THE EFFECT OF BOKO HARAM, HERDSMEN, FARMER CLASHING AND CATTLE RUSTLING CRISIS ON AGRICULTURAL BUSINESS PRODUCTIVITY AND FOOD SECURITY IN NORTHERN NIGERIA
1.1 Background to the Study
Agriculture is a traditional source of employment in most of the states in Nigeria. Percentage of persons involved in agriculture ranges between 24.4 and 85.1 per cent across all zones in Nigeria. With respect to these states, the activity ranges between 2.4 and 91.7 per cent, with majority of states having over 50 percent increases in agricultural output, brought about by increasing land and labour productivity. Boko Haram activities, has destabilized socio-economic activities, increased crime and destruction of both life and property of Nigerian citizens. Affected are the mass movement of people living in northern part of the country most especially Northern part of Adamawa state. This situation has made it impossible for the citizens in that part of the state to carry on their legitimate activities such as farming, livestock production to mention a few. It is also scaring foreign investors out of this part of the country. Students have been forced to flee their schools. Agricultural sector has been destabilized. The gravity of the crisis has brought about decline in productivity that escalates the prices of Agricultural output reduces the per capita income of an individual. Productivity of peasant farmers is essential and fundamental to any society or nation. In fact, agricultural sector is the driving force of any national economy in the world. Nations do not only plan for production, but also heavily invest in agricultural sector to boost food production, increase gross domestic product and by extension, secure the citizens from hunger and subsequent malnutrition. However, more often than not, insecurity constituted by Boko Haram in Adamawa state of Nigeria has to a large extent tampered with tens of thousands of people whom major activities is farming. The protracted violence in the affected zone has forced large scale farmers to abandon their farming activities in search for their dear lives. This has to some extent crippled economic activities and hence led to reduction in internally generated revenue of the state.
The mass displacement of people have resulted to poor harvest in the Northern and some central part of Adamawa state; mainly Mubi North, Mubi South, Michika, Madagali, Maiha, Hong and Gombi Local government areas of the State. In addition, rising prices of food and other services in Adamawa have always been linked to high rate of insurgency in the state. There are challenges to low productivity, mass displacement, and decrease in internally generated revenue of the state. Most literature on Boko Haram has argued that insecurity in Nigeria occurs due to: (i) Economic and poverty level in the area, mostly insurgent gain members by claiming their struggle is for the people and that they would provide basic necessity for the general population if supported, (ii). Activities of internal actors and external actors. The study area has recorded the highest activities of Boko Haram in the state. This has made the farmland for productivity in the study area inaccessible, because of the current growth of insurgency and crisis.
In sub-Saharan Africa, some scholars have argued that there is an increase in resource-use conflicts especially farmer–herder conflict, since the Sahelian drought of the 1970s and 1980s (Hussien et al. 1999; Tonah 2006). The Sahelian drought caused the movement of many herders to West Africa especially the savannah areas for survival (Tonah 2005). The movement and settlement of the herders in the West African zone caused increased violent conflict between herders and local farmers especially the struggle for water and land for their activities. Increasing conflict means ‘more conflict, a new scale of conflict being attained/increased frequency or intensity of existing conflicts’ (Hussein et al., 1999). Matthew et al. (2009) found that since 1990 exploitation and competition over natural resources have been the cause of nearly eighteen violent conflicts in some West African countries, Darfur and the Middle East. Also, the Ministry of Animal Resources in Burkina Faso reported that about 600 conflicts between farmers and herders are recorded in the country every year (IRIN, 2012). In Nigeria (Benue), a total of 1,200 people were killed in 2014 due to the conflict between local farmers and Fulani herders.
The etiology of this conflict has been blamed mainly on crop destruction by cattle that enter farms, sometimes in the presence of the herders owning them, fierce competition over shrinking arable lands, and the inability of government institutions to solve the conflict (Abubakari & Longi 2014; Tonah 2005). Also, Hagberg (1998) argues that this type of conflict stems from competition over scarce resources because of increased in population, migration and land degradation. This is in line with the population theory of Malthus, which sees a population increase as a source of resource competition and conflict. Thomas Malthus argued that population will grow exponentially whilst food production will grow arithmetically (Seidl and Tisdell 1999). Thus, the population will double with each cycle, and food production will increase gradually which will cause scarcity of resources in the future. Therefore, theoretically, the environmental–scarcity debate has been at the centre of discussions by scholars when explaining causes of farmer–herder conflict. But critics have argued that the Malthusian and environmental/scarcity debate has not been able to explain other drivers of farmer–herder conflict (Moritz 2010). For instance, factors such as increased availability of modern weapons, limited laws on pastoralism, marginalization of herders, corruption, and expansion of farmlands have been stated as causal factors by some scholars (Hagberg 1998; Tonah 2006; Benjaminsen and Ba 2009; Mwamfupe 2015). However, this study shall investigate the effect of Boko Haram, herdsmen, farmer clashing and cattle rustling crisis on agricultural business productivity and food security in Northern Nigeria.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
It is no more news that Nigeria is a multi-ethnic and multi religious state with several hundred ethnic nationalities each with its language, traditions and culture. However the biggest challenges threatening the corporate existence of Nigeria today is Boko Haram, herdsmen, famer clashing and cattle rustling crisis on agricultural business productivity and food security , there has been unceasing blows delivered by the crisis to the indigenous farming population. While the Federal government has failed to come up with a pragmatic approach that can solve the crisis, the daily news channels are littered with stories and gory pictures of ongoing attacks. Inconsistencies in government policies seem to exacerbate these conflicts. While the State governments have introduced different laws as a way of addressing these problem the federal government seems confused, undecided and is even perceived as complicit. Unless something quick actions are taken by both the Federal government, these crises may go beyond their control. Boko Haram, herdsmen, famer clashing and cattle rustling crisis on agricultural business productivity and food security have been in Nigeria for decades, and northern Nigeria has been the main theatre witnessing the escalation of the crises which has witnessed mass destruction of farm lands, houses and human genocide within the period under review.
The assumption of this study is that this problem can be tackled by identifying its root cause, its manifestations and implications and by diverging and proffering solutions. Boko Haram, herdsmen, farmer clashing and cattle rustling crisis on agricultural business productivity and food security is an issue which has come to stay in Nigeria for decade and it is fast growing by the day. People have deserted their farms, houses etc seeking refuge in other places thereby becoming strangers in other lands.
1.3 Research Objectives
The general objective of this study is to determine the effect of Boko Haram, herdsmen, farmer clashing and cattle rustling crisis on agricultural business productivity and food security in Northern Nigeria. The specific objectives are:
i) To evaluate the impacts of insurgency on the agricultural output of farmers in Northern Nigeria
ii) To understand the impacts of Boko Haram, herdsmen, farmer clashing and cattle rustling crisis on the availability of credit facilities to peasant farmers in Northern Nigeria
iii) To determine the economic, cultural, social implications and consequences of Boko Haram, herdsmen, farmer clashing and cattle rustling crisis in Northern Nigeria
1.4 Research Questions
The following are some of the questions which this study intends to answer:
i) What are the impacts of insurgency on the agricultural output of farmers in Northern Nigeria?
ii) What are the impact of Boko Haram, herdsmen, farmer clashing and cattle rustling crisis on the availability of credit facilities to peasant farmers in Northern Nigeria?
iii) What are the economic, cultural, social implications and consequences of Boko Haram, herdsmen, farmer clashing and cattle rustling crisis in Northern Nigeria?
1.5 Research Hypotheses
The following hypotheses were postulated to guide the conduct of this study;
i) There is a significant influence of Boko Haram, herdsmen, farmer clashing and cattle rustling crisis on the availability of credit facilities to peasant farmers in Northern Nigeria
ii) There is a significant impact of Boko Haram, herdsmen, farmer clashing and cattle rustling crisis on the economic, cultural, social activities in Northern Nigeria
iii) There is a significant relationship between insurgency and the agricultural output of farmers in Northern Nigeria
1.6 Significance of the Study
The recent escalation of Boko Haram, herdsmen, farmer clashing and cattle rustling crisis on agricultural business productivity and food security in Northern Nigeria has grossly robbed Nigeria’s rapid growth and development as the conflict usually result in massive destruction of cattle, food, property and human life. This obviously has caused the country a lot of setback as development cannot thrive in such areas which are affected by conflict. Therefore it is important to adopt a multidimensional approach to the solution of this crisis, including the contribution of this study
Apart from the fact that there is slow pace of development if any, the country also runs the risk of a poor relationship among the various ethnic groups as such people who formally love been involved will have the fear of travelling to the state of their enemies. This study is therefore justified under the premise that, it will serve as an eye opener for those who are affected by this particular conflict, to foster peace amongst various communities across the nation. The study could also serve as a reference point for other scholars in this study area and students can also learn from it.
1.7 Scope of the Study
This study will cover farmers and herders from Northern Areas of Nigeria. This is because it focuses on the effects on agricultural business productivity and food security with particular attention on Northern States in Nigeria. Therefore, one state from each of the three northern geopolitical zones (North East, North West and North Central) shall be selected.
1.8 Limitations of the Study
The study will be carried out in the three northern geopolitical zones. Due to financial constraints and shortage of time, only one state from each zone will be covered, and therefore findings of the study cannot be generalized to the entire country..