Wednesday, 11 July 2018

Is Entrepreneurship the solution to the Farmers-Herders Conflict?

Hello Everyone,

It is like I am being consistent with constantly apologizing to you for not keeping my promise of feeding you interesting content on a daily basis but I believe that sooner or later I would conquer the challenge.

"The solution to a challenge is just to keep trying and failing and not giving up, the challenge would finally give in". (Muna, 2018)

Well, for me because I just had my first legit quote, hopefully someone hasn't said it already lol.

But for real I am sorry.

There has really been a lot happening recently. But I would gist you next week Monday by God's grace.

You must be wondering after all this elaborate preamble, you must be asking why am I here reading this post right now.

To the crux of the issue that I have termed

 "The Farmers-Herders Business Conundrum"

In Nigeria, a lot of mystery surround the farmers-herders conflict, some of the undertones being skewed towards being socio-cultural difference or religious leanings but sometimes we ought to take a minute and see the complete abuse of business strategies and economics.

Overtly verbose?

Let me land.

I remember in the summers of 2010 to 2012 in the countryside of Lancashire while at Stonyhurst College I couldn't fail to smell the dung sift through the crevices of the walls of my dorm room that sat adjacent to some large expanse of land which they used to farm cattle fodder which they later processed for food for cattle to sell to the herders (in this case ranchers). This farm was primarily run to feed cattle and the dung bought from the ranchers was used to fertilize the soil. In my book, this is a textbook symbiotic business relationship.

Now in Your Mind, Board that British Airways flight from London to Abuja then take a detour to Benue, the Food Basket of the Nation.

As the rumour goes in communities that have been ravaged by farmers-herders conflict the story pretty much goes.

For the farmers,

"They ate our crops and our harvest, our means of livelihood have been destroyed, please government come to our aid"

The same goes for the herders,

"We were going along our routes and the farmers attacked our herds and killed our cows, this calls for a reprisal, we won't be intimidated"

This has caused untold violence causing deaths in hundreds and has displaced thousands more, particularly women and children.

And for me the solution is simple.

The herders through their association can purchase lands in these communities and then work with the farmers to do in-kind transactions that exchange dung for fodder. The herders could then choose to use their dung and process it to manure that would be sold for a high price to the farmers in their communities. Vice versa, the farmers could enrich the fodders with vitamins and other enhancers which enable them sell the fodder at a higher price.

But is it ever as easy as it seems?

Definitely not, not in Nigeria.

Sometimes because these things happen to other people and not to us, we tend not to personalize this issue, but I imagine if the cows that were killed were mine and the herders came back to tell me that my cows are dead, I would look to create a lasting solution to provide security for my cows and in a funny way we can see how herders are armed with hunting guns and assault rifles that have caused the violence to escalate.

The government proposed grazing routes as well as cattle colonies as solutions to the conflict which was met with stiff competition in the National Assembly and was considered unacceptable by the general population for a very simple reason.

"The cows eat our crops, why should we give them access to land in our community to eat all our crops?"

A legitimate argument in my opinion.

Sometimes the solutions to these sort of problems should be viewed from an idealistic point of view and I want to use this opportunity to encourage government, community leaders, entrepreneurs and other stakeholders to work together ensure security and boost productivity in the agricultural sector of the country.

I would like to hear your thoughts,

How do you suggest that Entrepreneurs can create a business model that could be a potent attempt as solving this conflict? Is this symbiotic business relationship that I proposed possible in Nigeria given all the factors in play?

Let's communicate in the comment section below,

Don't forget,

If you are a business owner or you know any business owner. 
You can move your products from your suppliers to you or from your store to your customers easily with HubbonNG.

Book a delivery with us today by visiting to book a delivery or call/whatsapp us at +2347015766545 .

Best regards,
Ejieji Muna
(Co-founder, HubbonNG)

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