Conflict in Nigeria’s Agricultural Community; The Herders’ Perspective in North Central Nigeria


The crop farmer-herder conflict has taken a toll on the agricultural development of Nigeria. These two major players in the Nigerian agricultural sector, constitute a threat to their livelihood strategy. As a result of these conflicts, fortunes have been lost in terms of crops and livestock. Our study investigated conflict between herders and crop farmers in Kogi State, Nigeria. In general, a herdsman is responsible for the conflict experienced on the agricultural scene in Nigeria. This work presents the herders’ perspective to the lingering dispute. For the purpose of the study, purposive sampling method was used to select 3 locations in the state. Furthermore, we applied snowball sampling to select 40 herder respondents from each of the three locations; consequently, a total of 120 herders were sampled for the study. Data were collected through the use of structured interview schedules. Descriptive statistics, the 5 point Likert scale and Chi square test were used for the analyses. Among the identified causes of conflict one can enumerate: crop damage by cattle (72.5%), crop farmers encroachment onto cattle routes (47.5%), inadequate grazing reserves for cattle (70.0%), lack of access to water points (64.2%), pollution of water points leading to death of livestock (47.5%), intentional bush burning (66.7%), maiming/killing of stray cattle (74.2%), and blockade of stock route by farms (80.8%). Resolution of conflict situations was found to be carried out mostly by traditional institutions, i.e. the police, local authorities, courts and cattle breeders association through legal means and payment of compensation among others. Furthermore, the herdsmen also have strategies to prevent such conflicts; these are restriction of cattle, awareness of the existence of a stock route among members and use of the stock route. Therefore, we recommend the use of traditional institutions and support of the cattle breeders association to manage such conflicts in any case.


Conflict, herder- farmer, conflict-resolution, stock route

Adisa, R.S. (2012). Land Use Conflict between Farmers and Herdsmen – Implications for Agricultural and Rural Development. Ilorin, Nigeria: Department of Agricultural Extension and Rural Development, University of Ilorin.
Aliyu, A.S. (2015). Causes and Resolution of Conflict between Cattle Herders and Crop Farmers in Katsina State. Msc. Dissertation Submitted to the School of Postgraduate Studies. Zaria, Nigeria: Ahmadu Bello University.
Bagwitz, D., Becker, S., Elges, R., Goretzky, W., Hofmann, A., Hilal, T., Krech, K., Kruk, G. (2008). Economic Development in conflict-affected countries Practitioners‘ Note. Deutsche Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit (GTZ) GmbH.
Blench, R (2017). Pastoralist-farmer conflict in Kaduna and Kogi States, the situation of pastoralists in Katsina and Sokoto States. Guest Road Cambridge CB1 2AL United Kingdom.
Bwala, M.A., Tiayamiyu, S.A., Kolo, Y.A. (2018). Analysis of land tillage practices and related problems among rice farmers in the tropic of sub-saharan Africa. J. Bangl. Agric. Univ., 16(1), 98–103.
Dimelu, U.M., Salifu, D.E., Mbolle, C.J. Achonam, E.I., Mbadiwe, I.E. (2017). Livelihood issues in herdsmen-farmers’ conflict among farming communities in Kogi State, Nigeria. Afr. J. Agric. Res., 12(24), 2105–2115.
Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (2011). Federal Republic of Nigeria: Agricultural Policy, FMARD Lagos.
International Crisis Group (2017). Herders against Farmers: Nigeria’s Expanding Deadly Conflict. Crisis Group Africa Report N°252, 19 September 2017.
Iro, I. (2004). Nomadic Education and Education for Nomadic Fulanis. Washington DC, USA.
Jeong, H. (2000). Understanding Conflict and Conflict Analysis. London: Sage Publication.
Kehinde, E.A. (2011). Socio-economic and Environmental Factors Influencing Conflict between Crop
Producers and Pastoralists in Kabba-Bunu Local Government Area of Kogi State, Nigeria. An unpublished Phd. Dissertation submitted to Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Sociology. Zaria, Nigeria: Ahmadu Bello University.
Musa, S.D., Shabu, T., Igbawua, M.I. (2016). Resource Use Conflict between Farmers and Fulani Herdsmen in Guma Local Government Area of Benue State, Nigeria. J. Def. Stud. Res. Manag., 4(1).
Nweze, N.J. (2005). Minimizing Farmer-Herder Conflicts in Fadama Areas through Local Development Plans: Implications for Increased Crop/Livestock Productivity in Nigeria. A Paper Presented at the 30th Annual Conference of the Nigerian Society for Animal Production, Held on 20th -24th March.
Nicholson, M. (1992). Rationality and the Analysis of International Conflict. Cambridge: University Press, National Population Commission, Nigerian Census.
Ofem, O.O., Inyang, B. (2014). Livelihood and Conflict Dimension among Crop Farmers and Fulani Herdsmen in Yakurr Region of Cross River State. Mediter. J. Soc. Sci., 5(8).
Ofuoku, A.U., Isife, B.I. (2009). Causes, Effects and Resolution of Farmers-Nomadic Cattle Herders Conflicts in Delta State, Nigeria. Int. J. Soc. Anthrop., 1(2), 49.
Onucheyo, E. (1999). Political decision in the Nigerian agricultural industry. Zaria, Nigeria: Taniaza Publishing Company Limited.
Tonah, S. (2006). Managing Farmer-Herder Conflicts in Ghana and Volta Basin. Ibad. J. Soc. Sci., 4(1), 33–45.

Published : 2020-07-08

Bwala, M., & Ogirima, A. (2020). Conflict in Nigeria’s Agricultural Community; The Herders’ Perspective in North Central Nigeria. Journal of Agribusiness and Rural Development, 56(2), 163–172.

Madu Ali Bwala
Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida University, Lapai  Nigeria
Abdulazeez Ogirima 
Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida University, Lapai  Nigeria

CitedBy Crossref

CitedBy Scopus

HTML tutorial

Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

This journal permits and encourages authors to post items submitted to the journal on personal websites or institutional repositories both prior to and after publication, while providing bibliographic details that credit, if applicable, its publication in this journal.