Rural farm-households perception of land-related conflicts as an impediment to livelihoods in Imo State, Nigeria
The aim of this study was to establish whether land-related conflicts could be detrimental to the lives and survival of rural people in Imo State. The specific objectives were to identify livelihood strategies of the respondents, examine perceived causes of conflicts in the area; ascertain effects of conflicts on rural economy/livelihood of the respondents and determine measures to reduce conflicts in the study area. Purposive random sampling technique was used to select 300 respondents from conflicts affected areas in Imo State. Data were collected with structured questionnaire and oral discussion with the respondents. Data were analyzed using percentages and mean to achieve the objectives of the study. Results show that 100% of the respondents engaged in farming for survival. The major causes of the conflicts were human population pressure (M=3.43), encroachment without permission (M= 3.30), land tenure system (M=3.45), among others. The major effects of conflicts on rural economy and livelihood were farmland abandonment (M = 3.37), decrease income (M=3.12), reduction in yield (M=3.31), loss of lives (M=3.60), insecurity (M=3.00), increased hunger and starvation (M=3.47) among others. To curb conflicts, security should be provided to the communities, settlement of dispute should be done quickly, and educating all actors would be necessary.
Keywords: Conflict, Economy, Rural, Livelihood, Farm, Households