J. Agric. Environ. Sci. Vol. 5 No. 2 (2020) ISSN: 2616-3721 (Online); 2616-3713 (Print)
Publication of College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences, Bahir Dar University 1
Effects of Conflict between Pastoralist and Crop Farming Communities on Households’
Food Security in Kwara State, Nigeria
Shehu Abdulganiyu SALAU
; Ibrahim Folorunsho AYANDA
; Isac Ade AFE
and Nofiu Babatunde NOFIU
College of Agriculture, Kwara State University, Malete, Nigeria
*Corresponding author: abdulganiyu.shehu@kwasu.edu.ng; talk2salaushehu@yahoo.com
Received: April 6, 2020
Accepted: September 11, 2020
Abstract: Pastoralists-farmers’ conflicts in Nigeria have grown, spread and intensified over the past decade and
today pose a threat to national survival. Thus, this study measured food security status, assessed the effect of
pastoralist- crop farmers’ conflict on food security and described the coping strategies employed by the
respondents to reduce the effects of the conflict. Proportional sampling method was used to select a sample of 200
farming households. The analytical tools include descriptive statistics, logistic regression and food security index.
The study indicated that 54.5% and 45.5% of the respondents were food secure and food insecure, respectively.
Furthermore, pastoralist-crop farmers’ conflict, household size, sex, farm distance and access to co-operatives
were the significant factors driving to food security in the area. Moreover, farmers generally used a combination
of strategies to manage conflict. The use of job experience, hard-working, early cropping, appease other party
and seeking for help from relatives, village leaders and governments were some of the effective coping strategies
used by the respondents to reduce the effects of conflict. Consequently, ranching and use of Rural Grazing Area
(RUGA) settlement be encouraged by the government to reduce the effect of the conflict. Policies and strategies
aimed at reducing the household size and enhancing cooperative formation should be pursued.
Keywords: Conflict, coping strategies, food security index, RUGA settlement
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
1. Introduction
Food is fundamental to life. It is considered as the
basic means of nourishment, and a recommended
food intake in terms of quantity and quality is critical
for a healthy and productive life (FAO, 2005). Food
occupies a large part of a typical Nigerian household
budget. The need for food is topmost in the hierarchy
of needs. Thus, the achievement of food security is
crucial to any given country. A food-secure
household is therefore that whose per capita monthly
food expenditure fall above or is equal to two-third
of the mean per capita food expenditure. On the
other hand, a food-insecure household is that whose
per capita food expenditure falls below two-third of
the mean monthly per capita food expenditure
(Omonona et al., 2007). In Nigeria, food insecurity
is still a critical challenge among rural and urban
households (Ifeoma and Agwu 2014). The country’s
food security crises became aggravated as a result of
the frequent conflict between pastoralist and crop
farmers (Gambari, 2018).
Pastoralism is the main livestock production system
in much of Africa where pastoralists live in semi-
arid zones. It is a historically developed strategy to
cope with the uncertainties associated with climate
change, a buildup of parasites and other related
challenges. It is above all an efficient way to produce
livestock at relatively low prices through the use of
non-commercial feeding stock. This system of
production is breaking down today as violent
conflicts between pastoralists and farmers have
arisen and created a major national crisis (Gambari,
Pastoralist and crop farming conflict have remained
the most preponderant resource-use conflict in
Nigeria (Fasona and Omojola, 2005). Providing
food of crop and animal origin as well as raw
materials for industry and export in order to meet
ever-growing demands, has led to both
intensification and expansion of land use (Nyongand
Fiki, 2005). The competition between these two
agricultural land user-groups however, has often
turned into serious 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
J. Agric. Environ. Sci. Vol. 5 No. 2 (2020) ISSN: 2616-3721 (Online); 2616-3713 (Print)
Publication of College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences, Bahir Dar University 2
Pastoralists-farmers’ conflicts in Nigeria have
grown, spread and intensified over the past decade
and today poses a threat to national survival.
Thousands of people have been killed, communities
have been destroyed and so many farmers and
pastoralists have lost their lives and property in an
orgy of killings and destruction that is not only
limited to livelihoods but also affecting national
cohesion and food security. Recurrent reprisal
killings are simply making the possibilities of
peaceful resolution more difficult. Rural banditry is
becoming the norm in the Nigerian hinterland and
has been transformed into a vicious criminal
activity. The result is that the scale of loss of both
herds and human lives has been escalating and the
victims are on all sides subsistence farmers,
commercial farmers and pastoralists (Cotulaet al.,
2004). This creates food availability and
accessibility problems at the household and national
levels (Akinsanmi and Doppler, 2005).
Several studies have been done on the determinants
of food security of households (Babatundeet al.,
2007; Omonona et al., 2007; Amaza et al., 2008;
Ifeoma and Agwu 2014; Ahmed et al., 2016; Salau
et al., 2018; Shehu et al., 2019). However, data on
the effect of conflict between pastoralists and crop-
farmers on farming households’ food security are
rare in the literature. Thus, this study was therefore
initiated to measure food security status, assess the
effect of pastoralist- crop farmers’ conflict on food
security and describe the coping strategies employed
by the respective stakeholders to reduce the effect of
the conflict.
2. Materials and Methods
2.1. Description of the study areas
This study was carried out in Kwara State. The state
is located between parallels and 10º north
latitudes and 3º and 6º east longitudes east. It covers
an area of 35,705 Square kilometres, with a
population of 2,371,089 and a population density of
66 people/Square kilometres(NPC, 2006). Kwara
shares an international boundary with the Republic
of Benin to the west and interstate boundaries with
Niger State to the north, Oyo State to the southwest,
Osun and the Ekiti States to the southeast and Kogi
State to the east (Figure 1).
The climate is characterized by both wet and dry
seasons each lasting for about six months. The
raining season begins towards the end of April and
lasts till October while the dry season spans between
November and March. Days are very hot during the
dry season; from November to January,
temperatures typically range from 33°C to 34°C,
while from February to April, the temperature is
between 34.6°C and 37°C. The total annual rainfall
is about 1318mm with the mean temperature being
between 30°C-33°C.
Agriculture is the most prominent occupation in the
State and the principal crops grown are Cassava,
millet, maize, okra, sorghum, beni-seed, cowpea,
yam, sweet potatoes, and palm tree. There are a total
of 1,258 rural communities in Kwara (Muhammad-
Lawal and Omotesho, 2008). Rural dwellers
constitute more than eighty percent of the total
population of Kwara state. The State is divided into
four zones by the Kwara State Agricultural
Development Project (KWADP) in consonance with
ecological characteristics, cultural practices and
project’s administrative convenience. These are
Zone A: Baruteen and Kaima Local Government
Areas (LGAs); Zone B: Edu and Patigi LGAs; Zone
C: Asa, Ilorin East, Ilorin South, Ilorin West and
Moro LGAs and Zone D: Ekiti, Ifelodun, Irepodun,
Offa, Oyun, Isin and Oke-Ero LGAs.