Conflicts Over The Use of Land and Water Resources In Yobe State: Implications For Sustainable Agricultural Development
Over the years, certain factors have become significant drivers of unprecedented changes in the livelihood activities of the people of Yobe State especially in their Agricultural practices such as upland or rain-fed farming, small scale irrigation farming, fishing and animal husbandry. These changes have led to tremendous increase in the number, rate of occurrence and scale of conflicts over the use of resources. It is for these reasons that this paper sought to identify and discuss the problems of conflicts over land and water resources in northern region of Yobe State and the implications of these conflicts for sustainable agricultural development in the region. Using a descriptive method, rapid population increase and the concomitant rise in demand for agricultural products; development policy in irrigation farming, which enabled unprecedented expansion of irrigated land and lastly, climatic factors with deleterious environmental impact constricting rangeland for pastoralists were found to contribute to the tremendous increase, rate of occurrence and scale of conflicts over the use of resources. Also, most of the conflicts were identified to be mainly between the indigene and the so called non-indigene or settlers; and between farmers/irrigators and Fulani cattle herders. The major cause of conflicts in water use is fishing right. Constricting grazing land as a result of expansion of farmlands brings the farmers into conflicts with Fulani herdsmen, resulting into monumental loss of lives and properties, jeopardizing social harmony and security as well as creating a disabling environment for sustainable agricultural development in the region. The paper recommends a proactive policy measures by governments and other stakeholders to develop an integrated strategy in preventing and or mitigating conflicts and secondly for agricultural development in the area.