Pressure on land, responsible for herders/farmers clashes, says Bogoro

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The Executive Secretary, Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFUND), Prof. Suleman Bogoro has said that the increasing pressure on land is responsible for the frequent clashes between farmers and herdsmen. Speaking while delivering the maiden annual lecture of Institute of Agricultural Research and Training (IAR&T), Ibadan, Oyo state, Bogoro said the most common trigger of farmer-herder conflict is crop damage caused by passing livestock.
Bogoro who spoke on the topic, “Research for development in the agricultural sector: The role of research institutes in innovative value chain transformation”, said many herders had seen their grazing lands put into cultivation, a situation which is making their livelihoods more challenging.
He also noted that theft as a result of cattle rusting, social inequalities and conflict of interest and mistrust were also contributing to the increasing conflicts between farmers and herdsmen in the country.
According to him, armed groups use stolen cattle to fund their illegal activities.
Bogoro said, “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”.

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