Herdsmen Activities In Nigeria, A Cog In The Wheel Of Agricultural Development From 2015-2019

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Herdsmen Activities In Nigeria, A Cog In The Wheel Of Agricultural Development From 2015-2019


Abstract


This study aims to examine herdsmen activities and its effects on agricultural development in Nigeria from 2015-2019. A sample population will be used to collect primary data using the structured questionnaire and interview as research instrument. The sample size determined for this study was hundred(100) respondents in Kwande Local Government Area of Benue State as a case study. The study was conducted in a three-year period from 2015 to 2019. The study is a descriptive study on Herdsman activities in Nigeria, a cog in the wheel of agricultural development from 2015 until 2019. The general objective of this study is to examine the effect of herdmen activities on the level of food availability in Nigeria and to understand the prevalence and effects on the economy of Nigeria. This study is expected to guide farmers, educationists, scientists, planners, engineers, architects, and environmentalists and all those whose livelihood are affected to gain understanding of how Fulani herd-farmers conflict can affect agricultural development. The central government, local authorities, security agencies, local community leaders, farmer associations, and local groups should endeavor to play an essential role in managing the Fulani-farmer conflict.


Chapter One


Introduction

1.1 Background to the Study

Conflict between Fulani herdsmen and farmers in Nigeria and other parts of Africa has become an age-long issue which must be nipped in the bud, on the off chance that there will be a decrease in the pervasiveness of profitability hindering elements, which had clearly brought about huge loss of lives and properties between the two parties. Msuya (2013) expressed unequivocally a few rates of land use strife among ranchers and pastoralists in some selected subSaharan African nations. In Mali, during crisis, 32 deaths recorded, houses and farms and other valuables were destroyed (Blench, 2010). Also recorded was the case of Bukina Faso in 2012 where about 25 of the Dogan farmers were dead and was further recorded that every year; 600 farmer-herder conflicts resulted in death of humans and injury or death of animals. In Ethiopia, farmer pastoralist violent crisis occurred between 1994 and 2002 which claimed 116 deaths and loss of 616 animals while in the Southwest area of Malo town alone, from 1976 to 1999, the erupted attack between the two parties was recorded to have claimed the lives of 1000 farmers; settlements were not left untouched as they were heavily destroyed and cattle were completely looted, while at Tana river in Kenya in 2012, farmers and pastoralists clash resulted in the death of 48 people and 60 cattle to mention but a few.

In Nigeria, the heat generated from these activities has culminated in economic disadvantage to the north central particularly in the area of agricultural development and southerners from financial, social and economic point of view. Odjugo (2005) and Majekodunmi et al. (2014) described expressly in their investigation on environment and peaceful nomadism that up-northern and down-southern Nigeria, a cow sells for N35, 000 (about US$233) in Yobe and for about N100,000 (about US$667) in Southern urban communities like Port Harcourt bringing about the margin of N65,000 which is likeness minimal of US$434. Additionally, it was found that the age-long fight has uniquely made a social hole between the Fulani and other cattle cattle rearing clans in Nigeria and the sub-Sahara Africa by and large. In Nigeria, between 2005 and 2010, about 280 death cases were recorded; 7,000 hectares of farms were destroyed, 1300 cattle were lost and 7,000 communities were deserted. In Shaki,Oke-Ogun area of Oyo State and Kwara State, the clashes between nomadic Fulanis and arable crop farmers decimated a lot of lives which resulted in the vacation of some settlements, loss of cattle and destruction of arable crop farms which were essentially the source of income for the victims. These have been the happenings not only from 2015 to 2019 alone but from the time immemorial.

Moreover, Okeke (2014) opined that damages frequently done during nomadic activities range from theft of cattle, overgrazing and unsustainable land for farming, loss of fertile lands, destruction of crops, loss of yields, hardening of soils resulting in increased labour in pre-farming activities, destruction of reservoir and source of drinkable water, fights, rape, burning of rangelands, destruction of irrigational facilities to infrastructural damages. The persistence and prevalence of the ugly incidents of the party conflict was accounted for in this way by Ingawa et al. (1999) as decrease in inward control and social attachment, as the adherence to the conventional principles with respect to grazing periods and the authority of the customary rulers is separating which he finished up as being worsened by expanded lease looking for of the formal and traditional authorities in overseeing asset. He revealed further that the traditional trek ways, which become most loved cropping sites in light of their better soil fertility coming about because of the convergence of animal manure from the trekking herds in these zones attracted to farmers for cultivation. Within the FADAMA areas, this is worsened by the fragmented nature of the crop plots, which makes prevention of animals straying in the crop plots difficult. Inadequacy of grazing resources, as increasing crop cultivation (and increasing commercialization of the crop residues) and poor management of the existing grazing reserves have resulted in a significant reduction in available livestock feed resources particularly in the Northern States. Moreover the high value crops introduced by NFDP (tomatoes and onions) produce almost no crop-residues for livestock feeding. Finally, the regulation that twenty percent of the FADAMA would need to be set aside for grazing has not been adhered to.

This menace of herdsmen-farmers crises in almost all the regions in Nigeria has attracted the attention of researchers in recent time as unprcented loss of lives and property had been incessantly recorded during these crises. Empirical works had been done by scholars in an attempt to provide a policy framework to be adopted by government towards nipping the problem of nomadism in the bud. Among them were Msuya (2013) work on the farming systems and crop-livestock land use and consensus in which he concluded that there was no way that nomadic activities could be aptly restricted from the entire vegetation in Tanzania. Moreover, Ifatimehin and Tenuche (2009) in their work on Nigeria’s changing environment and pastoral nomadism noted clearly that the ways a changing environment has affected pastoral nomadism and how pains and gains from the human activities are being redistributed across spaces in Nigeria discovered that, there are conflicts over incompatible land uses as well as those over cultural domination and therefore submitted that, a geographical shift in occurrence of these conflicts has taken place in recent times in a form of southern oscillation which confirmed a case of pastoral intensification and a comprehensive environmental change in Nigeria. Consequent to this is also a study on, conflict between pastoralists and cultivators in Nigeria (Abbas, 2010) who discovered that pastoral-farmer conflict still remains unresolved and all efforts to solve the problem remained botched, up till the present time.

Arising from the foregone, studies highlighted in the foregone are bereft of addressing issues from the points of farm productivity and its implications on agricultural development in the country as well as welfare of arable farmers. Focus on examining the effect of herdsmen activities on the agricultural development in Nigeria would be of great advantage in examining the aftermath of nomadic activities on arable crop farms financially, socially and economically and more so, it would be a viable tool in policy making towards food security among farm households.


1.2 Statement of the Problem

Nigeria is truly undermined by herders and farmers emergency conflict and in this way viewed as a significant potential danger influencing Nigerians for the most part with respect to agricultural development as well as the socio-economic status of the nation. It likewise represents a genuine snag to a fruitful national economy and has become a significant danger to the national security and development of Nigeria because of the way that its expanded activity has caused redirection and removed government attention on some core areas of the economy, as colossal measure of human and material assets are directed towards controlling the threat. In the course of these conflicts, farmers have at certain times, taken up weapons to counter the attacks from the Fulani herdsmen, all in the name of self-defense.

Frequent occurrence of Fulani herdsmen and farmers clashes have become a common phenomenon especially in areas with considerable populations of the Fulani cattle rearers. Although farming activities is more prominent in the North Central geopolitical zone of the country because of its geography that favours agricultural activities more, clashes between herdsmen and farmers are common in this region. 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 the nation and it is becoming a matter of serious concern to the state and federal governments because of the serious threat it poses to agricultural development and socioeconomic consequences. Besides, with the emergence of Boko Haram insurgency, Fulani herdsmen-farmers’ conflicts is taking another dimension in Nigeria 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 aims to examine herdsmen activities and its effects on agricultural development in Nigeria from 2015-2019.


1.3 Objectives of the Study

The general objective of this study is to examine herdsmen activities and its effects on agricultural development in Nigeria from 2015-2019. However, the specific objectives are:

  1. To examine the effect of herdsmen activities on the level of food availability in Nigeria
  2. To investigate the effect of herdsmen activities on agricultural development in Nigeria
  3. To understand the prevalence of herdsmen activities and its effects on the economy of Nigeria

1.4 Research Questions

The following questions were raised in the process of carrying out this research work:

  1. What the effects of herdsmen activities on the level of food availability in Nigeria?
  2. What are the effects of herdsmen activities on agricultural development in Nigeria?
  3. What is the prevalence of herdsmen activities and its effects on the economy of Nigeria?

1.5 Research Hypotheses

The following research hypotheses were formulated for this study:

  1. There is no significant relationship between herdsmen activities and the level of food availability in Nigeria
  2. There is no significant correlation between herdsmen activities and agricultural development in Nigeria
  3. There is a significant relationship between herdsmen activities and the economy of Nigeria

1.6 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 Fulani herdsmen-farmers crisis and its adverse effects on Nigerian economy particularly in the area of agriculture. 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 agriculture. 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 study is therefore expected to guide farmers, 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 agricultural development. However, the findings will also provide useful background information to future research in the contribution of agricultural education towards nation building.


1.7 Scope of the Study

The scope of the study was delimited to study herdsmen activities and its effects on agricultural development in Nigeria from 2015-2019 using Kwande Local Government Area of Benue State as a case study.


1.8 Limitation of Study

It is inevitable that a survey research of this nature must have some constraints which impact on this study. The materials for a proper and effective research work constituted a major limitation and even the decision to use questionnaire in data collection constituted some limitations of the study, that is, how to get the true and required information from the workers.

Finally, there was an anticipation of the problem of convincing the respondents on the filling of the questionnaires and to give the true and required information. But for the quick intervention the PROs of the selected villages in the local government took time to clear the air and convince their populace, helped me to accomplish my assignment


1.9 Definition of Terms

Conflict:

Refers to differences in interests and goals made manifest through violent clashes between a minimum of two groups at a given point in time. This study is primarily concerned about the conflict between herders and farmers in Nigeria resultant from resource scarcity and other factors; as well as its ranging effects on farming communities.

Herders:

Are prevalently Fulani nomads who rear and move their cattle from Northern Nigeria down South. They are hosted in farming communities and come in contact with farmers in various parts of Nigeria. The usage of the word “herders” in this study is alternated with “herdsmen” and “pastoralists”.

Farmers:

Refers to those who are involved in planting and growing of arable crops. Specifically, these are sedentary cultivators in various regions of Nigeria who have direct interactions- and disputes resultant there from- with herders.


Chapter Five


Summary of the Findings, Conclusion and Recommendations

5.1 Summary of the Findings

The general objective of this study is to examine herdsmen activities and its effects on agricultural development in Nigeria from 2015-2019. However, the specific objectives are:

  1. To examine the effect of herdsmen activities on the level of food availability in Nigeria
  2. To investigate the effect of herdsmen activities on agricultural development in Nigeria
  3. To understand the prevalence of herdsmen activities and its effects on the economy of Nigeria

Findings from the study revealed the following:

  1. There is a significant relationship between herdsmen activities and the level of food availability in Nigeria
  2. Communal conflict is correlated to food security and, under most circumstances, depresses production and income from cash crops and livestock
  3. There is a significant correlation between herdsmen activities and agricultural development in Nigeria.
  4. Decreased productivity is one of the aftermaths of herdsmen-Fulani conflicts.
  5. There is a significant relationship between herdsmen activities and the economy of Nigeria.
  6. Nigeria’s economic performance has not been impressive over the past few decades due to herdsmen activities.

5.2 Conclusion

Herdsmen activities in Nigeria, a cog in the wheel of agricultural development from 2015-2019.

The study was delimited to study herdsmen activities and its effects on agricultural development in Nigeria from 2015-2019 using Kwande Local Government Area of Benue State as a case study.

The sample size determined for this study was hundred(100) respondents in Kwande Local Government Area of Benue State.
Questionnaire method was used as instrument for collecting data in this study.

The data used for the study are based on the number of copies of the questionnaire completed and returned by the Respondents. The data are presented in frequency tables and percentages. Based on the research one can conclude that there is a significant relationship between herdsmen activities and the level of food availability in Nigeria, there is a significant correlation between herdsmen activities and agricultural development in Nigeria and there is a significant relationship between herdsmen activities and the economy of Nigeria


5.3 Recommendations

Based on the above findings, the following are recommended;

The central government, local authorities, security agencies, local community leaders, farmer associations, and local groups should endeavor to play an essential role in managing the Fulani herdsmen-farmers conflict. They can cooperate by taking responsibility for security in their communities and enhancing administration.

For example, the federal government should provide plans to stop armed attacks on farming communities, such as the most affected southern Kaduna and Benue states. The rule of law should also be applied equally to all parties as well as finding common ground to end bias towards each other. Also, the government should consider limiting the weapon usage of the Fulani herdsmen. Moreover, the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps should focus on finding measures to gather information and intelligence for emergency responses to further avoid violent attacks. Crimes such as robbery, kidnapping, and indiscriminate killings should be prohibited, and government security forces should protect communities. Furthermore, the infrastructure in these areas such as roads and water would require rapid improvement and modernization to meet the demands of a growing population. Business activities and investment should be encouraged through policy making to improve modern farms.


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