Farmers And Herdsmen Clashes; Bolstering Agricultural Development Through The Instrumentality Of Law

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Farmers And Herdsmen Clashes; Bolstering Agricultural Development Through The Instrumentality Of Law


Abstract


This study was carried out on farmers and herdsmen clashes; bolstering agricultural development through the instrumentality of law. Socioeconomic impacts of herdsmen and Farmers conflicts are problems of concern especially in Africa where competition over resources forms the basis of such conflicts as well as other related crises. The study was conducted in Kwara State, Nigeria. Lying in the middle belt of Nigeria.

Descriptive survey design involving mixed methods was used. Self-made Closed ended questionnaire and Structured Interview Guide were the data collection instruments used. Four-stage cluster random sampling procedure was used to select respondents for the research. Probit analysis was used to determine the influence of respondents’ socio economic characteristics on their coping strategies.

The study concluded that Farmer-herdsmen conflicts have persisted for far too long and the various strategies adopted by both groups have brought little or no progress in dousing the tide and impacts of the conflicts. It is important for both groups to adopt more realistic coping strategies. This study recommended that there is need for educational intervention in farmer-herdsmen conflict. This could be achieved by creating better awareness of land use regulations among farmers and herdsmen.


Table Of Contents


Preliminary Page(s)

  • Title page
  • Certification page
  • Dedication
  • Acknowledgement
  • Abstract
  • Table of content

Chapter One:

Introduction

  • 1.1 Background to the Study
  • 1.2 Statement of the Problem
  • 1.3 Objectives of the study
  • 1.4 Research questions
  • 1.5 Significance of the study
  • 1.6 Scope of the study
  • 1.7 Limitation of the study

Chapter Two:

Literature Review

  • 2.1 Arable cropping in Nigeria
  • 2.2 The cattle herding system in Nigeria
  • 2.3 Thematic Exposition of Fulani Herdsmen-Farmers Clashes
  • 2.4 History of Fulani Herdsmen and Farmers Clashes in Nigeria
  • 2.5 Causes of Farmers-Herdsmen Conflicts
  • 2.6 Effects of Farmers-Herdsmen Conflicts on National Integration
  • 2.7 Causes of farmer-herdsmen conflict
  • 2.8 Economic Effects of the Fulani Herdsmen-Farmer Clashes
  • 2.9 Theoretical Framework of Analysis
  • 2.10 Empirical incidents of Farmers-Herdsmen Conflicts in Nigeria

Chapter Three:

Methodology

  • 3.1 Research design
  • 3.2 Area of study
  • 3.3 Sources of Data
  • 3.4 Population of the study
  • 3.5 Sampling procedure
  • 3.6 Collection of data
  • 3.7 Method of data analysis
  • 3.8 Ethical consideration

Chapter Four:

Results And Discussion

  • 4.1 Result
  • 4.2 Discussion

Chapter Five:

Conclusion And Recommendations

  • 5.1 Conclusion
  • 5.2 Recommendations
  • References

Chapter One


Introduction

Land is probably the most important resource needed by Man for his day-to-day existence. All human livelihoods and activities are directly or indirectly dependent on land at varying thresholds. But land connotes different meanings to the various user groups. For instance, builders, manufacturers, fishermen, miners, hunters and farmers have different specifications in their requirement for land for their production/services. Out of all user groups, agricultural production perhaps exhibits the highest form of sophistication in its use of land. Not only must agricultural land be capable of supplying crop-specific nutrients and water; soil temperature, structure, texture and p-h levels are inevitable requisites in the choice of land for agricultural production activities. Yet, land is a limited, somewhat scarce, resource with both artificial and natural access and usage barriers.

There is no doubt that the former Jonathan administration scored good marks in the area of agriculture. However, recent developments, especially the frequent clashes between herdsmen and farmers in the predominantly farming areas of the six geo-political regions which have resulted in the destruction of lives and farmlands have become a major threat to efforts to boost food production. From Benue to Taraba, Nasarawa and Plateau in the North Central region and Zamfara and Kaduna States in the North West, Enugu, Anambra, Abia in the South-East, Delta and Edo in the South-south, clashes between farmers and herdsmen have left in its trail heavy losses of lives and property. These losses of lives have adversely affected farming activities and other related businesses.

This has resulted in a drastic reduction in farm outputs, a development that has heightened the fear of hunger. Already most farmers in the affected states have abandoned farms for fear of being attacked by the herdsmen. For the predominantly farming communities of Benue and border communities of Nasarawa and Taraba states, farming is no longer business as usual. Several farmers have been displaced and dispossessed of their farms by armed men believed to be Fulani herdsmen.

Agricultural and development experts are unanimous in their predictions that the gains recorded in the agricultural sector of the economy, especially in the area of food production, may suffer a serious setback as a result of the negative effects of terrorist activities on farmers in Benue and neighbouring states. Already, seven out of the 23 local governments in Benue state, namely Guma, Gwer-West, Agatu, Logo, Kwande and the Northern part of Makurdi mostly affected by the rampaging herdsmen have tale of woes to tell. The effects of the sustained Fulani war in the affected localities have led to farmers’ reluctance to go back to their farms even as the current farming season is far gone.

In Benue state, for example, women from Guma and Gwer west local governments have stayed away from farms for fear of being killed or raped by the marauders. Curiously, both groups are pointing accusing fingers, each blaming the other for the havoc being perpetrated in the farming communities. As the blame game continues, several reprisal attacks have continued to occur in the attacks, heavy casualties in human lives and properties are recorded on both sides. According to Tyohmba(2014),government and analysts believe that the rising livestock population and encroachment on grazing lands were some of the causes of the clashes. Statistics have shown that in Nigeria, only 141grazing reserves have been gazettes with less than 20 equipped with resources for pastoralists. A proposed National grazing Route and Reserve Commission, if established, would acquire and manage parcels of land across the 36 states of Nigeria for the purpose of providing pastures for these nomads and their herds of cattle. This proposal will help in returning farmers to their farm lands thereby check mating food insecurity in Nigeria. States affected by these frequent clashes are making moves to find lasting solutions, just as similar efforts are being made at the federal level.

The vital role of agriculture in the development of conflicts between pastoralists and farmers have been noted as an example of Low Intensity Conflict emanating from environmental degradation, resource scarcity, demographic and climate change (Shettima and Tar, 2008). Within the West African sub-region, a large section of the population depend on the production of livestock and crops production for their livelihood and survival, more than 12 million people in West Africa depend on the production of livestock and crop production as their primary means of support whereas over 70 million people in the same region also depend on livestock and crop production related enterprises for their livelihood, farmers and pastoralists interdepend on each other for survival. The Fulani own over ninety percent of the livestock population which accounts for one-third of agricultural GDP and 3.2% of the entire GDP in Nigeria (Fabiyi&Otunuga, 2016 cited in Ajibefun, 2018).

However, the Fulani herders in most cases settled in fertile areas to rear their cattle and when the migration continued to be dictated by economic and socio-political factors, increased trends of conflicts between the herders and their host communities (farmers) escalated. Pastoralists move their herds to graze on farmlands belonging to crop farmers and also acquire the food stuffs produced by crop farmers. Farmers on the other hand require from pastoralists protein and dairy products. The survival of pastoralists is dependent upon their interaction with sedentary people. Thus both farmers and pastoralists depend on each other for water, fodder, land and other resources (Monod, 1975).

The resultant increase in competition for arable land has often times led to serious manifestation of hostilities and social friction among the two usergroups in many parts of Nigeria. The conflicts have not only heightened the level of insecurity, but have also demonstrated high potential to exacerbate the food crisis in Nigeria and other affected countries due to loss of farmer lives, animals, crops and valuable properties (Cotulaet al.,. 2004 cited in Adisa and Adekunle, 2010).The relationship existing between farmers and pastoralists therefore makes conflicts inevitable as competing interest arises over the use of natural resources. These conflicts are occasioned by the seasonal weather conditions which forces pastoralists to move from the semi-arid areas in search of pastures further south, which results in competition over access to available land for crop cultivation and grazing pastures for the cattle.

Farmer-herdsmen conflict has rem the most preponderant resource-use conflict in Nigeria (Ajuwon, 2004; Fasona and Omojola, 2005 cited in Rashid, 2012). The necessity to provide food of crop and animal origin, as well as raw materials for industry and export in order to meet evergrowing demands, has led to both “intensification and extensification” of land use (Nyong and Fiki, 2005 cited in Rashi, 2012). The competition between these two agricultural land user-groups, however, has often times turned into serious overt and covert manifestation of hostilities and social friction in many parts of Nigeria. The conflicts have demonstrated high potential to exacerbate the insecurity and food crisis particularly in rural communities where most of the conflicts are localized, with reverberating consequences nationwide.


1.1 Background to the Study

Socioeconomic impacts of herdsmen and Farmers conflicts are problems of concern especially in Africa where competition over resources forms the basis of such conflicts as well as other related crises.

For many years Nigeria has been seriously threatened by herdsmen and farmers clashes which have been exacerbated in recent years. It has therefore been considered to be a major potential threat affecting Nigerians mostly on the part of socio-economic activities of the country. The herdsmen and farmers crisis is posing a serious obstacle to a successful national economy. It 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. In the case of Nigeria, the frequent occurrence of herdsmen and farmers (Crop Producer) crisis has left adverse effects on food security and socio-economic development of the people. 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.

A study of constraints to cassava production in Kwara State by Vanthooftet al., (2005), found that over 90% of interviewed farmers indicated that their greatest problem in cassava production is cattle rearers encroachment of their farms. On their own part too, the Fulani cattle herdsmen have also identified conflicts arising from land use as the “most important” problem they face in their occupation. Several other studies have documented increasing conflict-induced frustrations experienced by these two groups within and outside Nigeria. Similarly, Nyong and Fiki (2005) reported that losses from these conflicts are of far-reaching dimensions and implications on both sides, in a study carried out in Nigeria’s Guinea savannah, within which is Kwara State reported that out of about 150 households interviewed, 22 reported loss of a whole farm of standing crops, 41 reported losses of livestock, while eight households from both sides reported loss of human lives.

Other studies also indicated that stores, barns, residences and household items were destroyed in many of the violent clashes, serious health hazards are also introduced when cattle are reared to water bodies that serve rural communities. Similarly, the invasion of Tipto, Kisa, Samne, Bangi, Wurke and Gure communities in Lamurde local government area of Adamawa State by cattle rearers with guns left unconfirmed number of dead and injured persons with over 2,000 rendered homeless due to the destruction of villages (New Nigerian, February 1, 2010 cited in Bello, 2013). The political economy of land use in Nigeria is inherently biased against pastoral Fulani interest within the system of resource use.

The implications of all these may put question marks on the achievability of the 10 percent growth rate in the agricultural sector being proposed by the federal government of Nigeria. Neither would it be easy for the Nigeria to achieve 20 percent increase in area under actual cultivation nor grain yields from the present 0.99 to 2.5 metric tons per hectare being proposed in its State Economic Empowerment and Development Strategy (SEEDS) as released by the State Planning Commission (Egedu, 2005).


1.2 Statement of the Problem

Nigeria is seriously threatened by 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. It also poses a serious obstacle to a successful national economy and 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 towards curbing the menace. 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.

Here in Kwara state, frequent occurrence of Fulani herdsmen and farmers clashes have become a common phenomenon especially in areas with considerable populations of the Fulani cattle rearers. In most instances, losses incurred from such conflicts tend to be enormous. In spite the killings recorded on both sides and other social problems associated with the conflicts, economic impacts such as reduced crop production, destruction of farms, killing of animals, destruction of stored crops etc. are also associated with these sorts of conflicts. Besides, both parties spend a lot of money in judicial processes sparked by the conflicts.

Despite efforts by governments at all levels aimed at curtailing this menace, clashes between herdsmen and farmers is still going on in different places in Kwara state and is becoming a matter of serious concern to the state government because of the serious socioeconomic consequences attributable to it. Besides, with the emergence of Boko Haram insurgency, Fulani herdsmen-farmers’ conflicts is taking another dimension in the state especially as result of the similarities in the nature of attacks employed by the clashing factions which makes it very difficult for authorities to differentiate such clashes from Boko Haram attacks.Thus.it is against this background that this study was initiated with sole aim of assessing the impacts of Fulani herdsmen-farmers’ conflicts on food production in the two LGAs that are homes to thousands of crop farmers and Fulani cattle rearers.


1.3 Objectives of the Study

  1. To examine the several cases of farmers and herdsmen clashes in Nigeria.
  2. To examine the effect of farmers and herdsmen clashes on agricultural development.
  3. To examine the effect of farmers and herdsmen clashes on lives and properties.

1.4 Research Questions

  1. What are the several cases of farmers and herdsmen clashes in Nigeria?
  2. What is the effect of farmers and herdsmen clashes on agricultural development?
  3. What is the effect of farmers and herdsmen clashes on lives and properties?

1.5 Significance of the Study

Farmer-herdsmen conflict has remained the most preponderant resource-use conflict in Nigeria. The necessity to provide food of crop and animal origin, as well as raw materials for industry and export in order to meet evergrowing demands, has led to both “intensification and extensification” of land use.

The competition between these two agricultural land user-groups, however, has often times turned into serious overt and covert manifestation of hostilities and social friction in many parts of Nigeria. The conflicts have demonstrated high potential to exacerbate the insecurity and food crisis particularly in rural communities where most of the conflicts are localized, with reverberating consequences nationwide.

This study will enable farmers to avoid clashes with Fulani herdsmen. This study will also be an important reference material for scholars and researchers that would be carrying out research related the study.


1.6 Scope of the study

This study was carried out on Farmers And Herdsmen Clashes; Bolstering Agricultural Development Through The Instrumentality Of Law. The study focused primarily on Kwara state.


1.7 Limitation of the Study

The following limitations were anticipated in this study:

  1. Since the study was only carried out in only one province, the results may not be generalisable to the whole country. The researcher collected data on his own without research assistants.
  2. Financial constraints were also anticipated in the current study. Although the researcher received assistance from the bursary, it was not possible to carry out the study at national level.
  3. The researcher is a full time employee so time to carry out the study was limited.

Chapter Five


Conclusion And Recommendations

5.1 Conclusion

Conflict between arable crop farmers and cattle herdsmen over the use of agricultural land is still pervasive in Nigeria, and portends grave consequences for rural development. It has demonstrated great potential to affect various aspects of rural life. The conflicts had far reaching economic, production and socio-psychological effects on the households of most respondents. However, conflict actors and persons affected have used many strategies to cope with the effects of conflict. While farmers generally tended to use problem-oriented strategies, herdsmen basically used emotion-oriented strategies. This might be an indication of a strong emotional attachment to the cattle among the Fulani tribe in Nigeria. Similarly, the relatively more pronounced use of problem-oriented strategies among the farmers is an indication that they actively sought solutions to the problems arising from the destructions they encountered. The sparse use of social support strategies among both groups suggests there were few avenues for victims of land-use conflict to seek social support. Several factors were responsible for the use of coping strategies among the two groups. Age, income, farm size and farming/herding experience significantly influenced the use of most of the coping strategies among the respondents. An increase in any of these variables increased respondents’ propensity to use, especially, most of the problem-oriented and emotion-oriented coping strategies. The use of emotion-oriented strategies among herdsmen, however, decreased with increasing educational status. Thus, the tendency to be emotionally ‘attached to the cattle’ diminished with increasing years of education among herdsmen.

Farmer-herdsmen conflicts have persisted for far too long and the various strategies adopted by both groups have brought little or no progress in dousing the tide and impacts of the conflicts. It is important for both groups to adopt more realistic coping strategies. Coping strategies should be incorporated into the mainstream activities of farmer-herdsmen conflict management.


5.2 Recommendations

Furthermore, the following recommendations are also proffered for

  1.  There is need for educational intervention in farmer-herdsmen conflict. This could be achieved by creating better awareness of land use regulations among farmers and herdsmen.
  2. Availing extension personnel with conflict coping mechanisms through attendance of related seminar and conferences. By so doing, extension personnel would be able to teach farmers and herdsmen on conflict coping mechanisms, educating both parties on the need for peaceful co-existence and mutual understanding, the work of extension is not limited to teaching of new techniques, it is also instructive to know the obstacles that could stand in the way of the techniques to be adopted by farmers. It is therefore worthwhile for extension agencies to have units responsible for farmer-herdsmen relations,
  3. Education among the two parties should be realistically encouraged. This would not only lead to better perception but also create better opportunity for awareness of realistic coping strategies,
  4. There is need for viable NGOs on farmer-herdsmen conflict management, especially in the areas of awareness, education, prevention, and amelioration. Furthermore, nongovernmental organizations should support livestock-centered livelihoods including cattle herding, not only in conflict mitigation but also in the support of grassroots innovations and in influencing favourable national policies.
  5. A multi-stage conflict management framework is required to curb the danger posed by farmer-herdsmen conflict. The proposed framework should be statutory committees at community, local, state, and federal government levels. It should also include the relevant occupational unions.
  6. Traditional and local leaders should be well involved in finding solutions to farmer herdsmen conflict. The committees proposed above must have representatives of the local leadership.

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