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Abstract

The savanna ecosystem covers about 48.5% of Nigeria’s land area. It is a national common for intensive cropping and extensive grazing. Fierce competition for land and water resources among the crop farmers and pastoralists is a common feature. This article shares insights from two separate, but linked, studies conducted in the Nigerian savanna on the livelihood and food security of the local peasant farming communities and the vulnerability of the settled Fulani agro-pastoralists’ livelihoods. Household interviews, focus group discussions, and key informant interviews were employed among both the farming and agro-pastoralist communities. 191 respondents in 11 local farming communities and 201 households in 40 Fulani sub-communities (pastoral family steads locally referred to as “gaa”) were sampled in Ogun, Oyo, and Kwara States. Evidence from the studies suggests that poor resource governance arrangment is a key factor of farmer-pastoralist conflict. Both the farmers and pastoralists are sufficiently aware of the threat of clashes to human insecurity in the region. Some of the communities are taking steps to build confidence and improve relationships with the agro-pastoralist communities. On the other hand, the Fulanis also have conflict resolution measures and collective actions to reach out to their host farming communities. The role of the government has not been very encourging. More concrete and proactive measures are required to improve resource governance in order to de-escalate the current levels of resource conflicts in the savanna.

Author Bio(s)

Mayowa Fasona is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Geography, University of Lagos, Nigeria. His areas of specialization include remote sensing and Geographic Information Systems, natural resource management, and environmental change. Email: mfasona@unilag.edu.ng. Eniola Fabusoro is an Associate Professor in the Department of Agricultural Extension and Rural Development, Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, Nigeria. He specializes in rural socio-economics, agriculture, development, and pastoral livelihoods. Email: efabusoro@gmail.com. Comfort Sodiya is a Professor in the Department of Agricultural Extension and Rural Development, Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, Nigeria. She is a rural sociologist and pastoral study expert with over 20 years of experience. Email: comfortibironke@yahoo.com. Vide Adedayo is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Geography, University of Lagos, Nigeria. Her area of research includes agriculture and environmental relations, ecosystem and human health, advocacy, training and education on food security, and poverty and sociocultural and indigenous knowledge issues. Email: vide3q@yahoo.com. Felix Olorunfemi is a Senior Research Fellow in the Nigerian Institute of Social and Economic Research, Ibadan, Nigeria. He is also a Research Fellow and African coordinator of the Earth System Governance Project. His research works are focused on climate change adaptation, disaster risk management, resource management, and food security. Email: felixba2000@yahoo.com. Peter Omu Elias is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Geography, University of Lagos, Nigeria. His specialization includes soils and land-use planning. His current research interests include inclusive urban governance and service delivery, local assets and self-sustaining community development, and climate adaptation planning. Email: po_elias@yahoo.com. John Oyedepo is a senior environmental scientist with the Institute of Food Security, Environmental Resources, and Agricultural Research, Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, Nigeria. His areas of interest include climate change adaptation/mitigation strategies, biodiversity, and ecosystem assessment. E mail: johnoyedepo@yahoo.com. Grace Oloukoi teaches Environmental Management at Lead City University, Ibadan, Nigeria. Her research areas include environmental planning and management and climate adaptation with special interest in water within the environmental system and gender studies. Email: oreofeadeniji@yahoo.com.