1.0 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Food scarcity, with its dangers for survival and serious physical and psychological discomfort, has been part of human experience and human culture from the earliest inception of language and thought. The need to overcome the challenges associated with insufficiency of food production and consumption in Nigeria has been a recurring issue manifesting since independence in 1960. The projection of Federal Ministry of National Planning (1975) was that agricultural sector was expected to generate employment for the active but unemployed individuals, guarantee self-sufficiency and self-reliance in food production as well as foreign exchange but these were not realized.
Recently a lot of researchers have shown from their studies the tendencies of Nigeria going into food scarcity in the year 2022 if insecurity on farming community continues(FAO 2016). This is because of the incessant bandit attacks carried out on farmers in the Northeast and Middle Belt which is the food basket of the nation,thus farming communities flee their residence leaving their crops and farms which is likely to lead to food scarcity/insecurity.
Food scarcity/insecurity, as measured in the United States, refers to the social and economic problem of lack of food due to resources, circumstances or other constraints. This definition, supported by the ethnographic research conducted by Radimer et al. (1992). Wolfe, Frongillo, and Valois (2003) added that food scarcity/insecurity is experienced when there is (1) uncertainty about future food availability and access, (2) insufficiency in the amount and kind of food required for a healthy lifestyle, or (3) the need to use socially unacceptable ways to acquire food and concurrence of crises which would not allow availability of food production. Thus the increase rise of banditry attacks on farming communities by the herdsmen has become a vital issue of economic concern.
Banditry is a term used to refer to acts of robbery and violence in areas where the rule of law has broken down (Collins, 2000). Banditry consists of the organization of armed bands for the purpose of attacking state or social institutions or enterprises or individual persons. Participation in such bands and in the attacks committed by them is equally regarded as banditry (Collins, 2000).
Notably, any form of violence that leads to insecurity in rural areas where majority of the people are farmers is bound to affect food security and farming practices anywhere in the world hence the upsurge of food scarcity abounds. The United Nations in September 2020 observed that attacks by insurgent and banditry groups will deepen food scarcity/insecurity into the year 2022 in Africa as these terrorist activities obstruct farming practices and food crop production (Channels UN report 2020). Therefore it is on this note that this research seek to examine the implication of banditry activities on food scarcity.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Insecurity from both Boko Haram and Fulani herdsmen is a significant threat to Nigeria's agricultural sector. The terrorist and banditry activities in northeast Nigeria have had a negative effect on agricultural activities causing breach in farming activities of farming communities. Farming activities are not only impossible to carry out in an unstable climate, but domestic agricultural production is stifled, farming communities are displaced, and access to regional markets is limited (Eigege & Cooke, 2016). In addition to Boko-haram insurgent group,the Fulani herdsmen banditry groups have become a major threat to farming communities due to incessant attacks on these farming communities with attendant fatalities.
The Fulani pastoralists' heinous banditry attacks on the farming regions have made it impossible for farmers in these areas to go to their farms to plant or harvest. Aside from the physical assault on the farmers, the livestock (cows, cattle) has also caused significant harm on the crops of farmers and this deepens their sore.
The implication of this is reflected in the unabated increase in food commodity prices, shortage of certain food products, and adverse food scarcity/insecurity in the country as areas where food crops are planted/produced are no longer farming due to insecurity. Notably most of the farmers in agriculturally popular community of the middle belt, northwest and northeast have abandoned their farms and migrate to other communities seeking protection for their lives while leaving their farm crops unharvested with the seedling destroyed by the banditry groups thus this pose adverse effect on the availability of food product and like food shortage in the country. Therefore it against this back drop that this study seek to examine the implication of herdsmen banditry activities on food scarcity in Nigeria.
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The general focus of this study is to examine the implication of herdsmen banditry activities on food Scarcity in Nigeria. Specifically it will
1. Examine the different forms of banditry attacks on farming communities
2. Determine the extent at which herdsmen banditry activities obstruct food crop production
3. Investigate the implication of herdsmen banditry activities on food crop production
4. Determine if herdsmen banditry activities has any significant effect on food scarcity.
1.4 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
This study will be relevant to the general public. It will heighten the awareness of the public on the need to prepare themselves against the upcoming food scarcity.It will open the eyes of government on the urgent need to put security measure around farming communities exposed to attacks to avoid the nation suffering food insecurity. It will equip the Ministry of Agriculture with information on the implications of national food insecurity and the need put strategies in place to ensure that other regions of the nation start food crop production without dependence on the crises region. This study will also educate those from regions(especially the southeast,south-south,western states) of the country who have interest in farming on the need to venture into it immediately without total dependence as this will help the country not to suffer food shortage. Lastly this Study will serve as a reference material for other researchers and give room for further studies.
1.5 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The general focus of this study is to examine the implication of herdsmen banditry activities on food Scarcity in Nigeria. It will examine the different forms of banditry attacks on farming communities. It will determine the extent at which herdsmen banditry activities obstruct food crop production. It will investigate the implications of herdsmen banditry activities on food crop production. It will determine if herdsmen banditry activities has any significant effect on food scarcity. However the scope of this Study is limited to Ibarapa and Oke-Ogun zones in Ogun State.
1.6 RESEARCH HYPOTHESES
H01 : There is no significant effect of herdsmen banditry activities on farming food crop production
H02 : There is no significant impact of herdsmen banditry activities on increase in prices of food items and food scarcity.
1.7 LIMITATION OF STUDY
There are few factors that posed as limitation of the study. Those are Financial constrain and Time Constrain.
Financial constraint– Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).
Time constraint– The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.
1.8 DEFINITION OF TERMS
Farming:Farming is growing crops or keeping animals by people for food and raw materials.
Famine: A famine is a widespread scarcity of food, caused by several factors including war, inflation, crop failure, population imbalance, or government policies.
Food Crops: food crops refers to the world's major food supply derived from plants; food crops consist of grains, legumes (including dried beans), seeds and nuts, vegetables, fruit, herbs and spices, beverage plants such as tea and coffee, and so forth.
Food Scarcity: A scarcity or shortage of food may happen when not enough food is produced, such as when crops fail due to drought, crises, pests, or too much moisture. But the problem can also result from the uneven distribution of natural resource endowment for a country, and by human institutions, such as government, public policy and terrorist attacks on farming communities
Food insecurity: Food insecurity is measured as a household-level concept that refers to uncertain, insufficient, or unacceptable availability, access, or utilization of food.
Banditry: Banditry is a type of organized crime committed by outlaws typically involving the threat or use of violence. A person who engages in banditry is known as a bandit and primarily commits crimes such as extortion, robbery, and murder, either as an individual or in groups.
Herdsmen: Herdsmen or Fulani pastoralists are nomadic or semi-nomadic. Fulani people whose primary occupation is raising livestock.
Crisis:A crisis is any event or period that will lead, or may lead, to an unstable and dangerous situation affecting an individual, group, or all of society. Crises are negative changes in the human or environmental affairs, especially when they occur abruptly, with little or no warning.
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