Land Use Conflict Between Farmers and Herders in Anambra State with Implications for Food Security
Keywords:Climate change, Farmer-herder, Conflict, Food Security, Land Use
Herder-farmer conflicts threaten the livelihood resources of people particularly farming communities due to high dependence on natural resources for survival. The study described the personal characteristics of the respondents; identified the causes of the conflict between the farmers and the nomads; described the perceived socio-economic effects of conflicts and identified the coping strategies adopted by the farmers. Frustration-aggression and conflict theories guided the study. The primary data collected from 120 respondents using well-structured questionnaire were analysed with mean and multiple regression analysis. The findings revealed that women dominated crop farming by 61.67%, mean age was 42.83 with a household size average of 6 persons and mean size farm land of 2.45 hectares. The perceived causes of the conflict were land encroachment, crop damage by cattle, killing of stray cattle, inadequate grazing reserves for the nomads, indiscriminate bush burning and hatred for one another. The perceived socio-economic effects of the conflicts were reduction in cultivable farmlands, little or no seed/cutting for the next planting season, disruption in the transportation of farm produce and destruction of human lives and property. This study also showed that the coping strategies adopted by the farmers were formation of vigilant groups (86.67%), income diversification (85%) and combination of arable farming with other cash crops (71.67) amongst others. The study therefore recommends that the government should address issue of climate change, establish ranches, implement the open grazing ban and provide coping loan for farmers affected by the conflict.