BACGROUND OF THE STUDY
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.
Farming system is an integrated set of activities that farmers execute in their farms under their resources and circumstances to maximize the productivity and net farm income on a sustainable basis. Farming system is an approach for developing farm- household systems, built on the principles of productivity, profitability, stability and sustainability. The farming system approach emphasizes understanding of farm household, community inter linkages, reviews constraints and assesses potentials. However 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).
In West Africa, the prevalence and severity of banditry has contributed to the rising increase in regional insecurity with a potential threat to regional integration of the subregion (Abdullahi, 2019).
The United Nations in September 2020 observed that attacks by AlShabaab insurgent group will deepen food insecurity and obstruct farming practices into the year 2021 in Mozambique (Channels, 2020). In Nigeria, the Federal Government has realized that banditry has posed a serious threat to farming communities in the northern parts of the country.In April 2017, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development in conjunction with the Minister of Interior initiated the formation of a special unit of AgroRangers Corps to protect farmers and farming Direct Res. J. Agric. Food Sci. 440 investments throughout the country (The Sun, 2017). The use of the Agro-Rangers was expected to forestall attacks on farmlands and boost farmer’s confidence to work on their farms without fear of attacks, thereby guaranteeing the Federal Government avowed food security plans (NSCDC, 2020).
STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
The major threat to the agricultural sector in Nigeria is insecurity from both the Boko Haram and Fulani herdsmen. In the northeast of Nigeria, the sustained terrorist and banditry activities of the Boko Haram have had negative impact on agricultural activities and farming system. Not only are farming activities incapable of being carried out under an insecure environment, domestic agricultural production is stifled, farming communities are displaced and access to regional market is blocked (Eigege & Cooke, 2016). In addition to the Boko Haram group, the Fulani herdsmen have become a major threat to farming communities due to incessant attacks on these communities with attendant fatalities. The heinous banditry attacks carried out on these farming regions by the Fulani pastoral has made it difficult for farmers in these regions to go their farms to either plant or harvest. Aside the physical attack on the farmers, the damages carried out by the livestock (cows, cattle, etc) of this herdsmen deepens the sore of helpless farmers. The impact of this on the economy is reflecting in the undaunted rise in the prices of food commodities, scarcity of some food items and adverse food insecurity as areas of which food items are planted/produced are no longer producing. This because most of the farmers in agriculturally famous community of the middle belt, northwest and northeast have abandoned their farms and migrate to other communities in seeking safety for their lives hence leaving their farms fallow and unharvested crops which would pose adverse effect on the farming system. Therefore it is against this backdrop that this study seeks to examine the effect of banditry on farming system in Nigeria.
OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY
The general focus of this study is to examine the effect of banditry on farming system in Nigeria. Specifically it will
- Examine the different forms of banditry attacks on farming communities
- Determine the extent at which banditry affects farming system in Nigeria
- Investigate the implication of banditry attacks on farming practices
- Determine if affected farming system can lead to scarcity and increase of price of food items.
SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
This study will contribute to the general body of knowledge. Most importantly it will open the eyes of government on the urgent need to put security agents around farming communities exposed to attacks. It will reveal to the Ministry of Agriculture on the implications of these attacks on food security and the need strategize for worst days if nothing is done. 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 on the Middle-Belt, North-East and Northwest as these areas are under attack thus 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.
SCOPE OF THE STUDY
This study is set to examine the effect of banditry on farming system in Nigeria.it will examine the different forms of banditry attacks on farming communities. It will determine the extent at which banditry affects farming system in Nigeria. It will investigate the implication of banditry attacks on farming practices and it will determine if affected farming system can lead to scarcity and increase. However the scope of this Study is Limited to Konshisha Local Government in Benue State .
H01: There is no significant effect of banditry on farming system
H02: There is no significant impact of banditry on prices of food items and food insecurity.
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.
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 insecurity: Food insecurity is measured as a household-level concept that refers to uncertain, insufficient, or unacceptable availability, access, or utilization of food.
Farming System: Farming system is an integrated set of activities that farmers perform in their farms under their resources and circumstances to maximize the productivity and net farm income on a sustainable basis.
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.