Farmers-Herders Conflict and Nigeria’s Quest for Food Security: The Imperative Need for Information Communications Technology

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Olawale Olufemi AKINRINDE https://orcid.org/0000-0001-7350-2376
Abdullahi Abdullazeez OSUWA https://orcid.org/0000-0001-6088-0087
Kayode Wakili OLAWOYIN https://orcid.org/0000-0003-3384-9492

Keywords

Conflict, Food Insecurity, Information Communications Technology, Nigeria, Farmers-Herdsmen

Abstract

Although, Nigeria is chiefly known for its oil and gas production, agriculture employs about 70 per cent of its labour force. Nigeria has experienced severe farmers-herders conflict that has negatively influenced her agricultural production capacity, resulting in severe food insecurity. Tensions have grown over the past decades, with increasingly violent flare-ups between the farmers and the herdsmen spreading across the entire country. In recent times, many scholarly studies and inquiries on the impact of Information Communications Technology, particularly with respect to promoting food security in Nigeria, have been engendered mainly by the need to ensure greater agricultural outputs among farmers and other agriculturists. However, only scanty attention had been devoted to the need to understand the imperativeness of the use of Information Communications Technology in the quest to proffer solutions to the incessant farmers-herdsmen conflicts that have also contributed to the unpalatable state of food security in Nigeria. The study adopts Karl Marx’s Conflict Theory as a framework of analysis and qualitative date elicited through content analysis of desktop date. Hinging on this theory, this study contends that the farmers-herdsmen conflict is inevitable like every other conflict due to the competition for limited land resources. The study however found out that why the farmers-herdsmen conflict has persisted, among many other factors, was due to the failure of relevant stakeholders to leverage on the possibilities of Information Communications Technology to address the technological gap in the conflict. While further findings suggest that the principal causes and aggravating factors behind the escalating conflict are climatic changes; population growth; technological and economic changes; crime; political and ethnic strife; and cultural changes, the lack of use of Information Communications Technology in the areas of educating both the farmers and herders, awareness creation, crime reporting and conflicts resolution further compounds the farmers-herdsmen conflicts. This study recommends the need for proper and improved use of I.C.T. in the processes to address the farmers-herdsmen conflicts.

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