Impact Of Communal Violence On Farmers Livelihood Activities In Imo Agro-Ecological Zone
In Nigeria there is hardly a year where there are no major violent conflicts. However, much has not been published on the quantitative impact of the conflicts on farmers’ livelihood the manager of crops, domesticated and wild life animals. Hence, this study tends to provide information for understanding how conflict handling styles employed by conflicting parties made most of the communal conflicts degenerate into destruction of farmers livelihood activities. Based on the conflict severity the Imoagro-ecological zone was stratified into core and outside conflict areas. Using farmers register as sampling frame work 60 and 67 farmers were randomly selected in core and outside violent conflict areas. Interview schedule instrument was used to collect data while frequency count, percentage t-test and ANOVA were statistical tools used for data analysis. The findings revealed that in Core Violent Conflict Area (CVCA) 72.1% and 23.8% of the farmers were displaced from their farms respectively. Consequently tree (cocoa) crops production level were severely affected as reflected in lower ( x 295) and higher mean ( x 697) cocoa production level in tons recorded in CVCA and Outside Violent Conflict Areas (OVCA) respectively in rainforest areas. The severity of conflict impact was not reflected in the area because yam production level means gap in tons between CVCA ( x 423.0) and OVCA ( x 629) were very close. However, the area felt the impact of the conflict on sheep and goat production because CVCA recorded lower mean ( x 180) numbers of sheep and goats as against higher mean ( x 2007) number of sheep and goat recorded in OVCA. Farmers’ means of generating livelihood activities such as crops production level, sheep and goat number produced were statistically different across conflict zones at P < 0.05 in rainforest and savannah zones. The conflict had severe impact on crops, sheep and goat production hence, a sustainable capacity building program, as a post conflict coping strategy should be organised for conflict victims.
Table Of Content
- Title Page
- Table of Content
- 1.1 Background To The Study
- 1.2 Statement Of The Problem
- 1.3 Research Objectives
- 1.4 Research Questions
- 1.5 Research Hypotheses
- 1.6 Significance Of The Study
2.0 Literature Review
- 2.1 Agricultural Production Situation In Nigeria
- 2.2 Farmers’ Means Of Livelihood In Nigeria
- 2.3 Concept Of Rural Livelihood
- 2.4 Herdsmen-Farmers Conflict
- 2.5 Socio-Economic Development
- 2.6 Theoretical Review
- 2.6.1 Frustration Aggression Theory
- 2.6.2 Dialectical-Materialism
3.0 Research Methodology
- 3.1 Research Design
- 3.2 Area Of Study
- 3.3 Sample And Sampling Technique
- 3.4 Research Instrumentation
- 3.5 Data Analysis Methods
4.0 Results And Discussion
- 4.1 Results
5.0 Conclusion And Recommendation
- 5.1 Conclusion
- 5.2 Recommendation
1.1 Background To The Study
Nigeria is a tropical country that cut across all tropical ecological zones. These include: the southern zone of Mangrove Swamp, the Tropical Rainforest stretching from the South-west to the South-east, the Guinea Savannah belt, the Sudan Savannah belt and the Sahel Savannah.
These environmental regions greatly affect the cultures of the people who live there. The dry, open grasslands of the savannah make cereal farming and herding a way of life for the Hausa- Fulani (Fabusoro et al., 2007). The wet tropical forests in the south provide opportunities of planting different tree and arable crops and income generation for the Yoruba, Igbo, and other ethnic groups. Rainfall controls the livestock and crops production activities in Nigeria. Decrease in rainfall with increase in surface temperature over the years resulted to pressure on land in the Guinea Savannah zone and the rainforest belt. Most of these pressure resulted from the long range trans-humans of the Fulani cattle rearers from Sahel and Sudan savannah to the Guinea savannah and now the rainforest belt. Many cattle Fulanis with their herds are found permanently settled or roaming within the Guinea savannah and the rainforest belt. This is in contrast to what obtained in the 1960s and 1970s where they only moved down-south when grasses are no longer “green” in the Sudan and Sahel, and make the return migration with the onset of rainy season in the north. The natural result of this pressure on land is conflict, especially between the cattle Fulanis and the crop growing natives of the guinea savannah over the right to the land which in most cases result in destruction of their farmlands by the cattle (Mayowa et al., 2005). Other clashes over land include inter-community struggle for dominance and control of land resources which is common in the densely people of south east of Nigeria, and of course the case of the Niger Delta area which combines the struggle for control of land, environment and oil activities. The result of past newspaper clippings that were reviewed to generate a list of some critical communal clashes that were reported between 1991 and 2005 as shown in Table 1 indicated that 19 of the 37 cases representing about 51% were basically crisis/clashes triggered by land resources . Clashes on oil and environment were basically localized in the Niger Delta area (Mayowa et al., 2005).
It is a truism that conflict occurs whenever disagreements exist in a social situation over issues of substance or whenever emotional antagonisms create frictions between individuals or groups (Okoro, 2018). The issues of substance may include resources such as land, water, trees, crops, crude oil, diamond, gold, reserves and rights – grazing rights, farming rights and hunting rights. However, most conflicts emanating from the above itemized issues are called resource conflicts. Blench (1996) asserted that resource conflicts can be classified into two, namely point resources including mines, farms and reserves and eco-zonal conflicts including water, grazing and hunting rights. Resource conflict is not unusual and perhaps not unnatural in human ecosystems. Conflict per se, is not bad: it is perhaps a necessity in the evolution and development of human organizations. But when conflicts degenerate to violent and destructive clashes, they become not only unhealthy but also counter-productive and progress-threatening. It is reported that 63 percent of total Sub- Saharan population live in rural areas in contrast with EU population where 74 per cent of all her citizens live in urban areas and 26 per cent in the countryside. The report further stressed that in overall, there are 854 Million people living in Sub-Saharan Africa, compared to 502 million in the European Union (global- growing.org, 2018). However, majority of these population of Africans who live in the rural areas are usually among the most vulnerable and insecure in terms of poverty, health, food security, and economic losses owing to resource conflicts. This is because, the eyes of the central governments are usually far from them, and many of their crisis are never reported. As Okoro, (2018) put it, struggle for survival and protection of economic livelihood (including, farmlands, crops and cattle) appears to precipitate conflict between herdsmen and farmers across many communities in Nigeria. And most times the attacks and counter attacks between these vulnerable groups in the rural areas are precipitated by government inactions. The people take law into their hands because they feel they are abandoned by the governments, and some of them even migrate to the urban areas abandoning their farmlands, just to secure lives.
The Fulani cattle herdsmen have identified conflicts arising from land use as the “most important” problem they face in their occupation (Van’tHooft, Millar & Django, 2005). During the peak of rainy season, characterized by cattle-breeding, more milk production and shorter grazing hours, cattle herding coincides significantly with arable crop production emanating in herdsmen-farmers conflict. The resultant increase in competition for arable land has often times led to serious manifestation of hostilities and social friction among the two user-groups 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 (Cotula, Toulmin & Hesse, 2004).
This conflict is believed to have existed since the beginning of agriculture and either increased or decreased in intensity or frequency depending on economic, environmental and other factors (Aliyu, 2015). Idowu (2017) submits that the violence between herdsmen and farmers has displaced more than 100,000 people in Benue and Enugu States and left them under the care of relatives or in makeshift Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps while many are still struggling to rebuild their lives. The Global Terrorism Index (GTI) recently placed the Nigeria’s Fulani herdsmen as the world’s fourth deadliest militant group for having accounted for about 1,229 deaths in 2014. Amnesty International (as published on New Telegraph) on January 29th 2018 asserted that Fulani Herdsmen have killed 168 people in January, 2018 alone. In their words, “The Nigerian authorities’ response to communal violence is totally inadequate, too slow and ineffective, and in some cases unlawful. Clashes between herdsmen and farmers in Adamawa, Benue, Taraba, Ondo and Kaduna have resulted in 168 deaths in January 2018 alone. Hundreds of people lost their lives in 2017, and the government is still not doing enough to protect communities from these violent clashes. For instance, 549 deaths were recorded across 14 states while thousands were displaced in 2017. These 549 deaths and thousands that were displaced as a result of clashes between nomadic herdsmen and local farmers were recorded across Enugu, Benue, Taraba, Zamfara, Kaduna, Plateau, Nasarawa, Niger, Plateau, Cross Rivers, Adamawa, Katsina, Delta and Ekiti states, in 2017”.
However, before this time, Taiwo (2010) averred that armed conflict between herdsmen and their host communities had been reported to have taken place in over 20 villages in Nigeria, including, Ago Nla, Ago Kekere, Idi OpeKekere, Olukore, Olokuta, Apena, Jaramosan, Akeeran, Alagigo, Aaaro, Temidire, Iya Ibadan, Ideto, Apapa, Akele, Agwo, Bodija, Olufayo, OkoTeku, Moniya, Oke Ogun, Shaki, Egbedore. Ilobu, EfonAlaye, Alu, and Iyamoye. Also, the study carried out by Sulaiman and Ja’ afar to ascertain the economic effects of this type of conflict in Bauchi state from 2003 to 2007 discovered that: Livestock that were lost through the farmers-pastoralists conflict included 34 cattle and 11 sheep/goats, valued about 1.8 million Naira and N66, 000.00 for cattle and sheep/goat, respectively. Six persons lost their lives during the period with anticipated economic contribution valued at N2, 844,000.00. The number of persons injured in the farmer- pastoralists conflict as revealed by the study was 45 among whom 15 persons were incapacitated that they could not perform their economic activities during the period of treatment. The cost implication due to the body injuries of those affected in this respect was about N2.64 million. In addition, a research carried out on the causes and effects of the perennial clashes between herdsmen and farmers in Nigeria by Mercy Corps between 2013 and 2016, funded by the British Department for International Development (DFID) reviewed that the conflict is costing Nigeria at least $14 billion in potential revenues annually. Meanwhile, the usual resultant effects of the conflict are loss of lives, crops, destruction of houses, displacement of persons, decline in income, distrust; as well as threat to food and national security.
1.2 Statement Of The Problem
These conflicts explain noticeable distortions in farmers’ livelihoods since they live and earn their living from rural areas. Livelihood is a process by which people make a living through specific capabilities, assets, and activities (Ellis, 2000).
The context of farmers’ livelihood comprises farming activities, natural resources, economic, cultural, social equitability, and political environment, shocks and stress maintenance. In coping with livelihood sustainability farmers’ compete for resources that exist in limited quantities and scarce. Competition creates a situation where people struggle for possession of these scarce resources, which often generate conflict. Conflict situation threaten livelihood outcomes and termination of farmers’ sustainable livelihood income. Conflict within the two communities became a menance when farmer employed negative or aggressive conflict handling style. It is evident from diverse sources that negative conflict handling style employed in the affected communities in Taraba and Osun states which represent savannah and rainforest zones led to destruction of lives and properties, diversion of resources meant for development to conflict mitigation (Bolarinwa, 2007). It further imposed hardship on the citizens, worsening their social conditions and led to mass migration of farm families. In view of anecdotal account of the conflicts effect on farmers’ livelihood in the conflict ridden areas and unavailability of empirical records to established the discrepancy in severity of conflict on farmers’ livelihood activities in the Imoagro-ecological area that this research on impact of communal violent conflict on farmer’s livelihood activities in Imo agro-ecological zones was conducted.
1.3 Research Objectives
The purpose of the study is to establish theimpact of communal violence on farmers livelihood activities in Imo Agro-Ecological Zonein Nigeria. In order to accomplish this aim the following specific objectives were set:
- To describe personal characteristics of farmers in Imoagro-ecological zone
- To determine farmers’ access to their productive activities after the conflict
- To ascertain the impact of the conflict on the farmers’ productive land
- To examine the impact of the violent conflict on livelihood activities (crops and live stocks production)
1.4 Research Questions
- What are the personal characteristics of farmers in Imo agro-ecological zone?
- Do farmers have access to their productive activities after the conflict?
- What is the impact of the conflict on the farmers’ productive land?
- What is the impact of the violent conflict on livelihood activities (crops and live stocks production)?
1.5 Research Hypotheses
- HO1: There is no significant difference between farmers’ production level in core conflict areas and outside conflict areas after the conflict in Rainforest and savannah zone.
- HO2: There is no significant difference in livestock production mean number between core and outside conflict areas in rainforest and savannah zones
1.6 Significance Of The Study
Conflict arises when the difference in interaction between two or more people necessitate change in at least one person so that their engagement may continue and develop. The differences cannot co-exist without some adjustments. The adjustment is what normally results in conflicts. The outcome of the study will shed more light on perception of farmers about causes of conflict in the state. In addition, it reveals the impact of the conflict on farmers’ production level and livelihood materials as an indication of conflict handling style effects, which may be positive or negative.
Finally a “bottom up” approach would be used to generate appropriate home derived rehabilitation strategies and solutions to such conflicts. The study is also significant because it provides insight into the similarities and differences in conflict impact on farmers’ production level and livelihood material possessions across the socio-cultural and agro-ecological location in Nigeria so that farmers’ means of livelihood in the state will be revealed and empirical data concerning the severity of the conflict can easily be detected in the two states.
Conclusions and recommendations arising from the study will provide needed framework for conflict managers, agricultural research stations, extension organizations, and conflict intervention by non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and governments alike to handle researches that will be conducted in conflict ridden areas. It will also facilitate desirable actions in addressing conflicts related circumstances as obtained in these two conflict sites.
5.0 Conclusion And Recommendation
Based on the findings of this study it can be concluded that farmers in Imoagro-ecological zone were in the adventurous age. The age when young people explore new horizon for green pastures of which attempt to block their ambition may result into personal and inter-group conflict in the society. It was also found that majority of the farmers in the zone acquired farm land through purchase, gift and least whereas majority of the farmers acquired farm land through inheritance in the zone. It was found that majority of farmers in core conflict areas did not have access to their farms when conflict de-escalated. In the agro-ecological zone, farmers lost their productive land to the conflict. Consequently, crops production was lower in rainforest area while there is reduction in number of livestock produced in savannah areas.
The following are recommended:
- Agricultural Inputs Supply Company (A.I.S.C) in the state should endeavor to focus on supply of farm inputs to farmers at subsidized rates and prevent farmers from purchasing adulterated and very expensive farm inputs from the private input supply agencies in their areas.
- Capacity building for farmers should be encouraged through formation of rural cooperative societies or related associations to facilitate farmers’ access to loan facilities with fewer burdens for collateral security requirements.
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