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INTERROGATING CLASHES IN BENUE STATE AND THEIR IMPLICATIONS ON FOOD SECURITY IN NIGERIA
The Fulani Herdsmen and Farmers Clashes have negatively affected food production in Benue state. The armed nomadic herders have continued to pose a colossal threat to the lives and properties of the local communities in the state. For instance, the incessant broad-day and mid-night attacks being perpetrated and recorded in the state are quite alarming to the degree that farmers are afraid of going to farm. To this effect, the study investigated how Fulani Herdsmen and Farmers Clashes in Benue State affected Food Security in the state and Nigeria in general. The study employed Expost facto research design and qualitative-descriptive method for data analysis. The theoretical framework relied on Environmental/Resources Scarcity theory by Homer-Dixon. The study found out that population explosion and land disputes between the farmers and herders due to scarcity of resources such as grazing and farming lands, is responsible for incessant violent conflicts. Consequently, farmers are afraid of going to farm and some have abandoned their farms. This negatively affected agricultural productivity in Benue state. Environmental pollution activities have no direct relationship with food security in Benue state but remain a challenge to the communities in the state. Consequently, there is need for the Nigerian state to review the existing laws as they relate to accessibility to land by members of community and strangers. There is also the need to initiate a viable policy framework that can handle population explosion in Nigeria, which has remained a great challenge in the country.
Keywords: Agriculture, Crop Farmers, Food Security, Fulani Herdsmen and Intergroup clashes