Canadian Journal of Agriculture and Crops

Volume 3, Number 1 (2018) pp 9-20 doi 10.20448/803. | Research Articles


Resolving the Farmers/Herdsmen Conflict in Southern Kaduna through Sustainable Land Management Practise

Tanimu M.Y. 1 , Akujuru V. A. 1 
1 Department of Estate Management,Faculty of Environmental Studies,Rivers State University of Science and Technology, Nigeria


Globally, and in many individual countries, there is clear evidence of impending land shortage. Efficient use of these available lands is becoming a matter of life or death for increasing millions of mankind. The aim of this research is to identify the problems of land uses and unrestrained cattle grazing in Nigeria with particular reference to Kaura, Jema’a and Sanga Local Government of Kaduna State using the focus group research method. Data was collected through structured interview from 6 respondents who were purposefully selected in each of the local government area. The data collected was analyzed both qualitatively and quantitatively. The results show that residential and agricultural land use are the predominant land use in the 3 local government areas and the absence of grazing and ranch land has been the major problem engendering herdsmen/farmers clash. It is recommended that the government should perfect all titles on land, provide grazing and ranch land in specific locations, after consultation with the traditional rulers, religious leaders and farmers representative and the herdsmen to stem the frequent clashes.

Keywords: Land, Pastoralist, Herdsmen, Farmers, Grazing land

DOI: 10.20448/803.

Citation Tanimu M.Y.; Akujuru V. A. (2018). Resolving the Farmers/Herdsmen Conflict in Southern Kaduna through Sustainable Land Management Practise. Canadian Journal of Agriculture and Crops, 3(1): 9-20

Copyright: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License

Funding : This study received no specific financial support

Competing Interests: The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

History : Received: 24 April 2018/ Revised: 14 May 2018/ Accepted: 16 May 2018/ Published: 18 May 2018

Publisher: Online Science Publishing


Violent Conflict is largely a phenomenon of plural societies. In Nigeria, conflict has become a very widespread occurrence; manifesting in all spheres of human endeavours, and most recently in the clash between herdsmen and farmers. A study of major sources of conflicts between the Herdsmen and farmers shows that land related issues especially, over 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. As Pastoralists and cultivators have coexisted for a long time, the complexities over the land-use system have dramatically changed and thus become the dependent variables in conflicts between herdsmen and farmers. Conflict in resource use is not uncommon and perhaps not unnatural in human ecosystems. Moore [1 ] noted that conflict per se, is not bad: it is perhaps a necessity in the evolution and development of human organizations. But when conflicts degenerate to violent, destructive clashes, they become not only unhealthy but also counterproductive and progress-threatening. (

Past emphasis on land 'development', focused on maximizing production and return from land use investment and planned against a background belief that suitable lands for expansion could always be found somewhere. This has been forced to give way to a more cautious approach-one that recognizes the finite extent of fertile land and the seemingly insatiable demands of a growing human population as the economic and human dynamics change.

Globally, and in many individual countries, there is clear evidence of impending land shortage. Areas in which the combination of land and freshwater resources is moderately or well suited to agriculture are, for the most part, already in use. Efficient use of these lands is becoming a matter of life or death for increasing millions of humankind. Future generations in still larger numbers are more seriously at risk, their livelihood been endangered by present production choices that degrade the very resources on which future agriculture depends. Global production must increase dramatically to meet foreseen demand but the levels and means of production targeted locally must be those that can be maintained on a sustained basis. Global, and even local agriculture must be sustainable.

Grazing land management starts with an understanding of the land, its inherent capabilities and its current condition. With this information, decisions can be made about how to manage the various land types and how to improve grazing land condition in vulnerable areas. Monitoring land condition over time will reveal how the management strategies are contributing to the land’s improvement or degradation. Pastoralism within dry lands has coexisted with wildlife for decades [2 ] pointed out that resource-related conflicts are responsible for over 12 percent declines in per capita food production in sub- Saharan Africa. Fasona and Omojola [3 ] found that conflicts over agricultural land use between farmers and herdsmen accounted for 35 percent of all reported crises. Politico-religious and ethnic clashes occurred at lower frequencies.

Grazing land management is about managing the pastures and the number, type and location of grazing animals on your property to optimize pasture growth and composition, and animal production. It considers the property as a whole and seeks to reduce the threats posed by land degradation, erosion, weeds and pest animals, as well as safeguarding and enhancing biodiversity across the property .

The aim of this research is to review the problems of land uses and unrestrained cattle grazing in Nigeria and to suggest a possible approach to solving such problems using focus group interview as a research method.


Fig-1. Shaded Portion showing the 3 local government areas of the study

  Source: (google map,2018)

Kaduna State is the Successor to the old Northern Region of Nigeria, which had its capital at Kaduna. In 1969 this was Split up in to six States, one of which was the north-central state, whose name was changed Kaduna State in 1976. This was further divided in 1989, losing some part to the present Katsina State. Under the government of Kaduna is the ancient city of Zaria, Kaduna State occupies part of the central position of the Northern part of Nigeria with Kaduna as its capital and share common border with Zamfara, Katsina, Niger, Kano, Bauchi and Plateaus State. To the south – west, the State share a border with federal capital Territory, Abuja, Kaduna State is standing at the height of 2116 feet above sea level and covering an area of 48,473.2km2 of Land mass and has a population of over 6 million  according to the 2006 Census . It has two distinct season which are the dry season and rainy season, Kaduna town is considered to be a commercial town with most of the business activities  being carried out along Ahmadu Bello Way which is considered the Central Business District (CBD). Kaduna State has 23 Local Government Area.

1.1. Cattle Rearing Problem

Cattle rearing depends on the availability of abundant forage between wet and dry season grazing and it is undertaken to cope with forage availability as determined by spatially and temporally variable and unpredictable rainfall patterns and grazing pressure [4 ]. Similarly, wildlife from the adjacent protected areas use these areas to maximize their daily and seasonal forage requirements . Land, though represents only about one-third of the earth’s surface. Nigeria, having a land mass of 923,768 sq km and an increasing population of greater than 150 million people therefore,  suffers land shortage. Wars are fought, territories conquered, various conflicts in regions to affirm the ownership of land . The conflicts arise out of issues of land tenure (ownership) and land uses .

1.2. Nigerian Land Tenure and Nationalization of Land

Prior to the introduction of a uniform right of occupancy system, Nigeria operated a plural system of land tenure. There were basically four systems: tenure under the received English law, tenure under the State Land Laws, tenure under the Land Tenure Law, and the indigenous tenure under customary law. Two of these operated nationwide while the others followed the usual north south dichotomy characterization in Nigeria.


This tenancy has no equivalent in English law. It is not a leasehold interest, a tenancy at will, or a yearly tenancy. The principal incident of customary tenure is the payment of annual tributes, not rents, by the customary tenant to its overlord.  In essence, the customary tenant is not a lessee or borrower, he is a grantee of land under customary tenure and holds a determinable interest in the land which may be enjoyed in perpetuity subject to good behavior on the part of the tenant. He enjoys something like emphyteusis, a perpetual right in the land of another.  The principles governing this customary tenure are now well established by various judicial authorities. For instance, the tenant must use the land for the purpose for which it was granted and no other, he must pay yearly tributes to the grantor as an acknowledgment of the latter's overlordship, and neither party can alienate the land without the consent of the other. The interest thus secured by the tenant in the land is one of inheritance, and the land will revert to the overlord only upon proven misbehavior on the part of the customary tenant or in the rare case of the extinction of the tenant's family.

The only weapon in the hands of the overlord for effectively dealing with the tenant after the grant is the power to forfeit the tenancy. Grounds for forfeiture include abandonment, alienation or attempted alienation of the land without the consent of the overlord, denial of the overlord's title, using the land for purposes for which it was not granted, and withholding tributes persistently.

Forfeiture, however, is not automatic. Nigerian courts have often been willing to grant relief against forfeiture, such as a fine, except in cases where refusal to grant forfeiture would tend to defeat the ends of justice.

Customary land tenure system has been defined as "the system of landholding indigenous to Nigeria, relating to family and inheritance systems based on the concept of group ownership of absolute rights in land, with individuals acquiring usufructuary rights. These rights establish the basis for access to land resources and the opportunity to use land for productive purposes. Under customary rules of tenure, it was observed that each individual member of a landholding family was entitled to a portion of land sufficient to feed both himself and his family; no member of the community could dispose another of his stake in family land; and no one could alienate family members' interest in family land without the knowledge and consent of those members; the right to land might be perpetual, for certain periods (for example farming), or for the lifetime of the holder".The one principle that is firmly established in customary land tenure system is that "land is ancestral trust which the living shares with the dead, hence land is inalienable". The Judicial Committee of Privy Council in the case of Amodu Tijanni v. Secretary of Southern Nigeria affirmed this principle, were it held that the notion of individual ownership was foreign to native ideas.


The present land tenure as contained in section 1 of the Act vests all land in the territory of each state of the federation in the state's governor to be held in trust and administered for the use and common benefits of all Nigerians in accordance with the provisions of the Act.  Management and control of land in urban areas is vested in the governor, while the local governments assume this responsibility over land in non-urban areas. Section 5 empowers the governor to grant statutory rights of occupancy to all persons with respect to any land, whether in urban or non-urban areas, while section 6 empowers the appropriate local government to grant customary rights of occupancy over land in non-urban areas within its jurisdiction. These authorities are assisted in the allocation of land by the Land Use Allocation Committee and the Land Allocation Advisory Committee, respectively. By sections 34 and 36 of the Act, pre-existing interests in land are preserved subject to their transformation into rights of occupancy. Under sections 21-23 and 34 of the Act, no alienation of rights of occupancy can be valid without the consent of the governor or the approval of the local government where appropriate. Power to revoke any right of occupancy for overriding public interest with or without payment of compensation is vested in the governor, while the local government has limited power to revoke a customary right of occupancy only. By these provisions, the Act introduced a uniform state ownership system otherwise known as Nigeria's Rights of Occupancy System. The effective implementation of this system, it has been asserted, would accomplish the objectives  of:

(a)  Removing bitter controversies, resulting at times in loss of lives and limbs, which land is known to be generating.

(b)  Streamline and simplify the management and ownership of land in the country.

(c)  Assisting the citizenry, irrespective of his social status to realize his ambition and aspiration of owning the place where he and his family will live a secure and peaceful life.

1.3. Land Use Act vs Indegenous Tenure System

A. General Observations

Although there is no direct reference to the indigenous land tenure in the Act, the recognition and preservation of customary land law within the language of the Act may imply the survival of the indigenous land tenure. Section 24 preserves the customary law rules governing devolution of property, while section 25, which prohibits partitioning of land, expressly exempts cases which are regulated by customary law. Under section 29, where the holder or occupier entitled to compensation is a community, the governor is empowered to make direct payment of the compensation either to the community or to its chief or leader to be disposed of by him for the benefit of the community in accordance with the applicable customary law. Under section 50, a "customary right of occupancy" is defined as "the right of a person or community lawfully using or occupying land in accordance with customary law." and an "occupier" is similarly defined as "any person lawfully occupying land under customary law and a person using or occupying land in accordance with customary law ....CAP 23 [5 ] " This is in addition to section 48, which preserves all existing laws relating to the registration of title to, or interest in, land subject to such modifications as will bring those laws into conformity with the Act or its general intendment.

It is submitted that customary land law is an existing law within the meaning of section 48 of the Act. Indeed, it can be asserted that section 1 of the Act merely borrows and enacts the notion of corporate ownership and trusteeship under the indigenous land tenure system. The position of the governor under the Act appears to be comparable to that of the head of the community or family in relation to communal land under customary law. But this would seem to be half-truth only: when the powers of the governor are closely analyzed, the area of conflict with the head of the community can easily be identified, especially in relation to the power of management and control of the land [6 ].

B. Management and Control of Land: The Conflict

It is true that certain sections of the Act import the right of a community to hold a right of occupancy.  Indeed, such right was conceded by the Supreme Court of Nigeria in the recent case of Chief S.U. Ojeme and Others v. Alhaji Momdu II and Others where it was ruled that “The dispute between the applicant and the plaintiff in the present suit is not about the statutory powers or any government agency or the liability of the plaintiff to any of the defendant but a claim for compensation for damage arising from negligence and violation of right to safe environment under Article 24 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples Right”….One critical issue, however, is whether the head of the community in exercising his power of management and control of land under customary law can deal with the land to which the community holds a right of occupancy without reference to the governor or the local government. The latter are the authorities to whom the power of management and control of land is specifically vested in the Act.

1.4.. Pastoralists and Farmers Conflict

Communal conflicts between Pastoralist and host communities usually arise when grazing cattle are not properly controlled and consequently graze on cultivated plants like cassava, maize etc. in farms of host communities. Attempts by the owners of such farms to register their grievance for the destruction of their livelihood (food crops and cash crops) by the cattle of pastoralist is always stoutly resisted thereby degenerating into communal conflicts. Host communities sometimes register their grievances by placing restrictions on movement and grazing of cattle in designated areas and enforcing compliance through coercive measures decreed by the host community vigilante which may take the shape of killing stray cattle or arresting and prosecuting defaulters. When the communities attempt to moderate their activities or request their exit, the pastoralist become aggressive and attack the host community sometimes with the assistance of hired mercenaries. Pastoralist normally attack their target communities at the time they are most vulnerable such as mid-night or prayer days, when they are in their churches, incessantly killing people with sophisticated weapons, looting properties and burning houses. Durojaiye [7 ] pastoralists are “believed to have killed at least 1,229 people in Nigeria in 2014, according to the latest Global Terrorism Index (GTI)…”

Much of the very violent and heavy casualty communal conflicts triggered by Pastoralist occur in the middle-belt of Nigeria in general and Benue State in particular. In the case of Benue State there have been highly devastating conflicts that have claimed so much lives and properties engendered by Pastoralists in communities of local government areas such as Agatu, Guma, Gwer West, Makurdi, Kwande, Katsina-Ala and Loggo. The communal conflicts orchestrated by Pastoralist in Benue State had claimed the lives of more than 5000 victims in the first half of the year 2014. The victims include women and children and they sacked more than 100 communities and have thrown thousands of refugees into Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) Camps located  in Makurdi. Earlier more than 200 people were killed by Pastoralist in the Shengev community in Gwer West Local Government Council with strange substance that looks like bio-chemical weapons. Akevi [8 ] opines that what this means is that their sophistication and combat readiness is increasing by the day as they are apparently armed not just with AK47 riffles but with strange weapons. Very recently (March 2016) more than 10 communities in Agatu Local Government were razed down and more than 500 lives lost in what David Mark (Former Senate President) described as ”genocide against his people” by Pastoralists. The high casualties associated with these conflicts have attracted the attention of Human Rights Watch. Human Rights Watch in December said clashes in the nation's central region had killed 3,000 people since 2010. .

Their combat readiness and sophistication gives them the courage not only to attack host communities but to confront and attack constituted authorities that are heavily protected with state of the art military convoys. A scenario where the convoy of the Governor of Benue State (Gabriel Suswan) was ambushed and attacked by these Pastoralist on his way from Tse-Akanyi village in Guma Local Government Area where he went to commiserate with the victims of conflict with Pastoralist elucidates the picture better. The fact that Governor Gabriel Suswam eventually summoned an emergency security council meeting and solicited the intervention of the international community showed that communal conflicts perpetrated by  Pastoralist in Benue State is getting out of control. This is corroborated by Durojaiye [7 ] who said that “earlier this month, some local Governments in Benue State were savagely attacked by suspected  Pastoralist who killed hundreds of people, torched houses, sacked some communities and occupied them.”

The situation is not too different from Taraba State which is a neighbouring state to Benue State. The southern senatorial zone of Taraba State has for some months now witnessed unprecedented and sudden influx of Pastoralist and the relationship between the Pastoralist and the host communities in both Benue and Taraba states is intensely becoming strained because of incessant attacks on the communities by the Pastoralist with very high human casualties and loss of properties.  Evidently the constant attacks on the host communities from Taraba State by Pastoralists had made most land owners in the affected communities to flee their homes in search of safe alternatives.

There have been a number of crisis in Wukari with gruesome murders of dozens of people and wanton destruction of property. According to Aji [9 ] the “Red Cross said in Wukari, Taraba State that about 77 people lost their lives during the crises between some  Pastoralists and the indigenous people of the area few days ago.” More than 40 other people were getting treatment for various degrees of injuries sustained because of the attacks by Pastoralists.

In Kaduna State the story is not different as Pastoralists cause communal conflicts. According to Shiklam [10 ] “Rampaging gun men suspected to be Pastoralists on Tuesday killed about 123 people in seven villages in Sanga local government area of Kaduna state in an onslaught which started on Monday night.” The invaders had earlier slaughtered 38 people in sporadic attacks on Kabamu and Ankpong villages. Although subsiding, the crisis that tore communities of Plateau State apart in violent conflicts with gruesome murders was not unconnected to the siege by Pastoralists. Recently it was Zamfara state where more than 200 villagers were killed by Pastoralists in an orgy of violent attacks that lasted for three days. Some of the worst hit communities are Dansadau and Yargaladima village in Dansadau Emirate of Maru Local government area.

Eastern Nigeria is not left out in the onslaught of Pastoralists with respect to communal conflicts. Some communities of Enugu State are also under siege. As the case in other instances, the crisis is caused by the indiscriminate search for cattle pastures by the Pastoralists. In the process they encroach on farm lands and their cattle destroy food crops and cash crops. Instead of these Pastoralists to take responsibility for the destructions caused by their cattle they confront and challenge farm owners expressing their plight. Such challenges get heated and leads to conflicts which creates great insecurity to host communities because the Pastoralists are said to be well armed.

1.5. Modus Operandi of Pastoralists

The Senate recently highlighted the need to deal decisively with herdsmen attacks across the country, describing the phenomenon as another form of Boko Haram. The Upper legislative chamber, which noted that the modus operandi of the herdsmen was not different from that of Boko Haram, also charged security agencies to put a check on the attacks, apprehend the culprits and bring them to justice.  

1.6. Pastoralists Lifestyle

The focus will be on the Fulani (Fulbe na’i) because of the scope of their pastoral activities and their political visibility. The attacks by Fulani herdsmen have in recent years taken more sophisticated dimensions with the use of new types of weapons and communication devices. In consequence, these dentary agrarian communities have resorted to self defence through local vigilante groups [11 ]. 1 This has further aggravated violence, with destruction of lives and properties. According to Fasona and Omojola [3 ] conflicts resulting from cattle grazing actually accounted for 35% of all reported crises between 1991 and 2005 in Nigeria . The North Central states of Taraba, Nasarawa, Plateau, and Benue have also been identified as the most affected areas in the country [11 ].

1.7. The Historical, Political and Socio-Economic Context of Pastoralists–Farmers Conflict in Nigeria

According to Victor [12 ] the Fulani pastoralists of West and Central Africa trace much of their current political, religious, and socio-cultural identity from the eighteenth and nineteenth century jihad which sedentarized them within conquered communities.

The Fulani are said to originate from Senegambia, before spreading across some 20 States in West Africa and the Sahel, up to Western Sudan and the Central African Republic [11 , 13-15 ] . In Nigeria, they are the mainstay of the meat and milk industry, accounting for about 90%of cattle herd ownership, which makes up 3.2% of the GDP [16 ]. They rear different species of cattle, such as the Keteku, Muturu,and Kuri, but the Zebu is identified as the most common [17 , 18 ]. They also supply skins, bones, and horns as complementary products. The pastoralist system involves young men who tend the herd while the women cook and sell animal products in the market.2 The elders, in their own stead, arein charge of developing and managing resources at the levels of the community and domestic units [17 , 18 ]. Despite the development and the centralisation of the state dating back to the colonial era, these informal governing mechanisms have been key to understanding the challenges the pastoralists face with farmers, explaining their social stratification and their seemingly egalitarian nature [19 , 20 ]. From a historical point of view, certain scholars refer to the fact that conflicts resulting from cattle grazing have existed for as long as the practice of agriculture [15 ]. In the Nigerian context, however, colonization, together with the fall of the Sokoto Caliphate and the introduction of jangali (cattletax), marginalized the Fulani and dispersed them further towards the South [12 , 20 ].

According to  the advancement of farming through irrigation and the increased decimation of pasture across the savannah also extended the scope of conflicts, through transhuman, to the coastal zones which were more ecologically viable [15 ]. This evolution was complemented with the provision of affordable trypanocides, which provided a coping means for the herders in the tsetse-infested humid regions of southern Nigeria (ibid.). Thus, the period from May to September, during the rainy season, has been identified as the intense period of clashes between pastoralists and farmers over arable land, when the Fulani return northwards with their cattle as the vegetation begins to appear. These clashes result from the invasion of the arable land by the cattle during this peak season of crop production .

The failure of the government in mediating such conflicts and setting up judicial commissions cannot be underestimated because it pushes communities to take the law into their own hands. After the initiation of the first national livestock development project (NLDP) and the enactment of a grazing law by the Northern Nigeria Legislative Assembly in 1965, the authorities tried to provide grazing lands in order to make the nomadic Fulani sedentary [17 ]. In collaboration with organisations such as the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), the objective was to enhance productivity and to demarcate 4,125 grazing lands across Nigeria, covering about 4.3 million ha, some of the lands being equipped with boreholes, fences, fire breaks, veterinary services, access roads, and dams [16 , 17 ] The predominant types of ranches were to be individually owned by farmers with large investments; there were few options for cooperatives and a collective management of the herds. Since 2009, grazing routes have also been marked out through Nasarawa, Benue, Plateau, Kastina, Bauchi, Abuja, Sokoto, and Adamawa. According to Abbas and John [21 ] however, only 270 of these official grazing lands are functional.

1.8. Research Methdology

Qualitative approach is “subjective” in  nature, which means, it emphasize meanings and  experiences, since the research would be partly exploratory in nature because of limited availability of information or past research on the research topic. The research diagnose the present grazing and ranch practices as attendant conflict and seeks to provide a solution that will mitigate the conflict.  Because most conflicts on land are centered around ownership/rights and that of the Land use and benefits of others, many persons are impacted by the practices of grazing as it is today .“Focus group was most appropriate for the research because A focus group is a carefully planned discussion designed to obtain perceptions on a defined area of interest in a permissive, non-threatening environment . A research that seeks to find a solution to a problem affecting different strata of the communities ,requires a research method that can elicit information from both illiterate and illiterate respondents is preferred. The focus group interview offers the following advantages as stated by. It is a highly efficient technique for qualitative data collection since the amount and range of data increases by collecting from several people at the same time. Natural quality controls on data collection operate, for example, participants tend to provide checks and balances on each other and extreme views tend to be ‘weeded out’. Group dynamics help in focusing on the most important topics and it is fairly easy to assess the extent to which there is a consistent and shared view. Participants tend to enjoy the experience. The method is relatively inexpensive and flexible and can be set up quickly. Participants are empowered and able to make comments in their own words, while being stimulated by thoughts and comments of others in the group. Contributions can be encouraged from people who are either reluctant to be interviewed on their own, feel they have nothing to say or who may not usually participate in surveys. People who cannot read or write or who have specific difficulties are not discriminated against. Facilitation can help in the discussion of taboo subjects since less inhibited members may break the ice or provide mutual support.

The   Population of the study consist of residents of 3 Local government areas; namely Jema’a, Kaura and Sanga. These Local Government Areas were selected because they are the worst hit in terms of herdsmen/farmers clashes in Nigeria (in terms of intensity and frequency of occurrence).over land use. Using purposeful sampling technique,6 individuals were selected for the focus group interview and discussion in each of the  3 local government area. The interview took place in a classroom in Pasakori  for Jema’a, under a tree in Ungwn Rana  for Kaura and in a classroom in Karshi Sanga Interviews involve asking questions of those who have information about a phenomenon that the researcher has not been able to observe directly [22 ].The focus group was the most suitable for this research [23 ] because of  the purpose of study, research methods and techniques,


Fig-2. Participants Characteristics for the Three Local Government Areas

Source; Field Survey, 2017

As shown in the figure above, for Jema’a Local Government. All the respondents are male and indigenes who are themselves being either herdsmen or farmers and have first hand experience of the farmers/herdsmen clash over the years. The major land uses identified are agricultural (farming) and residential (housing) the tenure type were customary tenure. The major problems with itenirant grazing is encroachment on the farmlands, destroying both food and cash crops, hence the recent clashes between farmers (land users) and the herdsmen. In their opinion itenirant grazing itself resulted from the death of grazing fields and absence of frequent rainfalls.

As shown in fig 2 above, in Kaura Local Government.3 farmers were part of the focus group, with 63 years and no formal education.61 years with no formal education and 48 years with educational qualification of GCE.A retiree aged 72 with educational qualification of grade II, civil servant age 42 with educational qualification of HND. And lastly a student aged 30 with educational qualification of B.ED. Most of the land uses are agriculture (farming) and residential. The same reasons were adduce for the itenirant grazing, which results in encroachment by the herdsmen, destroying both cash and food crops.

As shown in fig 2 above, in Sanga Local Government, The respondents ages were 26,34,51,52,55 and 67.Among these, 3 No, were educated only to primary school level, one was educated up to General certificate of education (GCE). A retiree aged 67 years had the Higher National Diploma (HND). A participant had the National Certificate of Education (NCE) while the other had a Bachelor’s Degree. All identified agriculture and residential as the major land uses and the destruction of both cash and food crops as the catalyst for the incessant farmers/herdsmen clashes.

2.1. Existence of Communal Grazing and Ranching

The 6 respondents in Jema’a, Sanga and Kaura Local Government Area, as a result of variation in the age distribution of the group, most of the respondents of over 50 years, said there was never a point in time before now, where farmers and herdsmen clash, and they were of the opinion that it has some political undertone and a failure on the part of the security agencies. While the remaining respondents who are less that 50 years are of the opinion that the political orientation of the indigenes is responsible for the present clashes, because in their opinion the government is not sincere in its fight against the Fulani herdsmen.

2.2. Resolution of Farmers/Herdsmen Conflict

Of the 6 respondents in Jema’a Local Government Area, the 3 farmers representing 50% of the respondents agreed that grazing and ranch land should be provided at strategic places to prevent the itinerant movement of the herdsmen, the retiree and student said to prevent conflicts amongst farmers and herdsmen the government should document the tenure as enshrine in the Customary and Land tenure, while the applicant did not provide any response. In Kaura Local Government Area of the 6 respondents,2 of the farmers  representing 45% of the respondents said the government should provide ranch and grazing areas at designated places.1 of the farmers said the best option is to stop the itinerant movement of the pastoralist, the retiree is of the opinion that pastoralist should be restricted especially during the raining season. The student is of the view that the pastoralist should be punish if they encroach on a farmland and lastly the civil servant is of the views that the pastoralist should be restricted. For Sanga Local Government Area. The 3 farmers agreed that the best approach to prevent such conflicts of interest on land uses, the government should perfect all land titles, the retiree said providing grazing and ranch land in the outskirt of the community will reduce the incessant clashes. While the student thinks punishing offenders will be best to forestall normalcy and lastly the clergy said tolerance should be preached among the citizens. and which is consistent with findings by Moore [1 ] and Dumanski [24 ].


This paper explored a possible approach to resolving the farmers/herdsmen conflicts by adopting the focus group technique in collecting data, aimed at identifying the problems of land uses and unrestrained cattle grazing in selected local Government area of Kaduna state of Nigeria. The local government area’s are; Sanga, Jema’a and   Kaura.

This research has been able to identify the land uses and the problem of itinerant cattle grazing. bearing in mind the incessant herdsmen cattle grazers conflicts, which has ravaged most part of the country, creating a grazing in the mindset of the current agitations and conflicts is an attempt to create a meeting point between modernity and cultural reality. In considering the research method, Focus group method was suitable for this type of research which is qualitative in nature, bearing in mind the sensitive nature of the topic, a quantitative approach, would have prevented the respondents from freely expressing their views. “Focus group was most appropriate for the research because A focus group is a carefully planned discussion designed to obtain perceptions on a defined area of interest in a permissive, non-threatening environment .A research that seeks to find a solution to a problem affecting different strata of the communities ,requires a research method that can elicit information from both illiterate and illiterate respondents. Future studies, could look at the economic impact of such conflicts on the livelihoods of the indigenes.


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About the Authors

Tanimu M.Y.
Department of Estate Management,Faculty of Environmental Studies,Rivers State University of Science and Technology, Nigeria
Akujuru V. A.
Department of Estate Management,Faculty of Environmental Studies,Rivers State University of Science and Technology, Nigeria

Corresponding Authors

Tanimu M.Y.

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