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Violent conflicts between nomadic or semi-nomadic pastoralists and sedentary farmer communities in
Nigeria have led to thousands of deaths and significant economic losses in recent years. The conflict has worsened the already protracted food crisis in the country. Land-use disputes, historically resolved through traditional dispute resolution mechanisms, have become more difficult to contain, with the increased availability of small arms and light weapons a factor. Climate change and population growth have also increased pressure on available resources, while farmer-herder relations have become increasingly politicized as ethnic and religious identities have hardened. While farmer-herder conflict now exists in every region of Nigeria, it has evolved into banditry and terrorism in parts of the northwest and north-central zones. To find lasting solutions to these conflicts, the Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD) organised a national multi-stakeholder conference on farmer-herder conflict in Nigeria on June 7-8, 2022 with support from the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and United States Institute of Peace. Participants included the Emir of Argungu, the Commissioner of Internal Security in Kaduna State, members of civil society organisations, academics and the
media.

Emir of Argungu

Among the key topics discussed during the conference were:

  1. The root causes of farmer-herder conflict, including mismanagement of land-use disputes, climate change and urbanization, the hardening of ethnic identities, corruption, a lack of opportunities for youths, and the proliferation of small arms and light weapons
  2. The local variations in farmer-herder relations across Nigeria, including the factors behind certain communities’ successful sustenance of historically peaceful relations
  3. The role of traditional institutions in managing farmer-herder relations
  4. The successes and shortcomings of government efforts to address insecurity and land-use disputes, such as the National Livestock Transformation Plan
    (NLTP)
  5. Recommendations for improving relations at the federal, state and local
    levels

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