Small-scale Farmers Perception on the Impact of Grazing Livestock Animals on Crop Production in Abuja, Nigeria
The production of crops and livestock animals in Nigeria is not mutually exclusive hence a study was conducted to determine small-scale crop farmers perception of the impact of grazing livestock animals like cattle, goat, sheep and domestic fowls on crop production in Abuja, Nigeria. A multi-stage technique was adopted for sample selection while semi-structured questionnaires were used for data collection. A total of 384 small-scale crop farmers were randomly interviewed in four agricultural zones-central, eastern, northern and western. Data were analyzed using two-way factorial analysis of variance (ANOVA) and mean separation was done at 5% probability level. Results revealed that there was significant difference (p<0.01) in the perceived impact of the grazing livestock animals on crop production. The mean responses indicated that the impact of cattle (2.67a) on crop production was perceived to be serious and it was significantly higher than the impacts of goat (1.92b), sheep (1.78c) and domestic fowls (1.28d). The implication of this is that cattle were the most destructive livestock animals while domestic fowls were the least. At the zonal level, result revealed that the crop farmers in the eastern and western agricultural zones of Abuja felt the impacts of the grazing animals more than crop farmers in the other two zones. Based on the results, the paper recommended that government should map out grazing routes and/or educate and encourage the livestock farmers to adopt intensive system of management to minimize clashes and the damages that occur.
October 01, 2012; Accepted: January 07, 2013;
Published: February 12, 2013
Agriculture plays significant roles in Nigerias economy and some of these
roles have been outlined by different authors (NBS, 2012;
Okolo, 2004; Ugwu and Kanu, 2012;
Dayo et al., 2009). One of the challenges confronting
the sector is the impact of grazing livestock animals on crop production, especially
in the northern part of Nigeria. This is a serious problem because Nigeria has
a high herd of cattle population, majority of which are in the hands of pastoralists
(Obadiah and Shekaro, 2012). By 2001, Nigerian livestock
farmers were rearing about 15.6 million cattle, 45.2 million goat, 26.7 million
sheep and 118.6 million poultry birds. Other animals also reared include. 1
million horses, camels and donkeys (PCOL, 2003). In 2009,
Agricultural Production Survey (APS) conducted by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture
and Rural Development indicated that the stock of cattle, goat, sheep and domestic
fowls in Abuja were 263,360; 3,009, 889; 958, 443 and 7,406,408, respectively
(NPAFS, 2010). The above stock figures provide an estimate
of the livestock animals that are reared under intensive, semi-intensive and
extensive systems in Nigeria and Abuja in particular. Extensive system refers
to the system where the animals are allowed to roam and look for food (Ezeibe,
2010). The semi-intensive system allows for good control of feeding and
management and the animals are more protected under this system. Intensive system
is a total confinement of the livestock animals (Ezeibe,
2010; Devandra and Fuller, 1989). Although, information
on the number of livestock animals that are reared in each of the three systems
could not be accessed, documented report indicated that the most predominant
system among the small-scale farmers in Nigeria and other African countries
is the extensive system and it is also called the free range system (Ezeibe,
2010; Wilson, 1995; Nweze et
al., 2003; Ovwigho et al., 2009).
In view of the fact that the struggle for available land resources according
to Blench (2010) brings conflict between the crop farmers
and pastoralists, there is every need to verify how the crop farmers perceive
the impact of the grazing livestock animals on crop production. This is very
critical because the productions of crops and livestock animals under extensive
and semi-intensive systems in Nigeria are not mutually exclusive. They are not
mutually exclusive because, first, both crops and livestock animals compete
for the available land resources for survival. Second, the production of crops
and livestock animals are both carried out by small-scale farmers that are scattered
all over the country with no demarcation between grazing routes and cropping
zones. Third, majority of the livestock farmers practice extensive system of
livestock husbandry which demands that the animals must graze on the open grassland
without being confined to any farm house or grazing routes/areas while crop
farmers plant without fencing. Fourth, the production of livestock animals is
not seasonal meaning that the animals must be fed throughout the year. During
dry seasons, some of the crop and livestock farmers move close to streams, rivers
and lakes to have access to water. This also brings the livestock and the crop
farmers in close contact with consequent increase in conflicts. Pasquale
et al. (2007) classified the conflicts into pastoralists-farmers,
conservationists-farmers, pastoralists-fishermen and farmer-farmer conflicts.
But of all the conflicts, the authors emphasized that the most predominant is
the pastoralists-crop farmers conflicts and this has been attested to
by several authors (Fasona and Omojola, 2005; Nyong
and Fiki, 2005; Fiki and Lee, 2004). Other studies
by Adisa and Adekunle (2010) also indicated that stores,
bans, residence and households items were destroyed in many of the violent
crashes. Adisa and Adekunle (2010) also added that serious
health hazards are also introduced when cattle are reared to water bodies that
serve rural communities.
Conflicts usually lead to disunity, violence, disagreements and blood shed
because parties involved try to reach their objectives (Adebayo
and Olaniyi, 2008). Presently in Nigeria, this conflict has now been subsumed
into a broader dichotomy of religion (Blench, 2010).
Disputes over access to resources between nomads and crop farmers are framed
in religious terms thereby polarizing the country into two. Several other studies
have reported increasing conflicts-induced frustrations experienced by pastoralists
and crop farmers within and outside Nigeria (Watts, 1983;
Philips and Titilola, 1995; Lee, 1993;
Raynaut, 2001; Adger and Brooks,
2003). It is not only in Nigeria because conflicts between farmers and herdsmen
cut across traditional nomadic societies like North Africa (Johnson,
1974), Ferlo Region of Senegal (Juul, 1993), Eastern
Sudan (Blaikie, 1993) and Niger republic (Rasmussen,
2002). Unfortunately, the increasing availability of modern weapons according
to Blench (2010) has increased the intensity and violence
of these conflicts.
Since the most frequent causes of conflicts between the crop farmers and pastoralists
are crop damages caused by animals belonging to herdsmen, farm encroachments
on cattle routes and sometimes water points, grazing on harvested crops (Adebayo
and Olaniyi, 2008; Gefu and Gills, 1990), there is
every need to verify how the crop farmers perceive the impact of grazing livestock
animals on crop production. The study is vital because it has led to serious
manifestations of hostilities and social friction among pastoralists and crop
farmers who are the major user-groups in many parts of Nigeria (Adebayo
and Olaniyi, 2008; Buhari, 1998). The conflicts/clashes
according to Adisa and Adekunle (2010), are becoming
fiercer and increasingly widespread in Nigeria. The conflicts have not only
heightened the level of insecurity, but have also demonstrated high potential
to exacerbate the food crises in Nigeria and other affected countries due to
loss of farmers lives, animals, crops and valuable properties (Adisa
and Adekunle, 2010).
The main objective of the study is to determine small-scale crop farmers
perception of the impact of grazing livestock animals on crop production. Specific
objectives are to: (1) determine small-scale crop farmers perception of
the impact of grazing cattle, goat, sheep and domestic fowls on crop production,
(2) determine the livestock animal that poses the most serious problem to crop
production, (3) determine the livestock animal that poses the least serious
problem to crop production and (4) determine if there are locational (agricultural
zones) differences in the impact of the livestock animals on crop production.
This study was conducted in Abuja, Nigeria which is located in the north central
between latitudes 8°25' and 9°25'N and longitudes 6°45' and 7°45'E.
It was conducted in 2012 and the population comprised all small-scale crop farmers
in Abuja. Multi-stage technique was adopted for sample selection while semi-structured
questionnaires were used for data collection. Presently, the Abuja Agricultural
Development Programme (AADP) has 4 agricultural zones-namely, central, eastern,
northern and western with 12 agricultural blocks and 93 cells. In the first
stage, all the 4 agricultural zones were selected while in the second stage,
2 agricultural extension blocks from each of the 4 agricultural zones were randomly
selected giving a total 8 blocks. In the third stage, 8 cells were randomly
selected from each of the 8 agricultural extension blocks resulting in a total
of 64 cells. Finally, in each of the 8 cells (fourth stage), 8 small-scale crop
farmers were randomly selected and interviewed giving a total of 384 respondents.
The animals considered include cattle, goat, sheep and domestic fowl. Analysis
of variance (ANOVA) was adopted for data analysis. The two independent factors
in the ANOVA were the livestock animals with four levels (cattle, goat, sheep
and domestic fowls) and locations with four levels (central, eastern, northern
and western zones) and these gave 4x4 mixed factorial design with 16 treatment
levels. This is a repeated measures ANOVA (Andy, 2005)
and it is mathematically expressed as:
|| The individual crop farmers response regarding the
seriousness of the impact of grazing livestock animals on crop production
|| General mean
|| Impacts due to the differences in location (central, eastern, northern
and western agricultural zones)
|| Impacts due to the different livestock animals (cattle, goat sheep, and
domestic fowls) on crop production
|| Interaction effect of location and the type of livestock animal
|| Error term
By interpretation, the model states that the perceived impact of grazing livestock
animals on crop production (Yij) depends on the location (Li
) of the crop farmer in Abuja, the type of animal (cattle, goat, sheep
and domestic fowls) being reared (Aj) and the joint effects of both
location and the type of animal being reared (LAij). The μ (constant)
is unaffected by the two factors while the eij represents the error
term. Based on the model, the following hypotheses were tested: (1) Ho: There
is no significant difference in the mean perception of the impact of grazing
cattle, goat, sheep and domestic fowl on crop production (ucattle
= ugoat = usheep = udomestic fowl), (2) Ho:
There is no locational (agricultural zones) difference in the impact of all
the animals on crop production (ucentral zone = ueastern zone
= unorthen zone = uwestern zone). In the questionnaires,
the crop farmers were asked to pick from the options provided the impact of
grazing cattle, goat, sheep and domestic fowls on crop production. The seriousness
of the impact of each of the animals was verified using: very serious problem
= 4; serious problem= 3; fairly serious problem = 2; very little effect =1 and
not serious at all = 0. The above scores were used for data analysis in line
with the method adopted by David (2004), Fredrick
and Wallnau (2004), Shah and Madden (2004); Andy
(2005) and Gray and Kinnear (2012). SPSS 15.0 was
used to run the analysis and mean separation was done using Bonferroni model
(Andy, 2005). It was tested at 5% probability level. The
socioeconomic characteristics of the crop farmers (respondents) analyzed include:
marital status, age (years), gender (male or female), household size defined
by NPC (2006) as a person or group of persons living
together usually under the same roof or in the same building/compound, who share
the same source of food and recognize themselves as a social unit with a head
of household and literacy level which also include: No formal school education,
primary school education, Secondary school education, Ordinary National Diploma
(OND)/Higher School Certificate (HSC), Nigerian Certificate of Education (NCE),
Higher National Diploma (HND) or B.Sc and above.
Table 1 shows the analysis of variance (ANOVA) results of
the impact of grazing livestock animals on crop production. The values in the
Animal impact row of the ANOVA table measured of how the crop farmers
perceived the impact of each of the animals on crop production, that is, the
main effect of the livestock animals on crop production. The results indicated
that there was a significant difference in the impact of the different animals
on crop production, F (3, 1140) = 142.03, p = 0.00. In other words, the impacts
of grazing cattle, goat, sheep and domestic fowls on crop production were not
perceived the same by the crop farmers. Again, the values in the location*animal
impact row in the ANOVA table measured the impact of the interaction effect
of location and the livestock animals on crop production. The mean values reflect
the seriousness of the impacts of each of the livestock animals on crop production
in each of the locations (agricultural zones). The interaction effect is significant,
F (9, 1140) = 2.11, p = 0.03, implying that the seriousness of the impacts of
some of the animals on crop production was perceived differently in some of
the locations (agricultural zones). Furthermore, the values in the location
row of the ANOVA table give the main effect of location. The values show that
the main effect of location (agricultural zones) was significant, F (3, 380)
=10.45, p = 0.00, implying that the crop farmers in the four locations (agricultural
zones) perceived the seriousness of the impact of the animals on crop production
|| Analysis of variance results of the impact of livestock animals
on crop production
|| Mean separation of the impact of grazing livestock animals
on crop production
|Means with same alphabet did not significantly differ at p<0.05
from each other
These results differed from that of Adebayo and Olaniyi
(2008), Tenuche and Ifatimehin (2009), Blench
(2010), Gefu and Gills (1990) and Adisa
and Adekunle (2010) because their findings did not indicate if there are
significant differences in the impact of the livestock animals on crop production
or not. The authors generalized the impact of the livestock animals but this
study has shown that their impacts are not perceived the same by the crop farmers.
Based on the analysis of variance results, mean separation was done to determine the mean responses that were significantly higher than the other (see Table 2). The mean responses indicated that the seriousness of the impact of grazing cattle (2.67) on crop production was significantly higher than the impact of the grazing goat (1.92), sheep (1.78) and domestic fowl (1.28). Similarly, the seriousness of the impact of grazing goat (1.92) was significantly higher than that of sheep (1.78) and also, that of sheep was significantly higher than that of domestic fowls (1.28). The implication of this is that the crop farmers perceived the seriousness of the impact of grazing cattle as the highest while domestic fowl had the least impact. At the zonal level, the mean separation revealed that farmers in the eastern and western agricultural zones felt the seriousness of the impact of grazing animals more than crop farmers in the central and northern zones. The mean response for the crop farmers in the eastern agricultural zone (2.18) was not significantly different (p<0.05) from that of the crop farmers in the western agricultural zone (2.13) but they are significantly higher than the mean responses from the crop farmers in the northern (1.71) and central (1.58) agricultural zones. This implies that the crop farmers in these two zones felt the impact of the grazing animals the same. Furthermore, the mean response for the crop farmers in the central agricultural zone (1.58) was not significantly different (p<0.05) from that of the crop farmers in the northern agricultural zone (1.71).
Looking at the mean values, it is clear that the crop farmers did not perceive
the impact of grazing cattle on crop production as very serious (4)
but rather it was perceived as serious (3) because the mean value
(2.67) tended towards serious (3) as coded in the questionnaires.
The fact that the impact of cattle on crop production is serious goes to confirm
the findings of Sulaiman and Jaafar-Furo (2010)
and Williams (1998) which indicated that crop farmers
incurred higher loses from conflicts that results from livestock grazing on
crops. The mean values for the impact of goat and sheep were perceived as fairly
serious (2) while the impact of domestic fowls (1.28) was perceived as
being very little (1). Based on the mean values, it is clear that
the impact of grazing domestic fowls did not pose much problem to the crop farmers
in the study area. In general, the grand mean value (1.91) shows that the farmers
perceived the impact of the grazing animals as fairly serious (2).
Table 3 shows the socioeconomic characteristics of the crop
farmers interviewed. The gender distribution of the farmers indicated that majority
(84.11%) of them were males while only 15.89% were females.
|| The socio-economic characteristics of the small-scale crop
This does not mean that men were more in agricultural production in the study
area but rather it reflects the difficulty of accessing women farmers for data
collection. One of the reasons for this is the practice of purdah, a religious
belief that restricts, especially, muslin women, from interacting with others
except their husbands and close relatives. The exceptions are the cattle-owning
Fulani households, where married women work outside the home primarily to milk
the cows and sell the milk, butter and cheese (Dayo et
al., 2009, NARP, 1994). Based on this religious
belief, the enumerators had more interaction with the male crop farmers than
with the female farmers hence the skewness of the data in favour of the men-folk.
The distributions of farmers based on marital status showed that majority (90.63%)
of the farmers were married. Unmarried ones (single farmers) were only 4.68%
while only 3.13% were widows. Divorced and separated farmers were 0.78% each.
The implication of the distribution is that it is difficult to see rural farmers
who are not married because many of them marry more than one wife (polygamous
family) and also the chances of remarriage is very high among the rural dwellers
in the study area. The literacy status of the farmers showed that greater percentage
(31.77%) of the farmers had no formal school education. In fact, 66.20% of the
farmers attended at most primary school while only 38.80% had at least secondary
school education. The knowledge of farmers literacy status is good because
Nwaru (2005) stated that an educated farmer, other
things being equal, allocates farm resources more efficiently. Household distribution
revealed that majority (38.28%) of the farmers had over eight persons per household
while 66.60% of them, had over six persons per household implying that majority
of the farmers had large households. Okoye et al.
(2009) stated that large household size might create a positive effect on
output per hectare if household labour is devoted mostly to agricultural production.
On age distribution, the modal class is 31-40 years but it is also clear that
majority (65.37%) of the farmers were between 31-50 years. This shows that the
farmers were still in their active and productive age and can perform farming
The production of crops and livestock animals reared under extensive and semi-intensive systems in Nigeria is not mutually exclusive because both compete for the available land resources. There was no area of land exclusively reserved for livestock rearing or crop production. The resultant effect of the struggle for survival between crop and livestock farmers are frequent clashes which has claimed many lives and properties worth millions of naira. Since it is very difficult to stop the rearing of livestock animals or the production of crops in the northern part of Nigeria including Abuja, there was the need to verify how the crop farmers perceived the seriousness of the impact of grazing livestock animals on crop production. The livestock animals considered for the research include cattle, goat, sheep and domestic fowls. The results of the study revealed that there was significant difference in the mean perception of the impact of cattle, goat, sheep and domestic fowls on crop production. Cattle were perceived to be most destructive animal followed by goat and sheep while domestic fowls were the least. The study also revealed that farmers in the Abuja eastern and western agricultural zones felt the impact of livestock animals on crop production more than crop farmers in the northern and central agricultural zones. Based on the findings, the study concluded that grazing livestock animals affected crop production in the study area but the seriousness of the impact depended on the type of livestock animal reared. It was recommended that grazing routes should be mapped out for the livestock farmers to reduce the clashes. In addition, the livestock farmers should be educated and encouraged to adopt intensive system of animal production.
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