CROP FARMERS-PASTORALISTS PERCEPTION OF RESOLUTION STRATEGIES TO END RECURRING CONFLICTS IN BENUE, STATE NIGERIA
Keywords:Benue State, Conflicts, Crop farmers, Pastoralists, Resolution strategies
The study analyzed crop farmers-pastoralists perception of resolution strategies to end recurring conflicts in Benue State, Nigeria. Multi-stage sampling procedure was used to select crop farmers and pastoralists for this study, a total of 100 crop farmers and 27 pastoralists were selected. Data were collected using structured questionnaire and interview schedule. Frequency distribution, percentages, mean scores and ranking were used in presentation of results. Crop destruction and lack of full permanent ownership of grazing land to settle pastoralists were ranked 1st and 2nd by the crop farmers as factors responsible for crop farmer-pastoralist conflicts while the pastoralists ranked unclear demarcation along routes and grazing reserves as well as inadequate infrastructural facilities as 1st and 2nd, respectively. Crop farmers ranked traditional and community leaders; 1st as efficient in conflict resolution and they disagreed with the statement that police were efficient in managing conflicts. On the other hand, the pastoralists ranked pastoralist leaders; 1st as being efficient in managing conflicts while traditional and community leaders was ranked 2nd. As regards the opinion on measures to end the recurring conflicts, 31.3% of the crop farmers agreed that anti-grazing law should be upheld to curb conflicts; and 18.3% revealed that both farmers and pastoralists should embrace dialogue. About 45% of pastoralists, however, revealed that provision of grazing areas will prevent conflicts and 37.1 % indicated that cattle routes should be established. The study established serious crops and properties, destruction of livestock and disruption of peace as the major effects of crop farmers-pastoralists conflicts in the study area. It was therefore, recommended that the traditional institutions should be strengthened through constitutional amendment for more effective alternative dispute resolution strategies for conflict resolution in the study area.
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