The Impact of Palm Kernel Cake in Resolving Herdsmen-Farmers Violent Conflicts in Ogun State, Nigeria

The Impact of Palm Kernel Cake in Resolving Herdsmen-Farmers Violent Conflicts in Ogun State, Nigeria

Abiala Abiala Alatise (University of Ibadan, Nigeria)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-5987-0.ch003

Abstract

The study investigated the impact of palm kernel cake (PKC) in resolving herdsmen and arable farmers' violent conflicts in Ogun State, Nigeria. There is mounting evidence of violent conflicts, killings, and raping by herdsmen attacks in Ogun State communities. The study was carried out to examine the level experiences of violent conflicts, losses, gains (if any), and the impact of PKC in resolving further violent conflicts among arable farmers and herdsmen. A total of 215 registered poultry farmers were purposively selected which consisted of all the local government areas in Ogun State. A 40-item questionnaire was designed and used to collect information from the respondents. The data collected were analyzed using descriptive statistics such as frequency counts and percentages while inferential statistics such as chi-square were used. Findings revealed that there was significant relationship between the socio-economic characteristics of the respondents and their level experiences of violent conflicts.
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Introduction

The Fourth Nigerian Republic’s which started in 1999 recorded another history of conflict between farmers-herdsmen violence which killed thousands of people and displaced tens of thousands more. It followed a trend in the increase of farmer-herder conflicts throughout much of the western Sahel, due to an expansion of agriculturist population and cultivated land at the expense of pasturelands; deteriorating environmental conditions, desertification and soil degradation; breakdown in traditional conflict resolution mechanisms of land and water disputes; and proliferation of small arms and crime in rural areas. Insecurity and violence have led many populations to create self-defence forces and ethnic militias, which have engaged in further violence. The majority of farmer-herder clashes have occurred between Muslim Fulani herdsmen and Christian peasants, exacerbating ethno religious hostilities. These conflicts between ever more sophistically armed groups claimed hundreds of lives in 2016. According to the Global Terrorism Index (2010), Fulani militants were the fourth deadliest terrorist group in 2014, using machine guns and attacks on villages to assault and intimidate farmers. After killing around 80 people in total from 2010 to 2013, they killed 1,229 in 2014. Most deaths occurred in the Nigerian Middle Belt, in particular in the states of Benue, Kaduna, Nasarawa, Plateau and Taraba, which recorded 847 deaths. The state of Zamfara, in the northern belt, recorded 229 deaths. In addition to terrorist attacks, Fulani militants were also involved in non-state armed conflicts with groups from Eggon, Jukun and Tiv farming communities. These conflicts resulted in 712 deaths. It reveals that the recent invasion by pastoralists into the oil-rich Niger Delta region of Nigeria has altered the peaceful milieu of the agrarian community, thereby leading to a gradual collapse of Agadama’s subsistence base and impeding the growth of sustainable agricultural development in the community. New dimensions to the pastoralists–farmers conflicts in the Niger Delta include the rape of female farmers and shooting anyone found spraying chemicals on grasses/weeds that serve as pastures for cattle. It concludes that the government intervention has been reactionary. However, the role of agricultural extension in resolving conflict between farmers to farmers and farmers-herdsmen can never be thrown over board (Adesiji et al., 2010). In addition, poverty alleviation can be maintained through sustainable root and tuber crops production. (Akele & Chukwu, 2004).

Palm kernel cake (PKC) is a by-product of palm oil production. Palm oil is the world’s most widely produced oil, and growing global demand has naturally increased the supply of PKC. While India, Europe and China are the major palm oil importing countries, the bulk of PKC exports go to New Zealand and Europe. A significant amount of PKC is used domestically as cattle feed in Malaysia and Indonesia, where it is fed to feedlot cattle at very high levels. One report states that “it is a common practice in Malaysia to produce complete feeds based on PKC, either as pellets, cubes or total mixed ration.” PKC is most commonly produced by economical screw press, less frequently via a more expensive solvent processes. The most useful is palm kernel cake, which is the solid residue left behind after the extraction of oil from the kernels of the palm fruits. It is now well entrenched as a major feed ingredient in beef and dairy feed in the country. The PKC is obtained out from two stages of oil extraction from the palm fruit. Palm kernel cake is a high-fibre, medium-grade protein feed best suited to ruminants. PKC is widely known in West Africa as a viable feed ingredient, but until recently it has been mostly used as a source of energy and fiber in poultry, pig and fish rations. PKC has traditionally been used by small holders as complimentary cattle feed source, its deployment in large herd cattle feed is a recent development. Experts believe that PKC has the potential to make a nation self-sufficient in beef production, and thus solve the major headache associated with dependence on Fulani herdsmen. PKC is gaining prominence as a foreign exchange earner and solution to a major problem in Ogun State since there is inadequacy of grassland resources to sustain domestic cattle production during drought.

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