Journal of Defense Studies and Resource ManagementISSN: 2324-9315

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Resource Use Conflict between Farmers and Fulani Herdsmen in Guma Local Government Area of Benue State, Nigeria

The paper assessed the conflict between herdsmen and farmers in Guma local government area of Benue State. A total of 160 heads of farming households and 48 herdsmen from areas that have experienced framer-herders conflict were purposively selected. Data for the study was collected using questionnaire, field observation and reports from Benue State Agricultural and rural development authority. The data collected comprised of socio-economic characteristics of farmers and herdsmen, causes and effects of the conflict. The study revealed that, both farmers (AI=1.93) and Herdsmen (AI=1.55) agreed that herdsmen were not accepted by their host communities. The role of traditional rulers (CCI=3.68), destruction of crops/farmland (CCI=3.21), contamination of water (CCI=3.45) and harassment of herdsmen by host communities (CCI=3.25) were the major causes of conflict between farmers and herdsmen. Displacement of both farmers and herdsmen (CEI=3.67), loss of lives and properties (CEI=3.49) and decrease in output (CEI=3.48) were the major effects of conflicts between farmers and herdsmen in the area. Yogbo town is the most affected in the area with estimated cost of property destroyed of ₦43.8 million, 30 people killed and 32 people injured. The paper concluded that, the conflict is a setback to the development of agricultural sector and therefore recommend the creation of grazing reserves so that herders can shift from traditional method of animal husbandry to modern methods.

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