Impacts of Fulani Herdsmen-farmers’ Conflicts on Food Production in Gujba and Tarmuwa Local Government Areas of Yobe State, Nigeria
The research which studied impacts of Fulani herdsmen- farmers’ conflicts on crop production in Gujba and Tarmuwa Local Government Areas of Yobe state, Nigeria was conducted between the months of Januiary- February, 2019. Descriptive survey design involving mixed methods was used. Self-made Closed ended questionnaire and Structured Interview Guide were the data collection instruments used. Purposive and Systematic Random sampling techniques were used to select the 397 respondents who participated in the study. The sample size comprised of Fulani herdsmen, farmers, village and ward heads as well as some officials of the Department of Agriculture of the two L.G.A. Data collected was analysed in SPSS Version 20 using Descriptive Statistics and Chi square. Findings revealed that the majority of the respondents including both herdsmen and farmers were subsistence farmers though few also engage in commercial farming. Regarding the causes of the conflicts, lack of grazing fields, indiscriminate bush burning, crop destruction, Boko Haram insurgency etc. were responsible for the occurrence of the clashes. No significant difference was found in the perceptions of the herdsmen and farmers on causes of the conflicts. Impacts of Fulani herdsmen-farmers’ conflicts as revealed by the study included loss of crops, reduced productivity, loss of lives, increase in prices of agricultural products, increased poverty etc. Based on the findings made, it was concluded that, if the causes of herdsmen-farmers’ conflicts were not properly addressed; its impacts will continue to escalate with devastating consequences. Besides, the menace of food insecurity and Boko Haram insurgency which have bedeviled the areas for many years can also be worsened by the impacts of such conflicts especially that poverty, food insecurity and increased tension were also cited by many scholars as some of the factors fuelling Boko Haram insurgency in the areas studied. Thus, it was recommended that, in order to bring an end to the conflicts between herdsmen and farmers, governments at all levels should work out modalities on how to stop crop destruction by establishing cattle tracks and grazing zones where crop farming will be severely restricted and prevent indiscriminate bush burning. Sensitization programmes on how to maintain cordial relationships between farming communities and herdsmen should be organized by the government and other stakeholders while the issue of Boko Haram insurgency which led to decrease in farmers’ productivity should also be well addressed by the government and bring an end to it. Besides, the current land tenure system should be relaxed such that land acquisition becomes easier so that farm owners can expand their farms and produce more food crops and herdsmen can have access to more grazing fields.
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