An Assessment of the Economic Effects of Cattle Rearer’s Activities on Crop Farmers in Kogi State, Nigeria
The study was designed to assess the economic effect of cattle rearers activities on crop farmers in Kogi State. Incidentally, the agricultural sector in Nigeria, particularly in Kogi State, has not been doing so well. Output has failed to keep pace with the rising population pressure. Similar studies have also been carried out on Fulani herdsmen but none addressed the economic effects of cattle rearers activities on crop farms in Kogi State, hence the existence of the knowledge gap which this study hope to fill. This and other economic issues was what this study addressed. In carrying out the study, survey research design was adopted. A multi-stage sampling technique was used. One local government area (LGA) was selected purposively from each of the four agricultural zone in the state based on its predominance in farmer-header conflict. In the second stage, from each of the four LGA, four villages were purposively selected, this gave a total of 16 villages. For a proportionate sampling, the third stage was a random selection of 160 farmers, consisting of 50 farmers each from Dekina and Ibaji, and 30 farmers each from Kaba/Bunu and Adavi respectively. This was because from the reconnaissance survey carried out, there were more crop farmers in Ibaji and Dekina than in Kaba/Bunu and Adavi. Primary data were generated by using a set of structured and pre-tested questionnaire. The questionnaire was validated by three experts from the Department of Agricultural Economics, university of Nigeria, Nsukka. And test of reliability was carried out using split-half method in which a reliability coefficient of 0.83 was obtained. Data generated were analysed with multiple regression analysis. Some results were presented using descriptive statistics. From the data analysed, the study found that Seventy percent of the respondents opined that destruction of crops (mean=3.83),competition for land (mean = 3.60),indiscriminate bush burning(mean = 3.48),stray cattle into crop farms(mean = 3.45) disregard for traditional authorities (mean = 3.41),contamination of streams (mean = 3.34) and sexual harassment of women by herdsmen (mean = 2.76) were the main reason for farmer-header conflict while loss of land (mean = 3.66), loss of crops (mean = 3.65), loss of properties (mean = 3.53),reduction in output (mean = 3.53), scarcity of food items (mean = 3.40), loss of produce in storage (mean = 3.37) and inability to repay loan (mean = 3.32) were the major agricultural losses incurred by the farmers. Similarly, level of education (p<0.01) positively affected farmers income while factors such as fear of going to farm as a result of conflict (p<0.05), size of crop farm lost to conflict (p<0.01), uncontrolled grazing (p<0.05), loss of crops (p<0.05) and female sexual harassment (p<0.05) were inversely related to farmers income. Eighty percent of the respondents used compensation from State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) as the most viable form of coping strategy. Similarly, 70% of farmers used assistance from relations to ameliorate the effects of conflict, while acceptance of conflict situation as an act of fate was found to be the most (70%) commonly used emotion-oriented coping strategy by the crop farmers. The major strategies for resolving conflict include compensation (mean =3.60), peaceful resolution (mean = 3.53), and verbal warning (mean = 3.35) through traditional leaders (mean = 3.61), farmers association (mean = 3.35), police (mean = 2.26) and law court (mean = 2.17).
1.1 Background of the study
The Agricultural sector has always been an important component of Nigerian economy with over 70% of the population engaged in agriculture and agriculture related activities (Obasi & Agu, 2000). Crop and livestock agriculture is important in the life of most Nigerians as 50% to 80% of Nigerians are involved in crop, livestock or crop and livestock agriculture (Powell & Williams 1995).
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