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1.1 Background to the Study
Natural resource conflicts are pervasive in Africa, and the West African sub-region is not an exception. Blench (1996:1) asserts that the rise in natural resource conflicts is as a result of human population increase and the globalization of the economy. According to Blench, 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 (Blench, 1996: 1).
Conflicts between pastoralists and farmers have been noted as an example of Low Intensity Conflict (LIC) emanating from environmental degradation, resource scarcity, demographic and climate change (Shettima & Tar, 2008:163).
Within the West African sub-region, a large section of the population depends on the production of livestock for their livelihood and survival (Shettima & Tar, 2008:163). According to Shettima and Tar (2008: 164), more than 12 million people in West Africa‖ depend on the production of livestock as their primary means of support whereas over 70 million people in the same region also depend on livestock and livestock related enterprises for their livelihood.
Nigeria has experienced and is still experiencing conflicts of grave proportions among several ethnic and religious communities across the states. These conflicts significantly vary in dimension, process and the groups involved. It was observed by Momale (2003) that, while some conflicts arise between same resource user group such as between one farming community and another, others occur between different user groups such as between herders and farmers or between foresters and farmers. Adisa (2012) observed that the farmers-herdsmen conflict has remained the most preponderant resource-use conflict in Nigeria.
Farmers and pastoralists interdepend on each other for survival. Pastoralists move their herds to graze on farmlands belonging to crop farmers and also acquire the food stuffs produced by crop farmers.
Farmers on the other hand require from pastoralists protein and dairy products (Shettima &Tar, 2008: 164). According to Monod (1975) the survival of pastoralists is dependent upon their interaction with sedentary people. Thus, both farmers and pastoralists depend on each other for water, fodder, land and other resources. The relationship existing between farmers and pastoralists therefore makes conflicts inevitable as competing interest arises over the use of natural resources. These conflicts are occasioned by the seasonal weather conditions which forces pastoralists to move from the semi-arid areas in search of pastures further south, which results in competition over access to available land for crop cultivation and grazing pastures for the cattle (Monod, 1975).
According to Abbas (2009) a study of major sources of conflicts between the Fulani pastoralists (to be used interchangeably with “herders” or “herdsmen”) and farmers shows that land related issues, especially on grazing fields, account for the highest percentage of the conflicts. In other words, struggles over the control of economically viable lands cause more tensions and violent conflicts among communities.
Socio-economic factors still influence violent conflicts among the Fulani herdsmen and farmers. The extent and variations of the crisis mostly depend upon the character and kind of the user teams wherever the herdsmen graze (Abbas,2009). These conflicts have deep-rooted serious threats to the suggests that of survival and livelihoods of each the farmers and herdsmen and what each team square measure doggedly protective. The crisis over access rights to farmland and oxen routes (labi), became omnipresent and looks to possess defied solutions (Abbas, 2009)
However, Coser (2000) has noted that, the inevitability of conflict in the claim for scarce resource is considered here as the bane for struggles over the inestimable value for land and its resource, with the claim for ownership and the claim for its position as a common resource. Nevertheless, the complex land use system that has changed markedly overtime has culminated in the present-day tension and conflicts between Fulani herdsmen and host communities.
1.2 Statement of Problem
Over the years, tensions between Nigeria's Fulani herdsmen and settled rural farmers have been intensive in recent years, with dwindling natural resources and land accessibility greatly contributory to the continued, escalating conflict within the country (Okello et al., 2014.).
Berger (2003) thought-about that, pastures, woody vegetation, water resources and land square measure taken as a typical property resource. The increasing range of reports of violence at this activity boundary makes understanding herder-farmer conflicts associate imperative task. we'd like to understand not simply why friction begins, however conjointly why and the way, as some conflicts unfold they articulate with spiritual, ethnic, and political conditions (Morizt, 2010).
Competition-driven conflicts between cultivable crop farmers and bovine herdsmen became common occurrences in several components of African nation (Ingawa et al., 1999). The competition between these 2 agricultural land user-groups has usually times changed into serious obvious and covert hostilities and social friction in several components of African nation (Adisa, 2012). Cases of herders-farmers conflicts square measure widespread in recent times. Nweze (2005) conjointly expressed that, several farmers and herders have lost their lives and herds whereas others have knowledgeable about dwindling productivity in their herds. In most of those encounters, voters square measure often killed and also the destruction or loss of property leaves associate already vulnerable public even poorer. The frequency and scale of those communal conflicts became alarming (Leadership Newspaper, May 17, 2011).
The dimension of aggressiveness within the conflicts is related to the arrival of the aggressive Udawa and Bokoloji pastoralists that more diode to the emergence and introduction of guns and alternative refined weapons within the conflicts further because the use of mobile phones, attended with plundering. of these have made adverse consequences within the destruction of villages, settlements, crops, irrigation facilities, human and animal lives. The incidence of significant cases of conflicts for survival between pastoralists and farmers conjointly diode to loss of lives and destruction of properties with the emergence of insecurity thanks to the continual want for payback by the parties concerned (Pyramid Trust, July 17, 2009).
Fulani herdsmen have killed thirty- two folks in communities in Dekina and Omala government Areas of Kogi State. The assailants arrived by boat on Wednesday, opened hearth on the folks and burnt down homes. Associate watcher aforesaid they wore military fatigue and wielded Last Frontier forty seven assault rifles. several of the residents United Nations agency fled for his or her lives stay unaccounted for. A supply claimed the attackers, “about 500”, burnt down over twenty homes, killed anyone seeable and shot at those that tried to flee into the bushes. The Deputy Commissioner of Police MonBala confirmed the incident throughout a news conference yesterday however declined to grant casualty figures. He aforesaid the Commissioner of Police Aliyu Janga has written policemen and alternative security operatives to the world to revive order. (The Guardian,2018).
Four members of the family of a serving lawman were reportedly killed throughout the attack. One resident of the world aforesaid the incident may be a revenge for a 2016 wrangle that diode to the death of 4 Fulani herdsmen associated some range of bovine. In February, Governor Yahaya Bello given fifteen,000 hectares of land for the polemic Federal Government’s bovine colony policy. He aforesaid Fulani herdsmen would be delivered to the land, since the state didn’t have any anti-grazing law, as enacted by neighboring Benue State. (The Guardian,2018).
Similarly, Tonah (2006) opined that, farmer-herder variations aren't solely seen as resource conflict however also are generally depicted as ethnic conflict involving the 2 teams. Since herder and farmer teams have terribly completely different values, customs, physical and cultural characteristics, disputes between them square measure ofttimes characterised as ethnic conflict. The task here is to look at the impact of this conflict on population and security in Koton-Karfe, Kogi State.
1.3 Research Questions
The study therefore provided answers to the following questions:
i. What are the effects of herdsmen and farmers on the population and security in Koton-karfe, Kogi State?
ii. What are the factors responsible for the conflict between crop farmers and herders in Koton-karfe, Kogi State?
iii. Which institutions are involved in resolving conflict between farmers and herders in the study area?
iv What are the types of conflict resolution mechanisms employed by these institutions?
1.3 Objectives of the Study
The broad objective of the study was to analyze the effects of herdsmen and farmers crisis on population and security of residents in Koton-karfe, Kogi State.
The specific objectives of the study were to:
i. To examine the effect of herdsmen and farmers crisis on population and security in the study areas;
ii. To examine the factors responsible for the conflict between crop farmers and cattle herders in the study area;
iii. To examine the institutions involved in the management and resolution of the conflict between farmers and Fulani herders in the study area.
iv. To identify and describe the types of conflict resolution mechanisms employed by these institutions.
1.4 Research Hypothesis
H01; Herdsmen-Farmers crisis doesn’t not have a significant relationship with population of residents in Koton-karfe.
H02; Herdsmen-Farmers crisis doesn’t have a significant relationship on security of residents in Koton-karfe.
1.5 Significance of the Study
The increasing number of reports of violence at this occupational boundary makes understanding herders-farmers conflict an urgent task. We need to know not just why friction begins, but also why and how, as some conflicts unfold they articulate with religious, ethnic, and political conditions (Morizt, 2010).
In addition, there is the need to comprehend how the „farmers and herders‟ on the one hand and the „community and the state‟ on the other have viewed such conflicting issues and the strategies put in place to ameliorate or even resolve them. Until the sources of such conflicts are clearly identified, understood, managed and resolved, such incidences will continue to show their ugly heads at the slightest provocation (Abbas, 2009).
Conflict between farmers and herders could be reduced or averted when Government policies are clearly formulated and implementation framework aimed at setting a guiding principle on future cooperation between the two warring groups is established.
The study examined the effect of this crisis between this two groups on the population and security of residents in Kotonkarfe in Kogi State. It, therefore, provides a sort of communication platform that will enable bottom-up flow of information from the grassroots to the general public and the policy making unit of the government.
Although scholars such as, Abubakar (2012), Kehinde (2011), Ofuoku and Isife (2009) and Adebayo and Olaniyi (2008), have written on land resource conflict and considerable research has been devoted to farmer-herder conflict in particular, the most recent security challenges that leads to the escalation of violence of different dimension across the country, has prompted the need for a fresh investigation. This will complement the efforts of the other researchers. This being the case, it is hoped that the study has provided the Government, Non-governmental organizations and the general public with relevant and up-to-date information on causes of farmer-herder conflict and efforts of various institutions towards the resolutions of conflicts between them. It has also provided the required information on the current status of farmer-herder conflict as well as helps contribute to the existing literature on global conflicts with specific emphasis on land resource use conflicts. Finally, the best ways to improve the relationship between these important groups form the concern of this study.
1.6 Scope of the Study
The study will seek to examine the effect of herdsmen and farmers crisis on the population and security of residents in Koton-karfe in Kogi state. The study variable will comprise of human security, food security, population rate, occurrence of herdsmen-farmers crisis in the area, and some other vital variables that will be used in the study. Information will include the present effect of the crisis on the population and security of the study area.
1.7 Definitions of Terms
Herdsmen: A herder is a worker who lives a possibly semi-nomadic life, caring for various domestic animals, in places where these animals wander pasture lands.(Wikipedia,2018)
Farmers; A farmer is a person engaged in agriculture, raising living organisms for food or raw materials. The term usually applies to people who do some combination of raising field crops, orchards, vineyards, poultry, or other livestock.
Crisis: A crisis is any event that is going to lead to an unstable and dangerous situation affecting an individual, group, community, or whole society.
Population: The total of persons and resources in a geographical confine area (Dominic,2018)
Security; Security is freedom from, or resilience against, potential harm from external forces. Beneficiaries of security may be persons and social groups, objects and institutions, ecosystems.
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