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The study was conductedin Katsina State with the objective of investigating the causes of farmer-herder conflict and the performance of management institutions towards the resolution of the conflict in the State. Three (3) local government areas were purposively selected from the 3 senatorial zones. This was followed by the selection of 21 crop farmers and 21 cattle herders from each of the 3 local government areas through snowball sampling to obtain a sample size of 126 respondents. Data were gathered with the aid of structured interview schedules; however, Focus Group Discussion (FGD) was also conducted with separate groups of herders and farmers. Descriptive statistics (mean, frequency counts, percentages) were used to describe the personal characteristics of crop farmers and cattle herders, identify the types of conflict resolution mechanisms employed by these institutions and determine the causes of the conflict as well as examine the institutions involved in the management and resolution of the conflict and logistic regression analysis was used to examine the factors responsible for the cause of conflict in the study area. Results from the findings indicate that 75% of the cattle herders had no formal education implying that formal education level is very low. Crop damage by cattle (3.165, P<0.01), encroachment of cattle routes (2.175, P<0.01), inadequate grazing reserves (3.444, P<0.01), lack of access to water points (2.737, P<0.05), pollution of water points (3.022, P<0.05), indiscriminate bush burning (1.512, P<0.05), cattle rustling (1.485, P<0.05), land tenure system (1.621, P<0.05), and changes in climate conditions (1.507, P<0.05), were the causes of the conflict. Traditional rulers and Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) through amicable resolution were found to be 100% effective in handling farmer-herder conflict in the study area. It was recommended that, mass campaign for formal education should be intensified in both communities; involvement of indigenous resource user groups in policies; survey, demarcation, beaconing and gazetting of the government owned grazing reserves and cattle routes; amending the existing land use policy; and sedentarizing some of the herders.
1.1 Background to the Study
One major problem confronting world peace today is the manifestation of conflicts in
different dimensions across the globe. From Europe to America, Africa to Asia,
conflicts are common phenomena (Marshall and Gurr, 2005 in Jeong, 2008). Conflict
has been defined in different ways by different scholars. For instance, Ekong (2003)
defined conflict as that form of social interaction in which the actors seek to obtain
scarce reward by eliminating or weakening their contenders. Folger et al. (2009) defined
conflict as the interaction of interdependent people who perceive incompatible goals
and interference from each other in achieving thosegoals. Gyong (2007) defined conflict
as the struggle for dominance or control of one person or group by the other in such a
way as to subjugate or even eliminate the opponent.
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.
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.
Social and economic factors continue to provoke violent conflicts among the Fulani
pastoralists and farmers. The intensity and variations of the conflicts largely depend on
the nature and type of the user groups where the pastoralists graze. These conflicts have
constituted serious threats to the means of survival and livelihoods of both the farmers
and pastoralists and what both groups are tenaciously protecting. The conflicts (though
provocative) over access rights to farmland and cattle routes (labi), have become
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