Professor Suleman Elias Bogoro, the Executive Secretary, Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFUND), has given reasons behind persistent crises between herdsmen and farmers in many parts of Nigeria.
Bogoro, who was a speaker at the maiden annual lecture of Institute of Agricultural Research and Training (IAR&T), Ibadan, noted that growing land pressure was the major cause of frequent clashes between farmers and herdsmen in the country.
Also at the lecture were the immediate past Minster of Health, Professor Isaac Adewole, IAR&T Executive Director, Professor Veronica Obatolu, Vice Chancellor, Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) Professor Eyitope Ogunbodede, and former UI Vice Chancellor of University of Ibadan, Professor Olufemi Bamiro, among others.
The theme of the lecture was “Research for development in the agricultural sector: The role of research institutes in innovative value chain transformation”
“Growing land pressure is the most common trigger of farmer-herder conflict is crop damage caused by passing livestock. As the region’s rural population has grown dramatically, many herders have seen their grazing lands put into cultivation making their livelihoods more challenging.
“Livestock is the most valuable resource across many rural communities and is a common target of theft.
“Increased frequency and magnitude of livestock theft is both a cause and effect of violent conflict. Armed groups use stolen cattle to fund their activities.
“Recent shifts in livestock ownership in some locations from rural pastoralist communities to wealthy urban dwellers have generated perceptions that herders are representing elite interests. This has contributed to the breakdown of traditional systems of mutual dependence such as the sharing of crop residue,” he said.
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