Banditry has become a thorn in the flesh of the resident of Katsina state, and it also constitute the major forms of insecurity that has affected the northwest geopolitical zone for the past decade. Banditry has affected all facets of human life among which is food security and agricultural development in Katsina State. The objective of this study is to examin the effect of rural banditry on agricultural development and to examine the relationship between banditry and agricultural development from 2016-2020. To also examine the recent efforts of the Government in tackling banditry to improve food security among others. The population of this study consist of 300 resident of Batasari LGA that was randomly selected by the researcher. The data collected with the help of SPSS version 21 and the graphical, percentage and chi-square statistics method was adopted. Instrument of data collection was the questionnaire. The study concludes that Banditry, particularly in the North West has also negatively impacted food security in states such as Katsina
- Background of the study
A bandit is a robber or outlaw belonging to a gang, who uses weapons to steal or rob from the people and typically operating in an isolated or lawless area of a country. Banditry is a term used to refer to acts of robbery and violence in areas where the rule of law has broken down (Collins, 2010). Banditry consists of the organization of armed bands for the purpose of attacking state or social institutions or enterprises or individual persons. Participation in such bands and in the attacks committed by them is equally regarded as banditry (Collins, 2010). Historically, banditry has existed and operated in different parts of the world since the 19th century when bandits riding mostly on horse backs move from their hideouts to attack villages and then retreated back to their hideouts. In Europe, bandits have existed in mainly mountainous areas of Italy, Spain, Greece and Turkey (Cassia, 2013). In Asia, bandits have existed in several countries such as Iran, Philippines and India (Bankoff, 2018). In India, bandits are called Daku in Hindi Language which the British colonialist coined as dacoity during the colonial period. Thus dacoity has become a term for banditry in the Nigeria subcontinent where bandits have operated for many years in north and north central Nigeria. Therefore, banditry has a rich and lucrative history throughout Northern Nigeria and despite continued anti banditry efforts, the problem of banditry persists in Nigeria presently (Dmella, 2018). In West Africa, the prevalence and severity of banditry has contributed to the rising increase in regional insecurity with a potential threat to regional integration of the sub-region (Abdullahi, 2019). The United Nations in September 2020 observed that attacks by AlShabaab insurgent group will deepen food insecurity and obstruct farming practices into the year 2021 in Mozambique (Channels, 2020). In Nigeria, the Federal Government has realized that banditry has posed a serious threat to farming communities in the northern parts of the country. In April 2017, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development in conjunction with the Minister of Interior initiated the formation of a special unit of AgroRangers Corps to protect farmers and farming Direct Res. J. Agric. Food Sci. 440 investments throughout the country (The Sun, 2017). The use of the Agro-Rangers was expected to forestall attacks on farmlands and boost farmer’s confidence to work on their farms without fear of attacks, thereby guaranteeing the Federal Government avowed food security plans (NSCDC, 2020).
The farmers, in an interview with Daily Trust, stated that bandits stormed their farms to either abduct them, kill them or tax them before they could even cultivate on their farms.
They further said every household in the Batsarin-Alhaji area had to pay N500 to the bandits from the last farming season.
Thereafter, the bandits demanded that the villagers supply them with fertilisers.
The villagers had to tax themselves to purchase the fertilisers. A 65-year-old farmer, Sa’adu Nuhu Batsari, said he stopped tilling three of his farms of 20 hectares each for over two years due to insecurity, lamenting that the heightened banditry is driving both big and subsistence farmers out of farming. “Once you’re on the farm these people would come and abduct, kill or harass you. I abandoned my farms that are deep inside the bush and now work on the one close to town that is only two hectares. The constant threat stopped me from going to the farm,” he said.
The Chairman of Batsari Local Development Association, Sani Muslim Batsari, lamented that he has been forced to stop cultivating his big farms in the bush in the last two years due to the worsening insecurity situation in Batsari.
“I was harvesting almost 300 bags, but now I harvest only 50 bags or less in my small farm that’s closer to the town. “Bandits have taken over many forests and cleared them for farming. Some of them can harvest 3,000 bags of grains. Some villagers confided in us that these bandits have hijacked their farms without paying a kobo to them. “Their activities are taking a toll on our well-being; they have led to a shortage of food and skyrocketing prices and lack of menial jobs for your youth as the large-scale farmers that employ hundreds of them have since abandoned the farms. “President Buhari had, during the onset of the rainy season, assured us that we would go back to our farms this season. Alas, that has remained a mirage! I can categorically tell you that now more than 70 per cent of farmers in Batsari LG have stopped farming,” he lamented.
Another farmer in Nahuta village, Muhammed Auwal, said from the last farming season, farmers in his village were asked to pay tax to bandits to access their farms but that didn’t protect them from attacks by the bandits.
“They’d seize our cattle or motorbikes. This season, they asked our neighbouring village, Kasai, to contribute money and buy fertilizer for them which they did.
“Last season, every household in Nahuta had to pay N1,000 and we contributed more than N2 million as tax for the bandits which we delivered to them before they allowed us to farm. But this season, we’re lucky because they didn’t ask for tax from us maybe because soldiers have been deployed to our community. But villages surrounding us are still battling with these insecurity issues.” 50-year-old Dahiru Usman Wada, from Kurawa community, confirmed that bandits confiscated his two hectares farm and planted on it. “They made ridges and planted crops; their motive is to kidnap me if I went there, so I had to leave the farm to them. I have now relocated to Batsari town and got a small farm close to the town” he said.
- STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
The major threat to the agricultural sector in Nigeria is insecurity from both the Boko Haram and Fulani herdsmen. In the northeast of Nigeria, the sustained terrorist and banditry activities of the Boko Haram have had negative impact on agricultural activities and farming system. Not only are farming activities incapable of being carried out under an insecure environment, domestic agricultural production is stifled, farming communities are displaced and access to regional market is blocked (Eigege & Cooke, 2016). In addition to the Boko Haram group, the Fulani herdsmen have become a major threat to farming communities due to incessant attacks on these communities with attendant fatalities. The heinous banditry attacks carried out on these farming regions by the Fulani pastoral has made it difficult for farmers in these regions to go their farms to either plant or harvest. Aside the physical attack on the farmers, the damages carried out by the livestock (cows, cattle, etc) of this herdsmen deepens the sore of helpless farmers. The impact of this on the economy is reflecting in the undaunted rise in the prices of food commodities, scarcity of some food items and adverse food insecurity as areas of which food items are planted/produced are no longer producing. This because most of the farmers in agriculturally famous community of the middle belt, northwest and northeast have abandoned their farms and migrate to other communities in seeking safety for their lives hence leaving their farms fallow and unharvested crops which would pose adverse effect on the farming system. Therefore it is against this backdrop that this study seeks to examine the effect of banditry on farming system in Nigeria. Some farmers in Katsina State have decried the negative impact of banditry on farming activities in the state. According to them, bandits have stopped them from going to their farms to cultivate food items.
- OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY
The study has one main objective which is subdivided into general and specific objective; the general objective is to examine rural banditry and agricultural development in Katsina state. The specific objectives are;
- To examine the impact of banditry on agricultural development in Katsina state
- To example the relationship between banditry and agricultural development in Nigeria
- To examine the implication of banditry attack on agricultural development
- To proffer suggested solution to the identified problem
- RESEARCH QUESTION
The following research questions were formulated by the researcher to aid the completion of the study;
- Does banditry have any impact on agricultural development in Katsina state?
- Is there any significant relationship between banditry and agricultural development in Nigeria?
- Is there any implication of banditry attack on agricultural development?
- RESEARCH HYPOTHESES
The following research hypotheses were formulated by the researcher to aid the completion of the study;
H0: There is no significant relationship between banditry and agricultural development in Nigeria
H1: There is a significant relationship between banditry and agricultural development in Nigeria
H0: banditry does not have any impact on agricultural development in Katsina state
H2: banditry does have an impact on agricultural development in Katsina state
- SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
This study will contribute to the general body of knowledge. Most importantly it will open the eyes of government on the urgent need to put security agents around farming communities exposed to attacks. It will reveal to the Ministry of Agriculture on the implications of these attacks on food security and the need strategize for worst days if nothing is done. This study will also educate those from regions (especially the Northern states) of the country who have interest in farming on the need to venture into it immediately without total dependence on the Middle-Belt, North-East and Northwest as these areas are under attack thus this will help the country not to suffer food shortage. Lastly this Study will serve as a reference material for other researchers and give room for further studies.
- SCOPE AND LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
The scope of the study covers rural banditry and agricultural development in Katsina state with emphasis on Batasari LGA. But in the course of the study, there are some factors that limit the scope of the study;
(a)Availability of research material: The research material available to the researcher is insufficient, thereby limiting the study.
(b)Time: The time frame allocated to the study does not enhance wider coverage as the researcher has to combine other academic activities and examinations with the study.
(c)Finance: The finance available for the research work does not allow for wider coverage as resources are very limited as the researcher has other academic bills to cover.
1.8 OPERATIONAL DEFINITION OF TERMS
Farming: Farming is growing crops or keeping animals by people for food and raw materials.
Famine: A famine is a widespread scarcity of food, caused by several factors including war, inflation, crop failure, population imbalance, or government policies.
Food insecurity: Food insecurity is measured as a household-level concept that refers to uncertain, insufficient, or unacceptable availability, access, or utilization of food.
Farming System: Farming system is an integrated set of activities that farmers perform in their farms under their resources and circumstances to maximize the productivity and net farm income on a sustainable basis.
Banditry: Banditry is a type of organized crime committed by outlaws typically involving the threat or use of violence.
Herdsmen: Herdsmen or Fulani pastoralists are nomadic or semi-nomadic. Fulani people whose primary occupation is raising livestock
1.9 ORGANIZATION OF THE STUDY
This research work is organized in five chapters, for easy understanding, as follows Chapter one is concern with the introduction, which consist of the (overview, of the study), statement of problem, objectives of the study, research question, significance or the study, research methodology, definition of terms and historical background of the study. Chapter two highlight the theoretical framework on which the study its based, thus the review of related literature. Chapter three deals on the research design and methodology adopted in the study. Chapter four concentrate on the data collection and analysis and presentation of finding. Chapter five gives summary, conclusion and also recommendations made of the study.