti B) in Abraka L.G.A, Delta State was set to assess the causes of the farmer Fulani herdsmen crisis in the middle belt and evaluate the effect of the farmer Fulani herdsmen crisis on food security in the study area. A total of 100 structured questionnaires were administered and 80 were retrieved. In-depth interview were used to support quantitative data.

The study revealedthat the major causes of Fulani – Herdsmen and farmers clashes in Nigeria are destruction of crops, harassment of nomads by host youths, disregard for traditional authority, stray cattle, sexual harassment of women by nomads and Indiscriminate bush burning and theft of cattle. This result agrees with the findings of Okereke (2012) and Bello (2013) who listed the causes of the conflict to include theft of cattle, destruction of crops, rape of women, and indiscriminate bush burning. The study also revealed that the major social effect of the Fulani herdsmen crisis are loss of human life, sexual harassment of human life, acquiring of weapons/arms, reduction in quality of social relationship, reduction of social support and high cases of rape. The major economic effect of the Fulani herdsmen crisis are reduction in output and income of farmers/nomads, loss of produce in storage, displacement of farmers, scarcity of agricultural products, loss of house and properties and infrastructural damages. The result agrees with the findings of Nweze (2005) and Bello (2013).

Findings on hypotheses testing revealed in hypothesis 1 that there is a positive effect existing between farmers and Fulani herdsmen clashes on food production in Nigeria. This implies that the farmers and Fulani perception of the causes of Fulani – Herdsmen and farmers clashes in Nigeria were almost the same. The finding agreed with the conclusion of Nweze (2005) who concluded that the farmers’ and Fulani’s’ perception of the causes of Fulani – Herdsmen and farmers clashes in Nigeria are similar. Also finding on hypothesis 2 and 3 revealed that significant differences existed between farmers and Fulani perception of the social effects and economic effects of Fulani – Herdsmen and farmers clashes in Nigeria. The finding agreed with the findings of Ofuoke and Isife (2009) who concluded that significant differences existed between farmers and Fulani perception of the social effects and economic effects of Fulani – Herdsmen and farmers’ clashes in Nigeria.

5.2 Conclusion

It is clear that crop farmers and cattle herder’s conflicts in Abraka L.G.A, Delta state centered on the cattle owners and crop farmers. The population of both crop farmers and Cattle herders is rapidly increasing but land remains fixed. These causes are seen in terms of competition on land and cattle trespass.

Periodical struggle for scarce resources has degenerated into violent conflicts in Abraka L.G.A, Delta state between crop farmers and cattle herders. These conflicts have become more intense and destructive. Since most of the cattle herders do not own or possess the rights to land, they therefore depend absolutely on open land to feed their cattle. Government policies on agriculture, especially the all-year fadama farming, are threats to cattle herders’ access to pasture. However, additional farms acquired and encroachments of traditional cattle routes have drastically reduced the grazing space for the livestock to access pasture areas and water points. Furthermore, the use of police and courts to resolve conflicts between cattle herders and crop farmers by government has been ineffective. This has contributed to the frequency of the clashes. All these have instigate insecurity that have encouraged the conflicting parties to take responsibility for their own security and to defend themselves, which is a threat to the sustainability of the federation. Therefore, it is in the interest of the State to end the land encroachment and take concrete steps to address the genuine needs of cattle herders for availability of grazing land, resolve the re-occurring conflicts in the agricultural sector, which currently provides employment to large population of country.

5.3 Recommendation

The findings showed that the destruction of crops, harassment of nomads by host youths, disregard for traditional authority, stray cattle, sexual harassment of women by nomads as the major causes of the conflicts. The study, therefore, recommends that Abraka L.G.A, Delta state and the country in general should formulate a policy that will reclaim the encroached cattle routes and create more. In addition, water points and open farm land for grazing by the cattle should be separated from that of farmers so as to avoid friction. As loss of properties and lives were revealed as the highest consequences. The study recommends that the religious leaders, traditional leaders, farmers/cattle herders‟ associations should make more efforts in preaching the implications of the conflict on the people and the community in general. All stakeholders can only operate optimally while carrying out their economic activities in a peaceful environment. This will result in the expansion of cropped area and motivate higher cropping intensity and problem free environment. This breeds economic sustainability of land resources use and empowers the farming communities to take responsibility for their own development plan.

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