1.1. BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Communal conflicts also known as armed conflicts have become common phenomena in Africa today. These conflicts mostly ethnic in nature have posed a great concern to all spheres of agricultural production. Communal violence has the propensity to directly and indirectly influence the socio-economic activities among communities in the warring camps. Osinubi and Osinubi (2012) assert that in countries of traditional stability, communal conflict is becoming an increasing factor. Agricultural production is very important to the economy of developing nations as a whole and Nigeria in particular. It is the major occupation of the inhabitants and people of the country while it provides employment directly or indirectly for at least 60% of the people in Ogun State according to Aihonsu (2011). Most of the rural dwellers are traditional peasants, whose individual contribution is insignificant but collectively form an important bed - rock for economy of the state which represent 90% of food and fibre produced in Nigeria. The major agricultural products found in the area are cash crops like cocoa, kola-nut, rubber, palm-oil, citrus trees and the arable crops such as yam, maize, cassava, rice, coco-yam, sugar-cane and melon to mention a few. These products serve as food for man and raw materials for agro-allied industries within and outside the state while they also provide revenue to farmers and generate foreign exchange to the government. Despite the fact that Nigeria is basically an agrarian nation and the majority of the goods to be transported are mostly agricultural products which according to Igben (2009) are by nature often bulky, low-priced, highly perishable. They must be conveyed from their area of production to their zone of consumption with minimum delay and cost, as well as widely dispersed over the available land area. It therefore requires a correspondingly wide-spread transport net-work to take produce from farm to market. Ajiboye (2012) observed that inadequate supply and high cost of food stuff is as a result of inefficient transportation and distribution. Inadequate transport provision leads to the total waste of 25% of the total agricultural foodstuff produced (Olajide, 2013). Idachaba (2010) in his study of food production problems in the rural areas contended that transportation among other factors represents the most serious constraint to agricultural product and development in Nigeria.
The role of transport is very crucial. It is a phase in production process which is not complete until the commodity is in the hands of the final consumers (Adefolalu, 2009). Availability of transport facilities is a critical investment factor that stimulates economic growth through increased accessibility, its efficiency and effectiveness (Ajiboye, 2009).All affects the basic function of production, distribution, marketing and consumption in many ways. Transportation also influences the cost of commodity consumed and the purchasing power of the consumers.
The context of farmers’ livelihood comprises farming activities, natural resources, economic, cultural, social equitability, and political environment, shock and stress maintenance. Livelihood is a process by which people make a living through specific capabilities, assets, and activities (ellis 2000). In coping with livelihood sustainability farmers compete foe resources that exist in limited quantities and scarce. Competition creates a situation where people struggle for possession of these scarce resources, which often generate conflict. Conflict situation threaten livelihood outcomes and termination of farmers’ sustainable livelihood income. Conflict within the two communities became a menace when farmer employed negative or aggressive conflict handling style. It is evident from diverse sources that negative conflict handling style employed in the affected communities in Taraba and Osun states which represent savannah and rainforest zones led to destruction of lives and properties, diversion of resources meant for development to conflict mitigation (Bolarinwa, 2007). It further imposed hardship on the citizens, worsening their social conditions and led to mass migration of farm families. In view of anecdotal account of the conflicts effect on farmers’ livelihood in the conflict ridden areas and unavailability of empirical records to established the discrepancy in severity of conflict on farmers’ livelihood activities in the two agro-ecological areas.
Nigeria is a country with a Gross National Income of below $300 per capita, a federation of 130 million people living in 36 states and 774 local government areas (Idowu, 2011). Nigeria is agrarian in nature and greater percentage of the farmers dwell in rural areas where farming activities happen to be their primary sources of livelihood. Agboola and Eniola (2009) stated that agriculture is by far the largest sector on which fast majority of Nigeria populace depends for their wellbeing and livelihood. However, Nigeria recorded several violent conflicts in many rural communities. Since 2013, conflict has resulted in over 10,000 deaths, and the internal displacement of over 300,000 people (Bolarinwa et al, 2012). Such conflicts explain noticeable distortions in farmers’ livelihoods since they live and earn their living from rural areas. Nweze (2009) stated that many farmers and herders have lost many lives and herds, while others have experienced dwindling productivity in their herds. The cattle herd’s men are now being found in the South- the Guinea Savannah and forest belts in search of pasture for their herds (Oyesola, 2012). Their study also indicated that stores, barns, residences and household items were destroyed in many of the violent clashes. Serious health hazards are also introduced when cattle are made to use water bodies that serve rural communities. The implications of all these may put question marks on the achievability of the 10% growth rate in the agricultural sector and its total transformation being proposed by the Federal Government of Nigeria. In most cases, population in need of food only account, for small percentage of the total food insecure people because of the communal conflict. Hence, African countries have higher zones of chronic food insecurity. According to Hendrix and Salehyan (2010) communal conflicts are common in the Sahel, the zone of transition between the Saharan desert and Savannah forest. The thrust of this paper is to analyze the extent to which communal conflicts have affected transportation of agricultural produce on farmer’s livelihood in Nigeria.
1.2. STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
Conflicts impose costs on economic production through different channels. First, aggressions and attacks during conflicts cause devastation, limits transportation and market transactions. Second, the presence of non-state armed actors pushes households to modify behaviour inspite of not facing violent shocks. Studies on the economic literature concentrate mostly on the impact of violent shocks during conflict (Blattman and Miguel 2010). Conflicts tend to affect food security by creating food shortages, which disrupt both upstream input markets and downstream output markets, thus deterring food production, commercialization and stock management (Pierre Wilner Jeanty and Fred Hitzhusen, 2012). Depending on the location of the fights in a country, crops cannot be planted, weeded or harvested, decreasing dramatically the levels of agricultural production. In conflict situations, food producing regions experience seizing or destroying of food stocks, livestock and other assets, interrupting transporting the agricultural produce to be marketed supplies of food not only in these regions but also in neighbouring regions. These predatory activities diminish food availability and food access directly, because both militias and regular armies in the field tend to subsist by extorting the unarmed populations for food and any other productive resources management. Any food that the militias and armies cannot use immediately in the contested areas will be destroyed to prevent their adversaries from accessing it. Communal conflicts involve groups with permanent or semi-permanent armed militias but do not involve the government. However, it can escalate to include government forces. In an attempt to improve our understanding and fill this gap of knowledge, the study will attempt to answer questions related to the subject and explore the effect of conflict on transportation of agricultural produce on farmer’s livelihood and suggest strategies to enhance peaceful co-existence in the study area. Not much is known on this topic in the study area.
1.3. AIMS AND OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The major aim of the study is to examine influence of communal conflict on transportation of agricultural produce on farmer’s livelihood. Other specific objectives are as follows;
1.4. RESEARCH QUESTIONS
1.5. RESEARCH HYPOTHESES
H0: Communal conflict has no significant influence on transportation of agricultural produce.
H0: There is no significant relationship between communal conflict and transportation of agricultural produce on farmer’s livelihood in Daura, Nassarawa state.
H1: There is a significant relationship between communal conflict and transportation of agricultural produce on farmer’s livelihood in Daura, Nassarawa state.
1.6. SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
This study is largely significant because it sought to find answers to questions on communal conflict and its influence on transportation of agricultural produce on farmer’s livelihood. The research paper will be of interest and useful to the general public, the government as well as the governed and also to future researchers in taking a stand on what is prevalent in the country. This research will also serve as a resource base to other scholars and researchers interested in carrying out further research in this field subsequently, if applied will go to an extent to provide new explanation to the topic.
1.7. SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The study is restricted to influence of communal conflict on transportation of agricultural produce on farmer’s livelihood in Doma area of Nasarawa state.
1.8 OPERATIONAL DEFINITION OF TERMS
Conflict: Conflict as used in this study refers to disagreement through which the parties involved perceive a threat to needs, interests, means of livelihood and material possession. It is also applied to both open fighting between hostile groups and to struggle between antithetical forces.
Livelihood: Livelihood in this study comprises the capability, assets including both materials and social resources and activities required for a means of living.
Communal: (of conflict) between different communities, especially those having different religions or ethnic origins.
Transportation: is the movement of people or goods from one place to another:
Agricultural produce: refers to food and fibre products which covers a broad range of goods gotten from agricultural practices.
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