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The implication of Herdsmen banditry activities on food scarcity in Nigeria

ABSTRACT

The major goal of this research is to look into the impact of herdsmen banditry on food scarcity in Nigeria, specifically in the Ibarapa and Oke-Ogun zones of Ogun State. The study used a survey descriptive research methodology, and the researcher purposefully selected 150 participants for the study using the convenience sample approach. Self- structure questionnaire was issued to the respondent of which one hundred forty-one (141) was retrieved and validated for the study. Data was evaluated using simple percentage, given in frequencies and tables. The Chi-Square Statistical Package for the Social Sciences was used to conduct the hypothesis test (SPSS v.23). According to the findings of the study, herdsmen banditry actions have a major impact on rising food costs and food scarcity. Banditry/herdsmen actions, in particular, have a considerable impact on food crop farming. The study therefore recommends farmers should be enlightened on the need to desist from planting crops such as maize, millet and sorghum which will provide cover to bandits to enable them come close to village settlements undetected to rest during the day time and attack in the evening or night time and also the Federal, State and Local Governments including the communities should come together to hold a conference with a view to mapping out strategies to end banditry in Ogun State and other regions in Nigeria.

Background Of The Study

Food shortage, with its threats to existence and severe physical and psychological distress, has been a component of human civilization and experience since the dawn of language and cognition. Since Nigeria’s independence in 1960, the need to tackle the issues connected with insufficient food production and consumption has been a reoccurring issue. The Federal Ministry of National Planning projected in 1975 that the agricultural sector would produce employment for the active but unemployed, ensure self-sufficiency and self-reliance in food production, and provide foreign exchange, but none of these things happened.

Many scholars have recently indicated in their studies that if insecurity in the farming community persists, Nigeria could face food scarcity in 2022. (FAO 2016). Because of the constant bandit attacks on farmers in the Northeast and Middle Belt, which is the country’s food basket, farming families evacuate their homes, abandoning their crops and farms, resulting in food scarcity and insecurity.

Food scarcity/insecurity is a social and economic concern in the United States that refers to a shortage of food owing to resources, circumstances, or other limits. This definition is backed by Radimer et alethnographic .’s research (1992). Food scarcity/insecurity, according to Wolfe, Frongillo, and Valois (2003), occurs when there is (1) uncertainty about future food availability and access, (2) insufficiency in the amount and type of food required for a healthy lifestyle, or (3) the need to acquire food in socially unacceptable ways due to the occurrence of crises that prevent food production. As a result, herders banditry attacks on farming communities have become a major source of economic concern.

Acts of robbery and violence in countries where the rule of law has broken down are referred to as banditry (Collins, 2000). The organizing of armed bands for the goal of attacking state or societal institutions, businesses, or individuals is known as banditry. Banditry is defined as participation in such gangs and attacks carried out by them (Collins, 2000).

Notably, any sort of violence that causes insecurity in rural areas where the majority of people are farmers is sure to have an impact on food security and farming methods everywhere, resulting in an increase in food scarcity. Attacks by insurgent and banditry groups will exacerbate food scarcity/insecurity in Africa through 2022, according to the United Nations, as these terrorist activities obstruct farming practices and food crop production (Channels UN report 2020). As a result, the purpose of this study is to look into the impact of banditry activities on food scarcity.

Statement of The Problem

Nigeria’s agriculture sector faces serious threats from both Boko Haram and Fulani ranchers. Terrorist and bandit actions in northeast Nigeria have had a significant impact on agricultural activity, prompting farming communities to stop working. Rural activities are not only impractical to carry out in an uncertain environment, but they also suffocate local agricultural production, displace farming communities, and limit access to regional markets (Eigege & Cooke, 2016). In addition to the Boko-haram insurgent group, the Fulani herdsmen banditry groups have become a major threat to farming communities as a result of their frequent attacks and deaths.

Farmers in these areas have been unable to go to their farms to cultivate or harvest because of the Fulani pastoralists’ terrible banditry attacks. Aside from the physical assault on farmers, livestock (cows and cattle) have caused severe damage to farmers’ crops, aggravating their pain.

The result is an unrelenting rise in food commodity prices, a scarcity of particular food goods, and detrimental food shortages/insecurity in the country, as places where food crops are planted/produced are no longer farming due to insecurity. Specifically, most farmers in agriculturally popular communities in the middle belt, northwest, and northeast have abandoned their farms and fled to other communities in search of safety, leaving their farm crops unharvested and seedlings destroyed by banditry groups, posing a threat to food availability and causing food shortages in the country. Against this backdrop, the purpose of this study is to investigate the impact of herdsmen banditry on food scarcity in Nigeria.

Objective of the Study

The overall goal of this research is to look into the impact of herdsmen banditry on food scarcity in Nigeria. It will, in particular,

  1. Investigate the various types of banditry attacks on farming communities.
  2. Determine the extent to which herders banditry obstructs the cultivation of food crops.
  3. Examine the impact of herders banditry on the production of food crops.
  4. Determine whether herder banditry has a major impact on food scarcity.

Significance of the Study

The general audience will be interested in this research. It will raise public awareness about the importance of preparing for the impending food shortage. It will bring to the attention of the government the urgent need to put security measures in place around farming communities that are vulnerable to assaults in order to prevent food insecurity in the country. It will provide the Ministry of Agriculture with information on the consequences of national food insecurity and the need to develop policies to ensure that other parts of the country can begin producing food crops without relying on the crisis zone. This study will also teach persons from the country’s southeast, south-south, and western states who are interested in farming about the importance of getting started right away without entire reliance, since this will help the country avoid food shortages. Finally, this study will act as a resource for other academics and provide space for future research.

Scope of the Study

The overall goal of this research is to look into the impact of herdsmen banditry on food scarcity in Nigeria. The numerous types of banditry attacks on farming communities will be examined. It will determine the extent to which herders banditry obstructs the development of food crops. It will look into the effects of herders banditry on the development of food crops. It will evaluate whether or not herders banditry has a significant impact on food scarcity. However, the study’s scope is limited to Ogun State’s Ibarapa and Oke-Ogun zones.

Research Hypotheses

H01: Herdsmen banditry has no major impact on agricultural food crop productivity.

H02: Herdsmen banditry operations have had no substantial influence on rising food prices or food scarcity.

 

 Limitation of Study

A few variables contributed to the study’s limitations. These are the financial and time constraints.

Financial constraints– A lack of funds impedes the researcher’s efficiency in locating relevant materials, literature, or information, as well as in the data gathering procedure (internet, questionnaire and interview).

Time constraint– The researcher will be working on this subject while also doing other academic tasks. As a result, the amount of time spent on research will be reduced.

Definition of Terms

Growing crops or maintaining animals for food and raw materials is referred to as farming.

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