Agricultural Science Project Topics

Assessment of the Effect of Open Grazing on Food Security in South West Nigeria




Background of the study

The act of livestock sector has been identified as a source of Agriculture production has been identified as a major source of livelihood, feeds for livestock management, while livestock provides organic manure and animal traction (Obidike et al., 2013; Akpan 2012; Upton 2004; Abbot 1979). The trade in livestock progressively established forward linkages with other economic accomplishments such transportation ( Scoones, 2009), the over land cattle transporters, animal traction, vehicular animal transportation, rope makers, animal bones processing, sales of

dairy products, animal feeds and meat sales ( Scoones, 2009) Some other social economic benefits of livestock industries includes production of organic fertilizers, the trade in livestock and livestock products hides and skin which have been highlighted to contributes to the sustainability of human being. The emergence of Agriculture most especially the livestock sector has played a crucial role in the reduction of poverty level since most of the world’s poor live in rural areas and

are largely reliant on agriculture production for survival, with the livestock sub – sector as a principal driver (Kerven, 1992). One of the greatest advantages of practising livestock pastoralism through open grazing mass production of organic fertilizer most especially for the farmers in the developing areas who cannot

afford the costly synthetic fertilisers which has been reported to constitute environmental and health challenges. The production of these manure has several advantages because it enhances the activities of soil microbial diversity most especially soil beneficial microorganisms that could serve as a biostimulants. They could facilitate the supply of nutrients to the plant thereby increasing the yield and growth of agricultural crops and vegetables. These also led to increase in some soil


activities such soil enzymes, soil respiration, soil carbon and increase in beneficial soil microorganisms (Adetunji and Adejumo 2018; Adetunji et al. 2018; Adetunji et al., 2019). The mass production of cattle which involve traditional breeding and handling of cows and bulls for meat, milk and possibly skin production, alongside raising of calves, creates the economic resource-base of the Fulani pastoralists and is vital for survival and livelihood sustenance (Otchere 1984; Ingawa 1986; Rota et al. 2012). The production of quality and a safer meat depends on the quality and adequate quantity of feed used in raising the animal most especially the ruminant

animal (Atanga et al. 2013). The incidence of livestock grazing can decrease the growth of numerous herbaceous plant cover and litter, leading to soil disruption and compaction, decrease the rate of water penetration and enhance rate of soil erosion. Furthermore, Greenwood and McKenzie (2001) conducted a study that established that cattle grazing, particularly under perpetual pasture or rangeland, could result into soil compaction. According to Howery et al. (2000), light stocking rates also facilitates the grazing of animal which enhances the dietary selectivity throughout the year, but also greatly decrease the grazing pressure on grassland. Moreover, some community in Nigeria, mainly, Yewa Division of Ogun State where sedentary pastoralism has been established could be linked to the fact that there is presence of

natural pasture in the host communities, which guarantee the continual supply of pastures for the purpose of grazing for several period of year. This grazing system(s) might have been an intuitive strategy for ensuring their economic survival and maintaining social relationships with their host communities (Omotayo et al. 1999; Adebayo and Olaniyi 2008; Blench 2010; Oladele and Oladele 2011). The act of grazing animal has been discovered to have several effects on agricultural production

and food safety. Most of the disperse seeds by transporting them in their coats (fur, fleece, or hair), feet, or digestive tracts might be transferred to another environment during the process of open grazing. Moreover, the process of unregulated open grazing may expedite seed germination by flattening seed into the soil and through their dung, can produce manure needed by plants to grow. It can as well lessening flower and seed production directly by consuming reproductive structures,

or indirectly by accentuating the plant and plummeting energy available to develop seeds. Moreover, it has been highlighted by Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in its 2011 report indicated that livestock production and animal grazing in specifically can be seen as offering obligatory support to agriculture as it subsidizes greatly to food security mainly by provision of manure for crop production, support to agriculture in areas that have difficulty growing crops,consumption of the feed that are not appropriate for human consumption and Supply of global calories, proteins, and essential micronutrients (FAO, 2011). Livestock constitute a major role in the generation of food for the sustainability of population of Nigeria but the issue of open grazing has created a very great concern and threats to food security. This might be linked to the fact that majority of the farmers in the several state majorly, Taraba

and Benue States, have been banished by herders-farmers clashes are women and youths who constitute majority of the farming communities, such as Nakazawa, Kaduna (Southern Kaduna) and Plateau States. These movements, (stemming from the clashes between herders and sedentary farmers over free grazing rights and unpredictability instigated by these never-ending clashes), will likely cumulated to food shortages in the instant communities most especially it has hampered

the general economy of Nigeria (Awogbade 1987). Globally, the production of arable crops has been identified to play a crucial role in the susutaibaility of human population globally by enhancing the social economic status of the people dwelling in the rural and urban area. The planting of arable crops entails significant crops and

vegetables, such as maize, rice, sorghum, millet, cassava, cowpea, wheat, soybeans, melon, and groundnut yam. The aforementioned foods have been the major stable food normally consumed by Nigeria. Most of the farmers in the various geopolitical zones prefer to cultivate one or more arable crops for their sustainability, income and for food. Moreover, it has been observed that Nigerian agricultural production is subjugated by rural-based small scale arable crop producers, who account for about 80% of total food requirement. Also, out of the 71 million hectares of cultivable land, available in Nigeria only half of it has been utilized for farming. This might be linked to the fact that troublesome open grazing of animals on farm lands as farmers now

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vulnerably continue to intemperance their farms. Furthermore, it has been observed that the activities of the Fulani herdsmen and their everywhere grazing system has considerable affected the rate food production most especially in the South Western part of Nigeria. This has incapacitated the high efficiency of the south-west local smallholder farmers by reducing their effectiveness and efficiency. Also, it has been discovered that most farmers had abandon their farm because of the fear of gun wielding cattle herders also most of their cultivated farm lands and crop yields are demolished by cattle, leading in sweeping poverty and unemployment in the land (Fayinka 2004). It has also been revealed that most of the farmers at the rural areas has suffered material damages when the crop farmers inflict physical injuries on

their cattle by using cutlasses, spears or guns or by poisoning the cattle, sheep, goats (Awogbade, 1987; Gefu and Are; Odoh SI. Chilaka 2012; Ogbo et al., 2017; Ogo-Oluwa 2017). There has led to several economic and human losses which was beyond human imagination such as shortages, which go to exacerbate the prevailing food scarcity in the land, are experienced.

Statement of research problem

The various clashes between Fulani herdsmen and local farmers in most communities, especially in the south west of the country is obviously having effects on environmental food security and other aspects of the environment in Nigeria. Therefore, there is a need to intensify more effort on the production, distribution of quality and quantity global food supply to the ever-increasing population. Correspondingly, food must be safe, reliable and affordable for all the various segment of the society (Ingram et al., 2010; Foley et al., 2011; Godfray et al., 2010; Beddington et al., 2012). Therefore, there is a need to strengthening our effort in the production, distribution of quality and quantity of food supply to the ever-increasing population. Looking at the Nigeria’s public laws, it is obvious that there is no for provision for any act that provides for the protection of the environment from this economic activity except the recent anti-open grazing laws endorsed by some states. This appears to account for the unwarrantable management of cattle grazing lands as well as other issues.the incessant clashes between herders and farmers has made people unable to go to their farms for fear of been attacked by herdsmen this has however caused scarcity and inflation on some food item in the market.

Objectives of the study

The primary objective of this study is as follows:

1.     To find out the effect of open grazing on food security in south west.

2.     To find out the causes of incessant fighting between Fulani herdsmen and farmers in south west.

3.     To find out how to minimize the incessant fighting between herdsmen and farmers.

4.     To find out how there can be security on food produce and farmers.

Research questions

The following question have been formulated for this study:

1.     Does  open grazing on food security in south west?

2.     Is there a reason for the  incessant incessant fighting between fulani herdsmen and farmers in south west have ?

3.     Do you think the  incessant fighting between herdsmen and farmers can be minimized or stopped?

4.     Can there  be security on food produce and farmers in south west Nigeria?

Significance of the study

This study will lay emphasis on the effect of open grazing on food security in south west Nigeria.

The findings of this research work will undoubtedly provide the much needed information to government organizations, NGO,state government  , ministry of agriculture, individuals, and academia

 Scope of the study

This study intends to examine the effect of open grazing on food security in south west. Hence this study is delimited to farmers in oyo  state Nigerian.

 Limitations of the study

This study was constrained by a number of factors which are as follows:

Financial constraint is inevitable considering the present economic situations. Due to lack of finance at the researchers disposal to get materials and in printing of questionnaires. it was not possible to visit some of the police stations and some of the victims of corruption.

In developing countries like Nigeria, there is the problem of insufficient data.

Time factor: time factor pose another constraint since having to shuttle between writing of the research and also engaging in other academic work making it uneasy for the researcher

 Operational definition of terms

Assessment:the action of assessing someone or something.

Effect:the action of assessing someone or something.

Open grazing: the age old practice of roaming ruminant animals in open fields, plains and bushes in search of pasture or foliage.

Food Security:the state of having reliable access to a sufficient quantity of affordable, nutritious food.

South west:The direction towards the point of the horizon midway between south and west, or the point of the horizon itself.



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